Opie: Stolen Horse Returned After 10 Years Of A Scared, Abusive Life In Hiding

If there's one thing Michelle Pool has learned recently, it's this: Never give up on a lost horse.

You'd think after 10 years, faith would have started to dim for Pool's chances of recovering Opie, the family horse taken from her ranch near San Antonio. But Pool kept posting notices and investigating, using web sites such as netposse.com to help in her search.

And it worked: Stolen Horse International reports that a tipster saw Opie for sale on Craiglsit, and a reunion has been held.

"I will see him, kiss his face and blow in his nose soon. The shattered dreams I had are being put back piece by piece and glued together all with the help of two AMAZING people....the tipster DeAnna and Debi with Stolen Horse International - netposse.com THANK YOU!" Pool told the group after the horse was found.

The Cleveland Advocate reports Opie had been given to a woman by her pastor to take care of him after finding him abandoned on a road.

It doesn't sound like the horse, who they named WarBonnet, was living the high life. Said Della Braden of Dayton, who cared for the animal:

"WarBonnet was scared, wild-eyed and thin. I let him go in a small pasture for two days .. once we joined up and started building up some trust, I decided to saddle him and was going to tie him to a hitching post. That's when he went down to his knees and began shaking. I realized that the horse had been through some serious abuse," said Della. "He was deathly afraid of ropes of any kind."

Now that's changed, though, and the frolicking can begin, even 10 years late:

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