Rudnik was about to be auctioned off to a place with no happy ending for him.
When Alesia found out about this, she emailed the woman who runs the rescue, and 24 hours later, Rudnik was hers. At this time, Rudnik was only nine months old. And he was very wary of people.
When people approached him, he would run in the opposite direction, far away from them.
It all changed when he met Alesia.
When they first met, Rudnik was underweight and he had clumps of hair. But Alesia was gentle with Rudnik. She patiently waited for him to trust her as she worked with him every day.
And then it happened.
“I was working with him and there was this moment,” Alesia told The Dodo. “It was the first time that he ever let me approach him without trying to pull away. I just held my hand out for him, let him smell me, let him know that ‘Hey, I’m not going to hurt you.’”
Alesia said it was the first time they connected.
After that, Rudnik would be the one to walk up to Alesia, touch her, and play with her.
On the first time Alesia rode Rudnik, she rode him bareback while wearing a helmet. She did this so they could get used to each other’s presence and raise their trust levels with each other.
As they spent more and more time together, they could feel each other’s tension releasing.
Alesia doesn’t have vast land for Rudnik to live in, so he lives on a 20-acre farm with ten other horses where he can roam freely.
“They’re their own family. They’re their own herd,” Alesia described. “He has that freedom to just be a horse.”
Alesia is living out her childhood dream of having a horse.
But more than that, Rudnik reminded Alesia she could have even more dreams.
“I’d gone through a really bad relationship where I just lost pretty much who I was. I was struggling to remember what I wanted out of life, what my goals and dreams were. Having Rudnik, that just reignited the flame,” Alesia shared.
In fact, they helped each other heal from their past pains.
And now, Rudnik has grown to 1,200 lbs at three years old. He loves to smile big grins. And he loves to give Alesia kisses.
“He’s just a big puppy dog. He’ll pull on my hoodie,” Alesia said. “We’ll just be hanging out and he’ll rest his head on my shoulder or on top of my head.”
Rudnik has really come a long way from the scared, underweight horse who always ran to the farthest place away from people.
Alesia’s care, love, and patience have really allowed Rudnik to be himself and to thrive even more. By letting him be the horse that he is, she has allowed him to be free in so many ways.