When Nikki Johnson’s parents told her that her rescue horse Indy couldn’t stay with them anymore, she was devastated. Nikki’s teacher encouraged her to write an essay about this very difficult situation, and Nikki wants to share it with everyone else. Here is her story.Save Indy – Written by Nikki Johnson
On August 4, 2012, Indiana Jones (Indy) became a new addition to my family. Ever since I knew what a horse was, I wanted to have one of my own. When I was eight years old, I decided to start saving up for my own horse. Everyone I knew told me that I would be at least 20 years old before I could afford my first horse. But that made me as determined as ever to start working and saving.
I worked and saved for 3 years for a horse. After 3 long years, I still didn’t have very much money. But there were horses for sale that I could buy. All of the horses I researched had a lot of problems. I didn’t care about those kinds of things, I just cared about what it was like on the inside and what kind of personality it would have.
Indy was the first horse I met in person. As soon as I met her, I loved her and she loved me. When she saw me, she laid her head on my stomach. I rode her around in her corral for 2 hours. Afterwards, she followed me everywhere. I bought her but I couldn’t bring her home right away. I had to build a corral for her. It took my whole family and me two whole days to build it. On August 4, it was done. We had Indy delivered early in the morning.
When Indy arrived at my house, I couldn’t believe she was actually mine. I kept saying that I couldn’t believe it really happened, I really had a horse. Indy was so happy too. We didn’t have the latch on the gate yet, so the gate kept swinging open. Indy went right into her corral. She walked all around and I could tell she loved it. When she noticed that the gate was open, she ran over to the gate and closed it with her nose. It was so cute because the door kept swinging open and she kept closing it with her nose.
I spent all my time with her. I would read out on the lawn while she ate the grass. She wasn’t even tied to anything and she never tried to leave. She always stayed with me. I rode her occasionally, but I was really worried about her back. She has a really bad sway back from being neglected and starved for so long. She loves when I ride her, but I was really careful not to ride her too much or for too long because I didn’t want to hurt her. When I rode her, I would try to just ride her a short distance. I researched what to do for her back. I discovered that you could buy a therapeutic pad that would lift the saddle up off her spine. I saved up again and bought her that special pad and then I could ride her as much as she wanted.
After I had Indy for 3 weeks, I got the worst news of my life. My parents told me that I had 10 days to get rid of Indy because they found out that our property wasn’t zoned for horses. I thought I was going to be sick. I didn’t know what to do. I went out to Indy and hugged her and cried for hours. I’m so thankful that my neighbor said that I could keep her at his house. But his corral is at the bottom of a steep hill that will flood as soon as it starts to rain. I know Indy won’t survive over there in the winter. I have to bring her home.
Every day I get her and bring her home for a little while. It only takes her like 5 minutes to come home. But when I take her back to the neighbor’s, it takes me about an hour. She stops and refuses to walk. I know she doesn’t understand why she can’t be with me in her own corral that she loves so much. Indy is 25 years old. I don’t want her to die. She’s had a really hard life. Her life suddenly became really happy and full of joy when I got her. I want her to have happiness again for the rest of her life. I want to be happy too. We both need her to come home.
To read the story “A Girl and her Horse and the Rule of Law,” click here.
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