Horse to the Rescue!

By Laura Daily, January, 2001, National Geographic World

LAST WINTER a local animal shelter asked horse trainer Denise Marcum of Weston, Massachusetts, to train an unbroken Morgan quarter horse for adoption.

The first day Marcum amounted Arrow; he walked calmly around the stable instead of bucking. The next day Marcum rode Arrow down the driveway. "He was doing so well we just kept walking for an hour in what I thought was a straight line," she remembers.

But the ride turned into a nightmare. Turning back, Marcum realized she was lost. Heavy snow began to fall, the temperature dropped, and the wind howled. It was a blinding whiteout! Dressed only in overalls, a light coat, and boots, Marcum struggled to find a familiar landmark.

"My feet were numb and I thought I would freeze to death," she says. "Finally I dropped the reins and let Arrow walk." Even though he had lived in the area for only two days, Arrow found the way back! Marcum was safe. Even better, Arrow found a new home with his grateful rider. "I don't know how Arrow did it, but he's a very intelligent horse who likes people," Marcum says.

"He's a hero to me."