An Army veteran in Buchanan, Virginia received the best gift he could ask for when a horse farm sanctuary awarded him with the rescue horse that he has grown to love.
Since Memorial Day, Sergeant Clint Cash, a four-year Army veteran, has regularly visited the New Freedom Farm to see his favorite resident, a horse named Cole. But when the two first met, there wasn’t an instant connection. According to the farm, Cole was a rescue that had previously been a part of a cockfighting ring. When he came to Buchanan, he rejected any human interaction.
But this didn’t deter Cash. Instead, he embraced the challenge that Cole’s situation presented and worked hard to earn the horse’s trust.
“It gave me something to try harder for to try to get him to come to me,” Cash said, according to NBC News affiliate WSLS. “When he started coming to me and paying attention to me and I can get close to him it made me feel a little bit better about myself.”
Now, the two have an unbreakable bond and continuously help each other heal their invisible wounds. In response, New Freedom Farm has honored their relationship by gifting Cash with a personalized coat that recognizes the Army veteran as Cole’s caretaker. They’ve also ensured that the horse will remain at New Freedom Farm so that Cash can visit as often as he wants.
Fellow Army and Military Veterans Weigh in on Inspiring Relationship with Rescue Horse
Cash’s friend and fellow Army veteran, Grady Bendel, was there to watch his comrade’s relationship with the animal unfold, and it was nothing short of magical. Bendel believed that Cash and Cole were a perfect match from the start since they shared so many characteristics in common. Most importantly, both the veteran and the horse needed someone to help them through their past trauma.
“When he first came here he was very timid, didn’t want to talk to anybody and stayed away from anybody,” Bentel said. “And here it is. You’re growing and he’s growing and there is so much to do man.”
And Bentel wasn’t the only one to notice how close Cash and Cole had become. Andrew Kintgen was Calvary Scout in the military for nine years, and like the two Army veterans, knows the kind of trauma you can come home with. Kintgen, himself, has become a veteran mentor on the farm and knows just how beneficial equestrian therapy can be for returning soldiers.
“It’s that same feeling you get overseas when you are alone,” Kingten said. “Sometimes you don’t have anybody to talk to. But you know someone is always there for you regardless. And that kind of relationship is that horse. It’s always going to be with you.”