Moonshine the Horse Saves Michigan Pastor in Distress

Rubén Díaz Caviedes, Flickr

Moonshine is a rather unremarkable horse by traditional standards. The 15-year-old Appaloosa Gelding is something of an albino, with shockingly white features and fleshy patches around his nose and eyes. He is often mistaken for a mule, or called “ugly” by passersby. But Moonshine proved that there’s a lot to love beneath his odd exterior when he saved a Michigan Pastor from a dire situation earlier this week.

Moonshine belongs to 18-year-old Amanda Thorson. On Tuesday night, the Port Huson farm girl was preparing to move Moonshine to a new barn nearby. Unexpectedly, the normally easy-going horse refused to get into his horse trailer. Since the barn was close by, Amanda decided that they could walk the distance. Amanda loaded into the truck while her friend Miranda Ross rode Moonshine down Jeddo Road.

Almost immediately, Moonshine started acting up. He began spinning in circles and would not go forward no matter how they goaded him. The girls couldn’t figure out what was going on. It wasn’t until Amanda turned off her vehicle and got out to check on Moonshine that she was able to hear faint cries for help in the distance.

As they began to look around, Amanda and Miranda spotted someone behind a nearby barn. They ran to his side and immediately recognized why he had been crying out. The old man, whom neither woman knew, was pinned beneath a tractor lawnmower. There was no way to free the man from the lawnmower without lifting the piece of heavy machinery. But the girls were up to the challenge. “We’re two farm girls,” Amanda shared in an interview with a local news station. She thought, “We can do this.”

Once the girls had lifted the tractor, the man pulled out his leg. Immediately, a pool of blood began to form. The girls called 911 and waited with the man until paramedics arrived. They later learned that the man, Pastor Leonard Barney, had been pinned by the lawnmower when it slipped out of his truck bed while he was setting up the ramp to remove it. Pastor Barney is currently in a Detroit hospital where he is recovering from the accident.

Both Amanda and Miranda, as well as Pastor Barney’s family, believe that Moonshine is the reason for the rescue. It was only his odd behavior that alerted the farm girls to the old man’s plight. Otherwise, it’s likely he may have been found too late. Amanda says she will hang a sign reading “Horse Hero” on Moonshines stall next week during the St. Clair County 4-H and Youth Fair so those wanting to meet the gelding can easily find him.

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