In November 2014, Redwings received a call from Santa Clara County Animal Control. They had just seized 38 horses from a neglect case in Morgan Hill, and for one of the horses, it was already too late. She had died from malnutrition. The owner was a horse trader, and all the horses in the herd were in various stages of physical deterioration. Some were near starvation.
The day before Thanksgiving, most of the staff took two trailers and headed north to Morgan Hill. We originally planned to bring three horses home, but once there, we agreed to bring five horses back to the sanctuary. We were immediately drawn to a beautiful breeding stock paint mare. She was a brilliant red chestnut with tall socks and a huge blaze, and she was very heavily in foal. There was just one catch to bringing this gorgeous horse home with us. No one could get near her. She was petrified of people. It was very obvious that she had been severely abused at some point in her life. It took two hours, but the staff never gave up, and we finally caught her and loaded her into our trailer. We named the mare Katrina, and as soon as we got her settled at the sanctuary, the equine care supervisor began to work with her daily to earn her trust again.
In late January, it was clear that Katrina was ready to deliver her foal, and the equine care supervisor stayed up through the night on foal watch. Sadly in the early hours of the morning, Katrina gave birth to premature and stillborn twins. Twinning commonly results in the death of one or both foals and, in some cases, the loss of the mare too. Horses are designed to carry one foal at a time, so we were fortunate that Katrina had no complications that threatened her own life.
Today Katrina is still very shy and reserved with new people, but once she gains your trust, she is a very sweet mare.