Danielle (Danny Girl) was born on a farm in upper New York State. The barn caught fire and burned to the ground. Only two horses survived, Danielle and her half sister, Katrina. A couple in Connecticut purchased the horses and used them as breeding stock for seven years and then decided to retire and downsize their horse herd. Denise met them at the national American Bashkir Curly Horse convention in Kansas City, Kansas. After looking at pictures of the two mares and hearing about how sweet and gentle they were with the couples’ grandchildren, she decided to purchase both of them and have both horses bred to the couples’ Curly stallion.
When Danielle and Katrina were ten months pregnant (the gestation period for a horse is eleven months) Denise and her sons drove to Connecticut to bring the horses home. Upon arrival it became apparent that there was a problem. Neither horse wanted anything to do with them or their current owners and instead showed signs of overwhelming fear. The local vet tranquilized them in order to get them loaded into the horse trailer. It was a long drive home.
Denise immediately began working with an equine massage therapist who was able to calm the frightened animals and help them settle into their new home. Within a month Danielle gave birth to a beautiful filly. That’s when the real problems became obvious. Both of Danielle’s hips were seriously out of line and she groaned with every step. An equine chiropractor and vet friend came in from Columbus, Ohio, to adjust her. She discovered that every single vertebra from her ears to the tip of her tail was out of place. They also learned that during the fire a barn beam had fallen onto her back, thereby knocking both hips out of place. This poor horse had been suffering in pain for seven years! It took nearly a year of treatments, but Danielle recovered!
She seemed to have a special bond with children who have serious physical or emotional issues. Danielle allowed one blind and autistic child who was unable to speak to grab her and hold on tight. The flaying and grunting dissolved into gentle pats and very softly the word “horse” was spoken for the first time. Yes, miracles still do happen between children, horses and God.
Danielle died in the winter of 2014 and is buried with her other herd mates under their favorite pasture tree.