Angels and Miracles
Written by Roxene Ballard in Horse Tales (Vol. 5)
Click here to order Horse Tales (Vol. 5)
It was the best wedding I have ever attended. Our second oldest son got married in the mountains of
Colorado. He married a young woman that our whole family loved right away and the best part was that she loved
horses! Carrie was a trainer and taught riding lessons in Ft. Collins, Colorado. We were delighted to have this
wonderful new addition to our family.
Shortly after their marriage, they had a great offer to open a training stable with Carrie's family in Wisconsin.
What an opportunity for a young couple just beginning their life together. Justin, our son, sent out resumes and
found a job right away. They were on their way to a new life and great adventures together.
A year before, I had rescued two horses with the intention of giving one or both of them to Carrie and Justin for
their own use, or to use as lesson horses for Carrie's students. They decided that they would take one of the horses,
"Lena" with them right away and if everything worked out as planned, they might be able to take "Jet" at a later
time. Carrie had been given a big beautiful black gelding with three white socks by a local vet and they thought two
horses would be all they could care for in the beginning.
Just after Christmas, they packed up all their belongings, their two horses, two dogs and a cat and set off for
Wisconsin in their pickup truck. The front of the horse trailer and the camper shell was loaded with their
belongings. The dogs and the cat were in the truck cab with them and they were headed for their new life.
Carrie was not feeling well and was sleeping while Justin did the driving. She woke up when she felt the truck
skidding sideways down I-80. The truck straightened out, but the trailer was no longer attached to it! When the
truck finally stopped the skid, she saw Lena standing by the side of the road. Cars were speeding by, the snow by
the side of the road was three feet deep and the wind was blowing at 30 mph. Then they saw the horse trailer, it was
upright after rolling over three times. The back door was broken off and Lena had been thrown out the back of the
trailer and slid about thirty feet across the snow and ice. Carrie's horse, Iceman was trapped inside, his body was
twisted around and he was unable to move, but they could hear him breathing. They tied a lead rope to Iceman's
hind legs and pulled him out of the trailer. Lena began trotting away and was soon out of site. They could tell by
the way she was moving that something was wrong withher. Carrie had jumped out of the truck in only her
lightweight clothing andstarted after Lena. She caught her and tried to lead her back to the trailer to get her out of
the wind. Lena wanted nothing to do with the trailer and it took Carrie a while to get her to go back. Once she got
to the trailer it was pretty evident that Iceman had a broken hind leg and a head injury. Justin was able to climb into
the trailer, the top was gone, and get blankets for the horses.
A passerby stopped and called the police for them. It took the police about 1.5 hours to get to where they were.
The policeman who came to help had no experience with horses and wasn't sure what to do. He tried calling
farmers in the area, but they were mostly familiar with cows and did not want to come out in the weather, which by
that time was below zero with 40 mph winds. The policeman put out a call over the scanner and found a vet that
would open his emergency room whenever they could get there. A local small animal vet drove to the accident site
to see what he could do to help. He stayed with them for over an hour.
There was a fireman listening to his scanner. He had been listening for about two hours waiting for someone
closer to the accident to respond. Finally, he knew he was the one who would have to go and help. He and his wife
drove two hours from their home to get to where Justin and Carrie were stranded with the horses. By this time both
Justin and Carrie were not feeling well, they were physically ill from the cold and stress. They had been out in the
cold and wind for almost five hours. Then they saw this couple driving up with a horse trailer. Carrie said it was
like seeing angels coming. This couple drove two hours to get to them, then an hour and a half to get them to the
emergency vet and then back to their own home three hours away. They wrote their names on a piece of paper and
gave it to Justin. He tucked it away in his pocket, he would never forget their kindness and would want to let them
know how everything turned out.
While they were in the vet clinic with the horses, the dog was so upset, she found a flashlight and started chewing
on it until she had chewed the batteries which leaked all over the truck seat. When Justin and Carrie got back in the
truck, the acid from the batteries burned through Justin's jeans to his skin. The accident had happened at 5:00 at
night and it was 3:00 am when they finally got the horses settled in at the vet clinic and found a warm place to stay
themselves. The first thing Justin did when he got to a hotel room was get out of those jeans and throw them away .
. . sadly, along with the name of the fireman and his wife.
To this day, that couple does not know how much their kindness meant to my family. When Justin and Carrie
thanked them, they said they had been in an accident with their horses the year before and someone stopped to help
them, so they felt they owed a favor back.
When I reflect back on this accident, I see so many "angels" and "miracles". The passerby with the cell phone,
the small animal vet who stayed to help, the policemen who waited with them, the fact that the trailer broke away
from the truck and didn't pull it into the ditch to roll over, the vet who opened his clinic in the middle of the night,
the fireman and his wife driving all that way to help two strangers and expecting nothing in return.
A friend wrote me and said, "We always remember the bad times in our lives, but we need to remember the
miracles as well." The fact that Justin and Carrie were able to walk away from that horrendous accident is an
absolute miracle and a reason for rejoicing.
I know you want to know what happened to the horses . . . Iceman did not survive his massive injuries and had to
be put down. Lena spent nine days in the vet clinic and then continued her trip to Wisconsin. She has a new horse
friend and is thriving on their farm. Justin has begun riding her and she seems to be completely sound. Carrie
went "horse shopping" and found four new horses for her training program.
Our whole family will never forget this accident, but we will also never forget the angels and the miracles that
happened that night.
Biography: Roxene Ballard. "I live on twenty acres in Black Forest, Colorado with my husband of 36 years and
the youngest of our four children. My husband is also an avid horseman. We love to camp with our horses and
recently bought a "people-horse" trailer so we can have all the conveniences of home when we travel with our
horses. I can't remember a time when I did not love horses. I showed mostly in Northern California while growing
up. It was a time when a "backyard" horse was still considered competition in the show ring. Since we started the
Horse Tales books, we have lost our oldest horse, Rocky, but we have added two new horses, Max and Jet (one of
the rescue horses referred to in the story.) I sell real estate in Colorado Springs (El Paso County), Colorado and
specialize in horse properties. I can be reached by phone at 719-495-3686, e-mail at RoxeneRLTR@aol.com or
visit my website at RoxeneBallard.com."