When it comes to inspiring others to live life to the fullest no matter the circumstances, not many horses come close to the abilities of a little one-eyed rescue horse named Lulu – one of the horses inducted into the Horse Stars Hall of Fame by the EQUUS Foundation in February 2016.
Found in a half-collapsed metal building by the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation in Zimmerman, Minnesota, she was in foal, starved, abused, and worst of all, her right eye was so severely damaged that it was split in half and had to be surgically removed.
She was considered "unadoptable" by many within the rescue, the wildest of the bunch, but miraculously, the little one-eyed wonder made the decision to trust an eleven year-old girl, Aimee Schulz, and was officially adopted by Aimee in April of 2009.
Since then, she has not missed a beat as a top competitor, competing across the nation in Miniature horse shows sweeping youth, amateur, and open classes in everything from showmanship and obstacle to jumping and earning AMHR Hall of Fame recognition.
However, Lulu’s greatest impact has come with her events outside of the show ring. Lulu has become a poster child for the rescue and disabled horse with a fairytale story that everyone fell in love with - a horse and a girl with a one-in-a-million bond. She gives demonstrations, acts as a lesson horse, walks in parades, visits churches, stores, and nursing homes, helps with fundraisers, and attends horse expos.
Lulu has introduced thousands to the world of horses. Everywhere she goes, she touches lives and changes the world’s view on horses and especially rescued horses - one small hoof-print at a time.
The problem: There are an estimated 200,000 Lulus in the US, and tragically many are slaughtered. Although there are thousands of equine charities that have the expertise to "rescue, rehabilitate, retrain and rehome" these amazing creatures, funding is sorely lacking.
The solution: The EQUUS Foundation provides funds to qualified equine charities whose focus is "Helping Horses Healing People". A little goes a long way!
What do you think it takes to hear a non-verbal child say her first word? How can a veteran overcome PTSD? Horses make this happen! Horses provide an extraordinary experience that no other therapy can.
Lulu and Aimee