Nova, Honeycomb, and Flame – Adoption Success Stories From Free Spirit Sanctuary

honeycombThe braying of donkeys early this morning heralded the arrival of a very special colt. Seven months ago, his mama, Nova, was in obvious distress in an auction mart pen awaiting transport to the slaughterhouse in Fort McLeod, Alberta. She had a large udder and initially it was suspected that she was in labour. Free Spirit Sanctuary was able to purchase her and another buckskin mare, Honeycomb, just as the truck arrived to load the other horses for transport to Bouvry Exports.

An ultrasound performed shortly after her rescue showed that Nova, who is about 16 yo, was 4 months pregnant. Her colt had sold for $1000 one week prior in a production sale that featured approximately 70 foals. The breeder who sent her to auction had intended preg mare tofield afor her to go for meat because she was sore in her front end. Subsequent x-rays showed that she had a bone spur on her left front navicular bone with a calcified deep digital flexor tendon. Although it was recommended that she be euthanized, it was decided to at least give her a trial of anti-inflammatories, which she responded well to.

Honeycomb is in her mid-twenties and was sent to auction, again with the intent of her going for slaughter, by the person who had “owned” her for the past 10 years. She had had a couple of foals during that time and was ridden as a trail/western pleasure horse until about 3 years ago. She had developed soreness in her front end, so it was decided to sell her for meat via the auction. In her younger years Honeycomb did barrel racing with a teenaged girl. After her rescue, the veterinarian diagnosed her with navicular syndrome. She has also responded well to anti-inflammatories.

In early March, both Honeycomb and Nova were adopted to Linda of Ruby’s Voice Equine flameServices, where they will have a loving forever home. We were delighted to hear that Nova gave birth to a healthy, big colt today who has been named Flame. As Linda wrote on Facebook, “As long as there is a small flame burning in someone’s heart there is always hope and hope makes miracles happen! When you have a true passion for animals it doesn’t matter if they are male or female, crippled or sound, papered or not, young or old they all have so much to give!”

Adopting Nova and Honeycomb out, created room for Free Spirit Sanctuary to take in a pregnant wildie mare, Athena, who was captured in this year’s cull. FSS would like to thank everyone who came together to help rescue these mares and ensure that Flame would have a chance at life. A special thank you to the CHDC for donating $400 toward Nova’s veterinary care.


  1. Thank you for saving them. We need more people like you !!!

  2. This is something I have always said about breeders they breed the mare every year to make money by selling the foal but the instant that something happens to the mare off to a auction and then to slaughter. This is how breeders dispose of their breeding stock if they go out of business. They never bother to try to find the mares any homes or make any effort to train the mares so they can find a home. A brood mare is possibly one of the most gentle animals there is because of the fact of raising foals, which would make her a good saddle horse prospect. This is one of the reasons that horse slaughter can’t be stamped out because of breeders just like this one they don’t want to spend the money on euthanasia they want the last buck out of the horse they can get. So they contact their politicians and grip about stopping horse slaughter which is a never ending fight.
    There is the new anti-slaughter bill that has been introduced here in the US that would stop US horses being shipped to Canada/Mexico for slaughter but I doubt it will be brought to the floor for a vote. As I have said before in the US its the US Senate that won’t allow any anti-slaughter bills to pass because they cater to the racing industry and horse breeders.

  3. Thank you for saving them!!

  4. sosbaiji · ·

    So nice to hear a happy story about horses! Thank you for sharing.

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