Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Inspired by Simone

On October 26th 2011, I met a filly named Simone. The Montana Horse Sanctuary was called in the by the Cascade County Sheriff in an animal cruelty case. Simone was one of eight Thoroughbred horses seized that day from a breeder named Lisa Cano.  During the seize one dead horse was found on the back of Cano’s property in a ravine. There was also two dogs and six cats taken in the seizure. This was Cano’s second time to be charged with severe animal abuse/cruelty and neglect.

Simone's pug belly is due to parasites and malnutrition 

Simone, and a little colt named Auggie, were only about six months old when they came to the sanctuary. Both of their mothers had stopped producing milk due to severe dehydration and malnourishment from starvation. “They are the smallest babies I’ve ever seen,” says Jane Heath, the sanctuary’s founder and Executive Director.

Pearl, Simone’s mother, had been wearing the same halter for so many years that she had outgrown it. The halter had to be cut off her face because it was too tight to unbuckle it.  Pearl is seven years old and was used to race, in spite of having a heart murmur. Its amazing that she didn’t die in on the track.

Jane Heath, Executive Director of Montana Horse Sanctuary and Pearl. 
You can clearly see the indentation from the halter Pearl wore for many years.

I spent the winter watching the horses get rehabbed mentally, nutritionally and physically. They were all so scared when they got to the sanctuary, and rightfully so, but eventually they all started to settle in. 

After six months the horses have made a big turn around. Simone is a frisky, wild little bucking bronco now that she feels so good. She loves to romp and play-even when the other horses don’t want too. I like to call her a wild woman, firecracker, and twister when she plays; she’s such a live wire!


I have grown a little attached to Simone. Luckily for me, she will stay with the Montana Horse Sanctuary for the next five years or so. She will grow up happy and healthy. When she is five years old she will go to a trainer named Jess Holloway in Bozeman, MT. Jane will not adopt out a horse that isn’t completely sound.

Simone has the biggest, most beautiful eyes I've seen on a horse.

Over the next five years, I will continue to watch Simone grow and develop into a beautiful mare. I plan to document her journey and write a children's book about her. The message will be about animal cruelty, Simone’s successful turn around, and how animals feel (emotionally) and should be treated. The writing will be simple, soft, and effective. I plan to have my friend Diane Hausmann do the illustrations. Diane fostered Pearl and Simone, and just recently adopted Pearl.

Simone and Pearl

I am looking forward to taking classes that will help me write my book. Once its published, a percentage of the proceeds from the sale of my book will go to the Montana Horse Sanctuary to help other horses.


  1. Wow, Kim, this is a beautiful story. She really did change for the better--such a beautiful little gal. I think your book idea is fantastic! I can give you a bit of help, but I don't really know how to do children's books. :)

  2. I will start taking creative writing classes next year after I finish up my degree in Mass Communication. Have you written a book before?

    Thanks so much for all of the kinds comments you have left for me. It really means a lot :D