Please read Sunshine’s Tale, and if you feel you can provide a good, safe and loving, forever home for Sunshine’s retirement, please contact email@example.com or call 905-684-6030. To protect the identity of all involved, and since Sunshine is free to a good home, Equine Niagara News is handling any enquiries for his owner. Although Sunshine is free to a good, safe and loving home, please be aware that Sunshine is an aged horse, which may require healthcare in the future. Sunshine is in retirement but can handle light riding by a light rider, now and again."
"Sunshine" had been working as a lesson pony most, if not all, of his life. He was well into his golden years, and it was thought that as he was aging and not quite able to do everything he used to be able to do, it would be nice if he could be put out to pasture for a while to enjoy just being a pony.
His owner, "Hannah," couldn't afford to put him out to pasture, but a friend offered to take him home and care for him and ride him just enough that Sunshine wouldn't feel like he had no purpose in life anymore, but not enough to put strain on his old bones or make him feel like he still had to work to earn his keep. Sunshine could look forward to living out his last years in comfort, love, and peace. So, Hannah agreed to let Sunshine retire to this country estate and wished him all the happiness in the world, as he had certainly earned it after 25 years or so of working as a lesson pony.
Once in a while Hannah would inquire with his new owner, "Jill," as to how Sunshine was faring in his retirement. Jill reported that Sunshine was enjoying simply being a pony, liked the company of his new friends, and was doing very well. Hannah was very pleased that Sunshine was enjoying his golden years.
A year and a half later Hannah received a call from Jill that she was experiencing some personal issues and could no longer keep Sunshine, and she did not have the time or the resources due to her difficulties to find him another good home. Because Sunshine had given so much of himself to Hannah and she still loved him deeply, she agreed to take Sunshine in until a new home could be found and immediately started looking for a new home for him.
The next day Hannah went to Sunshine's country estate to bring him back to his old farm for a few days until he went to a new home. With shock and growing horror she realized that Sunshine's "golden pasture" was a cow barn - he barely went outside but spent most of his time confined to a cow stall with baling twine. Sunshine's "green grass" was a layer of months and months of uncleaned urine and feces. Sunshine's once glossy golden coat was now three inches of filthy fur, matted to his skin by excrement. His hooves, trimmed only with cow trimmers, were mush, with his frogs almost two inches off the ground. His belly was round, not plump but with malnutrition. And his eyes, those beautiful, sparkling eyes, once full of love, were filled now with sadness and rebuke - how could she have done this to him, just thrown him away to this fate, after he had given her everything he had to give?
Hannah immediately made her way through the filth and embraced her Sunshine, unknotted the baling twine, and led Sunshine into the horse trailer. Sunshine, resigned to his next fate, stumbled dejectedly behind.
On arriving home once again at Cadillac Farms, Hannah immediately set to work with the help of her friends, trying to clean Sunshine up. No brush could get through his coat, no shampoo could get through his coat and the stink of it. It was late fall, so Sunshine couldn't be clipped. Hannah and her friends spent six hours cutting out, piece by piece, the worst of the excrement from Sunshine's coat, until what was left could be brushed. The farrier did what he could for Sunshine's feet but only months of careful care could bring back a solid hoof. Love was given to him in abundance, and with that and careful grooming, good hay and supplements in his grain, Sunshine slowly regained the sparkle in his eyes. Winter slowly turned to spring and with that returned the spring in Sunshine's step.
Now, nine months later, Sunshine is ready again for his golden pasture. ...