Throughout history, horses have been at the center of human progress. Whether it was to tend the fields, to be used as transportation, or to spur excitement in sporting events, we’ve relied on these gentle - yet powerful - animals for many aspects of life. Despite being called upon for hard labor, these majestic animals respond with grace, diligence and kindness.
Because of the value they add to the lives of so many, it's easy to assume these invaluable animals are treated with honor and respect for their work.
Unfortunately, humanity isn't always the kindest. As a horse ages, and is no longer capable of completing its desired tasks, these magnificent animals are often neglected, mistreated, and even killed by their once-admiring owners.
When it came to horses Arthur and Max, this was exactly the case. Caught up in the whirlwind of elderly horse abuse, both horses found themselves in a hectic and dangerous nightmare.
Thankfully, just as their lives were at risk of being taken, they were rescued by the acclaimed Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse Sanctuary.
This heart-wrenching tale is not a rarity. Yet, as stories of the deplorable mistreatment of elderly animals is brought to the surface, so are the stories of heroic individuals dedicated to offering older animals the chance to enjoy the open pastures they deserve.
Continue reading below to delve into the harrowing story of Arthur and Max.
WARNING: Some readers may find the following content disturbing. Discretion is advised.
For 30 years, Arthur tirelessly worked for his owners in a New England farming community. However, as time progressed, his power and mobility began to decrease.
Within the equine industry, the value of a horse is directly related to their youth and strength. As they age, it's not uncommon for owners and dealers to neglect these loyal animals.
Once Arthur began to decline, he embarked on a common road for elderly horses ... the auction block.
In the scuffle of the auction roadshow, Arthur was united with Max, who was also forced into the neglectful and abusive world of elderly horse auctions.
Together, they were tasked with duties unfit for aging horses. Even though they weren't trained for riding, these two friends were forced to endure riders.
To prepare them for high-kill auctions, Arthur and Max were denied food in order to give their body a starved appearance.
As the days moved on, their fate seemed all too clear: to be sold for their meat.
However, this is when Cindy Daigre, founder of Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse Sanctuary, altered the lives of these two forgotten friends.
Upon watching videos of Arthur and Max being mistreated, Daigre rushed to their side. Through a series of events, these two hopeless creatures were transported to the safety of the sanctuary, located in Tennessee.
What was expected to be a joyous moment was met with uncertainty as Arthur was too exhausted to eat ... or even stand.
But, after several days, he began to change. Soon, he was standing, eating and exploring his new, friendlier environment.
The same could not be said for Max. Upon arrival, Daigre noticed he had a pre-existing back injury while scars from being physically abused riddled his body.
Because of the severity of his abuse, Max displayed a variety of psychological ailments, especially toward humans.
After two years of rehabilitation, patience, and persistence, both horses have blossomed into loving, happy and healthy creatures.
Arthur and Max are practically inseparable. They love roaming the thick-green pastures together and spending time with the sanctuary staff.
Arthur has even proven you're never too old to try a new hairdo!
His braids not only make him photoshoot-ready, but they also keep his back cool during warm Tennessee summers.
Life has not been an easy road for Arthur and Max. But, unlike many horses with a similar story, they've beat the odds and are truly living their golden years.
Even though their previous owners refused to acknowledge the beauty and kindness of these horses, the dedication of the sanctuary staff has given them the respect and happiness they deserve.
Make sure to SHARE this heartwarming tale with your friends and family!