Ode to Riddick



On May 18, Truhaven Ranch lost one of its very first rescued equines, a horse named Riddick. Everyone who has been to the ranch can tell you their own special Riddick story. They range from “I can’t get him out of his stall — he’s acting crazy” to “Riddick just stole my hat right off my head.” He was always afraid of leaving the farm, so he acted a little nutty (well, downright crazy, sometimes) if he didn’t know you. Once he did, the pranks began.

Riddick was a mixture of a joker and life-lesson teacher. He touched the heart of everyone who met him. My own father (who is not a horse person) absolutely loved his personality. He said, “Every horse should be as cool as you.” Riddick responded by wiping his mouth slobber off on my dad’s shoulder.

Riddick’s love for adventure and life taught me how to be a more confident rider and how to believe in myself. (I had to pass a lot of special Riddick tests along the way.) He was so grateful for his second chance at life. He had a lot of issues stemming from the abuse he lived through, but even in his darkest moments he never lost hope or gave up on people. Most importantly, he never lost his sense of humor.

On his last day of life, he trained Sarah and me to hand pick grass from the spots he chose. He wouldn’t accept any grass with dirt or roots still attached. This made Sarah and me laugh through our sadness.

He also was strong willed and gave me the ride he promised all winter, delayed because he had been too sick. We just walked around the driveway instead of galloping and playing in the pasture like we had planned. The other day when I rode Picasso down in the pasture, he started hopping and jumping in place, acting just like Riddick used to when we played together. I can’t help but think that Riddick is still here and he gave me that ride he owed me in the pasture through Picasso.

Riddick’s story is an example of why we do what we do at Truhaven. Our mission is to educate people, and to help give unwanted and abused equines a second chance at life. Sometimes we cannot undo all the horror and evil things that people have done to animals. Riddick was one of those animals who was mentally scarred by his past, but we gave him a forever home and he was grateful to us. He thanked us every day and left his mark on every soul he met in his short time here.

Riddick is missed very much here at the ranch. We have decided to call his favorite obstacle on the course “Riddick’s Ridge,” in honor of one of the greatest rescues Truhaven has ever had the privilege of knowing and loving.

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Melissa Norton
Melissa Norton is the barn manager and trainer at Truhaven Ranch, an equine rescue and rehabilitation center. She has spent the last three years helping abused and unwanted equines find their forever homes. She specializes in healing their broken hearts and helping them forgive and move on. She also is a Certified Veterinary Technician and utilizes her skills daily by providing medical attention to the equines at her facility.


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