Tale of equine abuse touches many

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EIGHTEEN months ago a scared big horse was saved from the knacker’s yard thanks to the kindness of Lauder people, writes Sally Gillespie.

Horse whisperer Judi Gunn masterminded buying the Irish Draught mare and set about helping the newly-named Lauder Lass recover from years of physical and mental abuse.

Now, the behavioural therapist with decades of experience of helping animals, has written about the much-loved mare’s recovery from the horse’s point of view.

Judi said: “She’s doing tremendously well. Every time visitors come and see her she takes a step forward.

“She has come on leaps and bounds, but she does still have a bit more to go. ”

The book also includes poems, comments and sketches from people who have visited or supported Lauder Lass.

Her motto when working is ‘let silence speak’ by which she means that animals and humans share a common bond of instinct.

She likens Lauder Lass’s redemptive story to the experiences of humans who have suffered abuse, or who have conditions such as dementia, autism, ataxia, depression or even cancer.

Lauder Lass was frightened to let humans touch her. When she first came to Judi she had scar marks round her muzzle and on her legs, and what looked like a probe mark on her neck, indicating she had likely been given electric shocks. There was also a 3-inch indentation round her neck from some sort of collar and scar marks on her rump, possibly from stallions.

“I have never come across such an abused creature. This whole story has moved many people, all who have been so supportive of her since day one. It has just been tremendous. Lauder Lass has things to teach us all,” said Judi.

She expects to release the tale as a talking book in the next few weeks. A talented 15-year-old, Jake Moir, has written piano music which will be the book’s theme tune and local band Hardonado is putting some of the book’s poems to music.

‘Lauder Lass – The Horse Who Touched the Hearts of Many’ is available in local book shops or from Judi at lauderlass@btinternet.com or 07825 561859. Anyone wanting to visit Lauder Lass should contact Judi on the same number.

Book proceeds will go to help  Alzheimer’s Scotland; Mossburn Animal Centre, Lauder; Channelkirk Church, and the upkeep of Lauder Lass and other abused animals.