In late October of 2008, our county confiscated 14 horses from a plot of land near a town called Springdale. Now there are all kinds of jokes about Springdale, in some instances, they are all true. But there are some hard working folks that live there too!
I got a call from a friend involved in the rescue of these 14 horses. Two were Thoroughbred mares in very sad shape. They were going to haul them over to me the next day. Hubby and I knew what we were doing, but man did we neglect to think through the heartache, anger and longevity!
The two mares came to our farm and were unloaded. I was aghast, literally dumbfounded! So much emotion came boiling up inside of me, all I could do was express the anger. The person who did this to these horses needed to be shot! That was all I could muster.
The photo does not really show just how bad these two mares were. My forum friends helped me name them...Reddi and Willing. So here they were, dehydrated, full of worms, bad hooves, skinny as hell, tail heads sticking up, spine protruding, hip bones sticking out, rain rot too....and just generally looking like coat racks! The worst of the two, Reddi, had unholy diarrhea something awful. It was just green liquid. It was the first thing we needed to fix. With food and water in front of them our journey started.
For Reddi, the journey lasted 3 weeks. She was too far gone. Her gut never got working properly. She did not quit in her mind, but her body gave out. We called the vet at 4 am to have her euthanize Reddi. The struggle was too much for her system and she was down in her stall. It was heart wrenching but a relief too. She would no longer have to suffer.
For Willing, she got through it. I don't think Willing's before photo really shows how bad she was. A bay horse from a distance never really shows any strong detail, not like a light colored horse.
Willing also had a split in her right front hoof, a bad split. The farrier took good care of it and now, after 8 months, it is only partially visible. Her feet look great today!
Her weight came up, slowly, but that is how you want weight gain on a severely emaciated horse. Just like with people, losing weight too fast or gaining it too fast is hard on the system. She had a cozy stall during the day time and a blanket everyday. She started to look good around January. I let her have different companions throughout winter. She got along with all my mares. She even spent some time with Andy. He adored her and she nuzzled on him.
By April, she was ready to enjoy the sunshine without the blanket. I moved her into a grassy paddock with my Thoroughbred mare, Kinky. The two of them are good buddies now. Maybe too good!
It was time to find her a home. I was very picky, I wanted her to have a forever home. I did not want to keep her, but she deserved to have a person to love her. She really is very sweet. I have a friend who is a very experienced trainer. His opinion of Willing was she would just need a refresher course and she would make a decent riding companion. Well, I trust his judgement, so that is how I promoted her.
Many called or emailed. Only a few actually showed up to meet her. One in particular seemed like a good match. I visited that persons place, it seemed safe and accommodating for Willing. She would have a 3 yo companion and lots of food!
But when it came time to load Willing in the trailer, well, she was having none of that. We spent hours, the biggest problem was Willing would get frightened and rear up and almost over backwards. Yep, she was going to be a challenge alright! This act also scared off the potential new owner. So it was back to the drawing board for Willing. In the meantime, she was getting fat and shiny in the clover patch!
So, my trainer friend came over to assist me with helping Willing load. That guy is simply amazing....he had her loaded twice in an hour. All nice and calm too! THAT is why HE is a trainer! I believe he is correct in his assessment of Willing. She just needs a patient, kind and persistent person for her new owner. Love ya Mike!
So, now Willing is ready to meet any and all new prospective owners. She will be taking interviews, so make sure you contact me (her agent)!