Friday, August 20, 2021

Little Horse, Big Heart: The Story of Nicole and Rescue Horse, Ali - Full Story

Kara Pinato Scro
Calendar IconAugust 16, 2021

Nicole Wiley is a lifelong horse lover and rider. For years, she rode an Andalusian mare of her own named Bella, but when the horse had to retire unexpectedly at the age of nine, Nicole’s riding took a backseat. Around that time, Nicole’s priorities had also changed with the adoption of her daughter with special needs. Though the combination of circumstances kept her out of the saddle, she was still surrounded by horses, taking her daughter to therapeutic riding lessons and caring for her mare near her home in Pennsylvania.

In 2019, Nicole decided to take a leap and move her family and her horse to a farmette in her hometown of Mt. Airy, Maryland. The new setup would enable Nicole to keep Bella at home and also allow her to find a new riding partner that could double as a herdmate for her mare. Set on adopting a rescue horse, Nicole turned to Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) in nearby Woodbine, Maryland, where her daughter had been enrolled in summer camp.

Nicole’s search for the perfect equine match, however, had very specific requirements.

Though she’s adventurous on horseback, Nicole is also severely epileptic and had recently found herself wheelchair bound. Paralysis and seizures caused by epilepsy mean Nicole can fall without much warning, so finding a horse that was small in stature, trustworthy, and also athletic was a must...

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