The Miracle’s Story

BY CHRISTIE BONHAM

In the summer of 2012, the Gringo Gazette published an article about a group of horses that were being neglected. They were living in the field across the street from Costco and had gained the attention of the community. There had been a recent effort on behalf of some folks to help them by building a sign that was spray-painted onto a sheet of plywood in large orange letters that stated “horses need food, horses need water."

Soon there was hay being tossed over the fence and water buckets were being left out for them. The effort of the good samaritans of Cabo was a shot in the arm, but not enough to sustain them.

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It was god awful hot as the summers can be in Cabo and it had taken its toll on all of them. Their skeletal bodies and drawn faces spoke the truth. The horses were in trouble.

The article was straight forward and to the point. It drew attention to the situation. Shortly after the article was published, the horses disappeared. Some thought they had been rescued. But that was far from the truth.

Months later, it was discovered that the horses had been moved to a less noticeable location. One local woman heard about this, and after much effort, she was able to take in one of the horses. A few other horses were rescued by another group of good-doers from the Humane Society.

Milagro, the horse rescued by the local woman, was the horse pictured in the article of the Gringo Gazette. She took him to live in a small barn in the area where he started his journey to recovery. He was in such a terrible state that it took Milagro 10 months to gain his weight and muscle back.

I was living in Cabo at the time. I had seen the horses and knew exactly what had transpired that summer. I also thought that when they disappeared it meant they had been saved somehow.

Months later I was invited out to go horseback riding with a group of women I met at a Tomatoes meeting. I had always loved riding and I was thrilled to have this unique opportunity.

When I showed up the following morning you can imagine my surprise when I was introduced to the horse I would be riding that day. It was the horse I had seen suffering along the road in the heat of the Baja sun across the street from Costco. It was the exact same horse I had seen in the picture in the article in the Gringo Gazette. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

Milagro had gone through a miraculous recovery and was a picture of health.

He had gained back his weight and the sparkle in his eyes showed that he was a healthy and happy horse. I signed a lease that day, which meant I would be taking care of him from that day forward. We rode in the hills of Cabo and enjoyed getting to know each other. It was a very happy time. Horses had always been a sense of strength and healing for me. Milagro came along at just the right time.

My husband and I had always known we would be moving back to the States at some point. After a few years together with Milagro, it was time. He had become part of our family by now. I couldn’t leave him behind, but bringing a horse back to the States was no easy feat.

It took a lot of effort and planning with blood work and lab work being sent off to Guadalajara. But in some miraculous way, the plan came together and Milagro was shipped up the Baja with a private transport company. There is no longer livestock quarantine in Tijuana, so Milagro had to go to Yuma, Arizona for four days of quarantine. All in all, it took him eight days from when he left Cabo San Lucas to arrive in San Diego, California.

San Diego was not the final stop, however, and eventually, Milagro made it all the way to Park City, Utah. He now lives in a small barn with 30 horses. At night he goes into his stall inside the barn, and in the morning he is turned out to the huge field backed by snowcapped mountains to graze and socialize with the other horses. You could say its horses' dream.

Milagro and I have shared many ups and downs in the seven years we have been together. Anyone who knows how much an animal can heal and teach you to live life in the moment and with an open heart would understand. He is such a special horse; he motivated me to write a book about our adventure and life together. A small red horse with a fishhook blaze left for dead found his place in the hills of the Utah Mountains, and is a testament to all of us how fragile life can be.

You can learn more about Milagro by reading our book “Hooked: Lessons of the Heart from a Little Horse in Cabo” which has been published on Amazon. Or read our Blog at www.christielbonham.com/blog