LAPEL — Edgar had no name when he came to Molly Gunason's farm near Anderson.
The miniature horse — about the size of a Great Dane — was nameless, barely a year old and had a seemingly well-founded mistrust of people. The mini-horse was one of those 165 animals rescued in April from a Summitville farm. They were found starving, sick and matted with mud and manure. If they could walk, they moved among the dead bodies of more than 100 animals.
The couple who owned the farm, Daniel and Carrie Ault, of the 3000 block of County Road 1700 North, are facing more than 100 charges including cruelty to an animal and improper disposal of a dead animal. An October hearing is set in Madison Circuit Court 1.
The day after the discovery, Edgar went, along with 15 other hooved animals -- including mini-horses, ponies, sheep, and one llama — to Molly Gunason's farm. She had an extra barn where the refugees could be quarantined from her own adopted horses, cats, dogs, ducks --and one chicken. There, the mini-horse received a name.
“I took them because I could. You can’t turn your back on them,” said Molly, a horsewoman for 50 years.
To get Edgar to approach her, Molly took advantage of a horse’s natural curiosity.
“I sat in the pasture and ignored him while I hand-fed treats (alfalfa pellets) to the other horses. He’d stretch out his neck, but never near enough.”
Molly put in hours daily of careful feeding and grooming — she said she couldn’t have done it without the outpouring of feed and donations from the people of Madison County, horrified by the story. The other rescued animals were somewhat accustomed to people and halters. However, the nameless miniature horse had no trust of them. “He was as wild as a March hare,” said Molly.