Trainers at New Mexico Horse Rescue say one of their animals—once called “unadoptable”—has gone through a miracle transformation. After getting the special training she needed, a horse they’ve had for years is ready to be adopted out.
It’s an unlikely friendship forged at the Walkin N Circles Ranch in the East Mountains. It’s a bond many didn’t see coming.
“When she was first here, she wouldn’t allow herself to be touched at all,” said Mary Ann Shinnick with the NMHR Board of Directors. “She’s been here a long time and she just had bad experiences with human beings because that’s not common behavior.”
Minnie Pearl has been in the care of the New Mexico Horse Rescue for more than seven years.
“It was difficult. She’s a category five horse which is kind of like a category five hurricane,” said Jack Foley, a supporter of NMHR. “The most severely impacted horses from whatever happened to them prior to coming here.”
Bolting, charging at people, running away and going through trainer after trainer, Minnie Pearl was considered too difficult and unadoptable, that is until Connie Bowin came along.
“‘Would you like to work with Minnie Pearl?’ And I said, ‘Sure,'” recalled Bowin. “When I found her and I thought, ‘Oh my God, what have I gotten myself into?'”
To the surprise of the rescue, Minnie Pearl started to change. “When I first met her in her paddock, she ran and ran and ran,” said Bowin. “Now, I just walk up to her in her paddock and put her little halter on and we come in here and work.”
Bowin says confidence on both ends is key. “What it is amounted to is me being confident enough and instilling that in her,” said Bowin. “It just took her to have confidence in me. And she’s now a different horse and we’ve got a potential adopter for her.”
Bowin has been working with Minnie Pearl for just two months—from small movements like trotting and side-stepping to more difficult ventures like getting into a horse trailer.
She says giving Minnie Pearl a firm, but loving touch has made all the difference. “Just being firm but loving,” said Bowin. “It’s kind of like a steel hand with a velvet glove. It’s not being mean at all but being very firm.”
Another thing that makes this horse stand out—her hair, pattern and eyes. The rescue says it’s called a Medicine Hat Paint. It’s rare, and in Native American culture, considered sacred. These horses were believed to protect their riders in battle.
“These kinds of markings in a horse was sought after,” said Bowin. “She’s special. That’s Minnie.”
Bowin says it’s wonderful to see Minnie Pearl’s transformation.
“I never gave up,” said Bowin. “She has changed into a horse that somebody could have and love and ride.”
Once seen as impossible, this horse is getting ready to head to a forever home with a new family.