Sometimes things are just meant to be.
Such was the case with Shadow, a paint quarter horse, and his owner Laurie Beck.
Beck has been around and owned horses all of her life.
"I loved how I felt being around these precious innocent animals," she said of her first one.
But after being heartbroken over having to put down her last horse that she had owned for 20 years, Beck didn't want another.
However, that all changed when Beck laid eyes on Shadow.
"I saw this horse and immediately fell in love with him," she said. "I could feel his soul when I walked up to him and I knew he belonged with me."
Shadow was the first horse she had desired in 12 years.
That was the beginning of October and Beck was working on a project out of state.
While out of town, she moved Shadow down the road and hired someone to be his nanny while she was away.
But, while she was away, Beck received a text that changed everything.
"I got a text saying that Shadow had fallen to his knees — twice — once while the nanny was on him and once while she was walking him," said Beck.
Beck returned home so she and a vet could examine Shadow from head to hoof.
"The vet said 'He's OK, he's just lazy.' So, I got on him and he dropped to his knees. I was beside myself," said Beck. "I had never had a horse fall on his knees with me."
Realizing that Shadow could have broken her neck and that she had purchased a horse that she could not ride, Beck contacted the former owners for information, and wanted them to take Shadow back. His history included that at the young age of 2, he began doing trail rides, which he did for two years.
However, the seller did not offer to help and she didn't really want Shadow going back to the former owner because she was afraid they would put him down.
As Beck wondered what to do, an acquaintance told her about a chiropractor who worked with horses and might be able to help. Willing to try anything, Beck called and had the chiropractor come out to evaluate.
The chiropractor told Beck that one of Shadow's hips is in a locked extension, which is causing his falls. He told Beck to do stretches and extensions with him in an attempt to lengthen his muscles.
Beck laughs as she recounts the instructions the chiropractor gave her, as Beck owns a Pilates studio and has taught the advantages of lengthening and stretching for many years.
"The irony behind this is that Shadow's muscles had shortened over time and what I am doing is lengthening them through Pilates, which is helping him not only heal but to feel better in his body," said Beck. "I'm not sure he ever got the fundamental work that a young horse needs so he over compensated and caused restriction in his body that could cause an imbalance. My job is to retrain those muscles, along with lengthen, so he can become balanced and harmonious in his body. Happy body, happy horse."
Beck does the exercises five to six times a week with Shadow, along with hip stretches, shoulder stretches and backing up exercises. Under her care, Shadow has gone from falling every time to just occasionally. Beck even rode him last week for a walk.
"I can tell his spine is healing and he's happy," she said. "As I'm figuring out his past, I know he's meant to be with me."
Beck is aware that most people would not go to this trouble for an animal, and to that she answers, "Sometimes horses come to people they are meant to be with. They have such strength and courage. Their hearts are five times the size of a human heart. I have balance from riding bareback as a child and I can feel his body healing. I don't want a jumper, I just wanted a horse to take me out into nature."
Alhtough Shadow is about to turn 5, Beck calls him "a baby."
Fortunately, Beck has a lot of connections and she is considering flying a horse whisperer down from Buffalo, New York, if it would help Shadow's healing.
"I believe horses come to us for a reason," she said.