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SPARROW

Born March 22, 2005

Sparrow is the only mare in our herd.  Amy Sawby purchased her to compete in team cattle penning.  When they first brought her to the acreage, she was always quite a calm and settled horse.  About one year after she came to us one of her eyes got infected and it ultimately had to be removed. Her original name was Bambi but we changed it when my oldest son suggested it should be "sparrow" after Captain Jack Sparrow.  The name suited her so much it stuck. Even with this dramatic loss of eye sight Sparrow still does not startle easily.  She constantly surprises me with how calm she is when experiencing something unexpected. Even though she can not see half the world, this horse really takes many things in stride with very little alarm.  She goes about her business with this calm demeanour and even when I am clearly not in her view and touch her she rarely flinches.  At first, I found this confusing as I wondered about the absence of her alarm reaction. Sometimes horses (and humans!) can start to block themselves from feeling alarm as past experiences have lead to a kind of protective numbing. But after spending more time with her I have noticed that she does not show the behaviours that seem to accompany this numbing such as seeking out dangerous things in search of adrenaline, or acting fidgety or anxious. Perhaps her calm response has more to do with her being more aware of her environment with all of her senses.  Perhaps she is very grounded in the moment, which allows her to have an increased awareness of what is going on around her.  Perhaps she adapted to her blindness with this awareness of her environment and her feelings of security in a safe environment at the Sawby farm.

Her sense of calm extends to her behaviours within the herd.  She is the easy going one but as with many mares she is the quiet leader.  The other horses will always chose to take her lead when they are looking for the next step to deal with uncertainty.  In a very interesting way she will go with the flow but she is certainly not a follower. 

We feel very lucky to have her.  She was previously owned by a trainer in Texas who sold her as she didn’t think she was good looking enough! Surprisingly, with one eye, she remains to be a solid competitor in team sorting and although Amy and Ellwood have considered selling her they are concerned about finding her a home that would keep her feeling safe and secure.  

Sparrow Stories: Coming soon!