Cherokee’s Birthday

This will be a busy week at Ever After Mustang Rescue as we prepare for a surprise birthday party for Cherokee. On Friday March 31st he will turn 33 years old. The volunteers will hustle around the barn to give his stall a special cleaning and lots of fresh bedding. His gifts will include a new halter and a new feed dish to hold his grain. We know these will make him happy. A carrot cake to share with his friends, birthday hats and decorations  will complete the party. You are invited to share in his celebration.

Check in daily to follow the progress.


Cherokee sharing a snack with friends


I remember so well the first time I laid eyes on Cherokee. He was only a few hours old. It was the morning of March 31st, 1984. I had fed the horses and closed the barn doors the night before. All was well. Owhyee Lady, a very pregnant six year old mustang mare, seemed comfortable and showed no signs of delivery. But on this morning the horses were silent as I opened the barn doors. There was an air of reverence and respect. I rushed to Lady’s stall to find this little foal laying on the floor with a proud and watchful mother standing nearby. Both were well. What an amazing event!


Cherokee grew quickly over the next few weeks. He followed his Mom closely. She was attentive; he was obedient. All seemed well. It is hard to know when we first realized that something was wrong with the angle of his front hooves, but a vet exam identified “clubbing” of his feet. We are unsure of the exact cause, but, at the time, it was felt that the long bones had grown so quickly that the tendons restricted the leg. He was less than one year old when he had surgery to cut the tendons. The surgery was followed by years of corrective shoeing. The painful procedures were 90% successful. Due to all this and the projected expense of his care, adoption did not seem to be an option.


Cherokee spent his young years frolicking in the pasture with the other horses. He was ridden lightly and became a favorite. By age 15 he began to have growths around his face and neck. These were diagnosed as a form of cancer and were treated and controlled with injections at the sites. It would be several months before the growths returned and the treatment resumed. This went on for several years. By the time he was 25 the growths had multiplied and moved over his left eye closing the lid. X-rays were taken that showed involvement to the sinus cavity and the vet advised euthanasia. Since he was eating well, all systems working and he still enjoyed turnout with his friends, we opted to wait until his quality of life deteriorated.


Jack and Cherokee


It was about this time that I met Lisa Kent, an energy and massage therapist and holistic practitioner. She recommended a change in diet and the use of certain essential oils. Following her direction and the help of our volunteer, Sharon Soule-a Reiki Master and Animal communicator, we began a course of alternative treatment. There was nothing to lose.  Although I have always believed in miracles, the results have been more than anyone could believe. Eight years later we have a healthy, aged horse with only slight traces of the once distorted growths. We are all so grateful to share his birthday with him.  Cherokee would also like to thank members of the Union Church of Biddeford Pool for their faithful sponsorship of him. Ask us how you can join them to help provide for his care. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s party!



Photo courtesy of Tracy Shaw


I knew this morning it was my birthday, the 33rd, a very special day, but never anticipated the surprise party, carrot cake and the well wishes of caregivers, pasture mates and all my friends on Facebook. There aren’t enough “horse” words to thank you all. I love my new halter and feed dish and am very grateful for all the kindnesses given me.

Since I am 33 years old and do not have many more years ahead, I really want to serve as spokesman for all my friends here at EAMR. We are happy and well cared for. We are thankful to all who provide for us, but would like to make everyone aware of the needs of the rescue which in turn improves our lives.

I understand that Ever After Mustang Rescue is celebrating ASPCA’s National Help a Horse Day the entire month of April with a gala celebration at the rescue on Sunday April 23rd from 1-4 PM.

The ASPCA is offering a $25,000 award to the winning Rescue. A part of this is the amount of donations made to the rescue during this month and the media attention generated for this event. I would like to help by introducing you to one of my stablemates every day and presenting their need. I am hoping we will reach your heart and desire to help.

#HelpAHorseDay #ASPCA #rescue #adoptdontshop #mustangs

Thank you for being our friend and this great day.

Don’t I look sharp in my new halter?