A pint-sized rescue is giving a Christmas gift back to those who saved her.
With her little legs, dog coat, and fuzzy face, you might mistake Twinkle for a canine at first glance because she’s running around with puppies who outsize her.
However, Twinkle is a miniature horse.
She was born just three weeks ago and the stars aligned to save Twinkle’s life.
“She was within minutes of dying – there was no movement,” said Brenda Thompson, founder of the Whispering Hearts Horse Rescue.
An acquaintance alerted Thompson to the sick foal. Twinkle was less than 24 hours old and weighed 18 pounds.
A Whispering Hearts volunteer put the small foal on her lap in the back seat of a pick-up truck and drove Twinkle away from a situation of neglect.
“She was so tiny, she took my breath away. I cuddled her the whole way home,” said Danielle Ormonde.
“She was deemed not to survive,” added Thompson.
Thompson went to extraordinary lengths to save Twinkle by moving the foal into her house for warmth and giving her regular bottle feedings.
“It’s about every two to three hours. It’s been like having a newborn baby – it really has,” said Thompson.
It hasn’t been a smooth recovery though. At seven days old, Twinkle nearly died during a trip to the vet for plasma. But the determined little girl pulled through.
“She got her twinkle back in her eye,” recalled Thompson.
Twinkle has doubled her weight in the last three weeks and has blossomed with a personality all her own.
Now she runs around the farm kicking up her heels and stopping only long enough for quick cuddles.
“To see her go from frail to this pony so full of spunk, I am so proud to be here. It’s a great thing to be part of,” said Ormonde.
Thompson has rescued hundreds of horses and she said she has seen far too many heart-wrenching situations.
She fully admitted the pint-sized rescue has been exhausting.
But thanks to Twinkle’s determination and sparkle, the foal is a special kind of Christmas present money can’t buy. She represents hope.
Twinkle is the smallest and youngest horse ever to come to Thompson, but she may well end up having the biggest impact.
“She’s a bundle of joy. I named her Twinkle Star, like Christmas Twinkle. She brings joy to everybody she meets.”