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Begins Again!

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This page last updated:  Monday, November 15, 2010

How Beauty's Haven Got Started...

Batchelor Family

The Batchelor Family

Theresa had to undergo surgery some years ago to remove a tumor that was slowly growing inside her spinal cord.  She had been treated for over a year before the surgery for a viral infection of the spine.  But her symptoms got worse, and an MRI revealed a tumor was almost severing her spinal cord -- so she underwent surgery.  The tumor was removed but not without doing permanent nerve damage.  

Life for the Batchelor family changed dramatically.  Theresa was left quadriplegic and was told she'd never walk again.  But with much determination, physical therapy, and faith, she did regain use of her limbs.  However, Theresa has no feeling or proprioception below her neck - she is what is called an "incomplete quadriplegic."  She has no idea where her arms and legs are unless she is looking at them.  She was advised not to do many of the activities she enjoyed before her injury, such as horseback riding.  

Theresa returned to her job as a Program Logistics Manager with the Federal Government.  A couple of years later, she experienced more health problems and had to retire on disability -- only three months short of 20 years.

An MRI showed that Theresa had three herniated disks at the same location along her spine where the tumor had been removed.  Surgeons refused to do anything due to the high risk that she could end up quadriplegic again, and Theresa was told to learn to live with the pain.  Not long after, Theresa and Bob started sending their kids for riding lessons.  While the kids had their lesson, longing to be back on a horse again, Theresa started riding an Arabian gelding.  A few weeks later, she received a call about a young Arabian mare that had been seized by the county due to neglect/abuse.  Theresa knew she needed the mare as much as the mare needed her. 

The mare, now named Beauty, had been traumatized and didn't like people (especially men).  She was young, knew very little, and had to be trained from the ground up. 

Theresa spent a lot of time each day working with Beauty.  Over the course of a few months, Theresa taught the mare to work off voice commands in order to help her from being confused with Theresa's arms, hands, and legs that would sometimes tremble due to nerve damage.  Beauty seems to somehow sense Theresa is "different" and takes good care of her.

Theresa and Beauty developed a beautiful and trusting relationship and Beauty will be with her always.  It took Beauty four years, but she has even come to let Bob touch her!  Theresa feels very blessed that Beauty chose her to be her human. 


Theresa wants to eventually establish a therapy program for people with challenges such as hers.  Horses are the best therapy for her -- physically and mentally.  People ask how, with no feeling or proprioception, she manages to stay on a horse and she tells them -- she has no idea -- it must be angels keeping her up there!  Theresa feels very blessed to have a family that has helped her in her dream of helping horses.  And it seems that the horses that need help the most, the ones that many humans would give up on, find their way to Beauty's Haven. 

After Theresa's surgery, the doctors explained how fortunate she was be alive, and suddenly everything in life took on a different meaning to her.  Words from the Tim McGraw song, "Live Like You Are Dying," have a special meaning to Theresa:  she wants to help all needy horses like there is no tomorrow.  They all deserve a chance.  The young and the old -- and breed doesn't matter.  And to watch a horse that has arrived battered, depressed, and "lost" recover, grow strong ,and regain its pride -- this is a feeling that is overwhelming.  They are all a wonderful gift from God and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.

Telephone:  352-258-9309


Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 53
Morriston, FL  32668


Beauty's Haven -- Where Life Begins Again!

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