Horse rescued from wildfires finds home in valley

Hillary with Malachi at her ranch. Photo SPIN.

A horse found behind evacuation lines during wildfires this summer has been given a second chance. In July the animal was rescued from Williams Lake and has now found his forever home near Sun Peaks.

The 14 year-old percheron cross was named Tony when he was found with another horse in a wildfire hotspot. At the time both animals were overweight and their hooves were overgrown so badly they suffered from laminitis, a foot disease that can be fatal.

Because of their neglected hooves the pair would’ve been unable to outrun a fire if it flared up near them.

They were taken into the care of the BC SPCA and placed for adoption. That is when Hillary Schneider, owner of Epona Rise Retreat at Tod Mountain Ranch, learned about Tony and his story.

“I first heard about him in October,” she said. “Multiple people tagged me on his post and shared it in my Facebook group.”

It didn’t take long for Schneider to reach out to the SPCA, who she has worked with before, and apply to bring him home.  

He arrived on Nov. 12 and was renamed Malachi, a Hebrew word for “my messenger” or “my heart.”

“I like to give my horses medecine names, empowering names. I looked at this horse and his story and his energy,” she said.

He was introduced to her herd of nearly 20 horses and integrated easily, becoming friends with two other horses early on.

Hillary Schneider with Malachi and his friend Indy. Photo SPIN.

“He’s very sensitive and cautious but he wants to be with other horses. He’s adaptable but he has some mistrust and anxiety with people; he probably had some mistreatment.”

Because his rescue story reached so many people online Schneider wants to share the news of his new life to promote education and advocacy.

“Most horses here are rescues,” she said. “He’s obviously the kind of horse I take in…now he’s going to be able to share his purpose with many others.”

To help people stay connected with Malachi she has created a GoFundMe with a goal of raising $6,500 to cover his adoption, transportation and first year at her property. He will stay regardless of the amount raised.

“He’s not going anywhere,” she said. “He felt like a kind of community horse so I wanted to create an opportunity for education and sponsorship for his first year. People really wanted to contribute or be part of his journey.”

Find the fundraiser online here.

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