Sunday, March 04, 2007


Update on Lilly O'Reilly Former NYC Carriage Horse

(From the Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages

Lilly O'Reilly was a 19 year old mare when she came to Central New England Equine Rescue early in 2006. Through the engraved number on her hoof, we were able to trace her back to one of the NYC stables. They had sent her on to New Holland Auctions. Lilly was not in good shape. She was a couple of hundred pounds underweight and had harness sores from ill fitting tack all over her body - both are evidenced in the photo by protruding ribs and areas where her hair had rubbed off; she also had suspensory problems in her hind and her fetlocks were down. It was very clear she had been overworked.

For a long time, Lilly was very sad and mistrusting of humans. A big girl – 18 ½ hands high, she was the biggest horse in the rescue until Teddy came. In June, Vicky of CNEER said “Lilly still has not lost that sadness in her eyes. I don’t know how long it will take but it’s still there - she has moments of interest, but that’s all - little by slow she will trust us to keep her safe. She has had a hard life I think – a very hard life. And how she can still even tolerate people is beyond me. She can’t be adopted until she is restored both physically and emotionally.”

But good news for Lilly -- In the fall of 2006, a local veterinarian named Michaela, fell in love with Lilly and adopted her. This was Lilly in the fall - much healed. (see scond picture up above)

She now lives with Coal, a quarter horse and Badonkey Donk – a rescued donkey - and adores both of them. She is getting lots of loving attention and is fluorishing. They pose for Michaela's holiday card.

Michaela talks about her new girl. "Lilly is doing great. She has come out of her shell like you wouldn't believe--her newest favorite game is taking everything out of my tack box one item at a time when I am busy brushing her or picking her feet. I swear that horse smiles the entire time she does it."

I feel a special affinity for Lilly because she is a New Yorker - and as a former carriage horse, I know she had a difficult life. She was one of those horses who had to climb steep ramps in her multi- storied stable to get to her stall - and she probably never had a good nights sleep because it was not big enough to allow her to lie down comfortably. She was a means to a buck and when she was too old and creaky to work efficiently, she went to auction. I fell in love with her when I got the chance to meet her last fall. She is a very sweet and special horse. I am delighted that she finally has a wonderful, permanent loving home. Thanks to a few key players, Lilly is one of the rare, lucky ones who went on to a happy life where she is valued and loved. Please let's all strive to get rid of this archaic and inhumane industry wherever it exists. Too many Lillys, Montys and Teddys never get that chance for happiness.

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