Meet Rusty, a special miniature horse

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Rusty greeting visitors on Open Farm Day. Photo by Shirley Murtha

A very special guest visitor attended Granby’s Open Farm Day, held on Sept. 18, courtesy of Pam Traun’s Angel Horse Rescue. Rusty, a sweet little 11-year-old mini, happily accepted the pets of children and adults alike, who were astounded to learn the little guy’s story.

Rusty greeting a nursing home resident. Photo by Mary Adams

Owned by Mary Adams and Gary Gudinkas of On Target Miniatures in West Suffield, Rusty has some very comfortable quarters in a barn with other horses. One night in November 2013, what apparently was a bobcat broke into the barn and attacked Rusty. It was discovered during the normal 10 p.m. bed-check that he was badly wounded, with “blood everywhere.” One of the other horses had kicked open a door, allowing the attacker to escape, likely saving the lives of the other minis, but the incisions on Rusty and the scars they have left behind indicate that the perpetrator was almost certainly a bobcat.

Rusty was rushed to Tufts Veterinary Hospital in Grafton, Mass. He was near death, and spent many days in the equine ICU, receiving blood transfusions, wound flushing and IVs of all kinds. He was placed in a sling because his neck was so badly wounded that he couldn’t hold his head up. Miraculously, Rusty recovered and never lost his sweet disposition. In fact, he has become quite an ambassador of his breed when he dons his special booties (actually Build-a-Bear shoes) and visits residents of nursing homes.

He has a few remaining scars, one particularly large one hiding under his bountiful mane, but there is no denying he is one beautiful soul. Imagine the stories his barn-mates tell about the night Rusty got attacked!