We can't thank you all enough for helping us help the three beautiful, but emaciated mares that arrived on 4/25/20. Shortly after our last email went out we were contacted by the Hovden family who wanted to cover the entire cost of the digital livestock scale. We ordered it right away and by Friday Lary and Dennis were assembling it for us. Quite heavy itself (500lbs) it took all their strength to get the two pieces assembled and leveled so the readings would be accurate.
With several volunteers here we took advantage of all the help and started weighing the mares. Willow was the first, she weighed in at 645 pounds, the weight tape we had used on her 13 days prior gave us an approximate weight of 590-600 pounds. While I don't think she gained 45 pounds in that time (though she has been eating non-stop) 20-25 pound increase would not be uncommon.
"Rain" Dancer is the tallest of the three at 15 hands high or 60" at the whithers. She should weigh around 1100-1200 pounds for her big boned frame so she is approximately 300 pounds underweight as she weighed in at 839 pounds. We kno she had already put on some weight since arrival.
Sable is by far the skinniest of the three with little visible fat or muscle anywhere. She is just an 1.5 inches shorter than Rain, but weighed in at 117 pounds less. As a big boned horse standing 14.2 1/2 hands (58.5 inches) tall she should weight between 1050 - 1150 pounds. Amy, who is almost the same height weighed in at 1117 pounds yesterday. Sable needs to gain 350+ pounds and we know she has already gained a little in the last 13 days. Tomorrow we will reweigh all three.
While they are getting better, the blood work showed both Rain and Sable anemic, their lower legs are swollen and all three horses have areas of dermatitis on their bodies. We got a wonderful donation from Marty Bowers, who sent some Equiderma lotions and Neem oil to help them, she also contacted the Equiderma company who will be sending us an assortment of their products for all the horses as a donation to the rescue. We are so very excited to have these products to help heal the girls and others.
The other thing that is notable about Sable and Willow is the loss of their coat. As the nutrition is kicking in their undercoat is letting go of the long winter fur and a shiny new coat is growing. It is very thin, but soon they will have shed all their old coat and I hope the bad memories go with it. Thanks to a donation by the Wallis family we have ordered each of them UV protection light weight sheets to wear so we can keep dirt off while their skin issues heal. We are patiently waiting for those to arrive. So many of you answered our call for help and opened your hearts to these special mares. I promised them they will never go hungry again and together we will be sure they are always fed.
Yesterday Willow got her feet trimmed along with Peaches, Peanut, Amy and donkeys Ricci and Ramey. In the past the donkeys have been a challenge but yesterday they were as good as gold. Willow was not a happy camper having her feet picked up so we suspect she has rarely had her feet trimmed. Rain and Sable are not stable enough to have them stand on 3 legs while a hoof gets trimmed. It all takes time and I am so glad we are heading into summer and not winter as they recover.
The corporate office of Tractor Supply Company, one of the sponsors of the A Home For Every Horse program we are members of sent us a $100 gift certificate which we used to purchase each of the mares their own grooming brushes, combs and supplies which will help their skin issues clear faster and they love the grooming too. Huge thanks to TSC.
On 4-27-20 our vet was out to castrate Rimson, Buddie and Willie, and they are all doing well in there recovery. Unfortunately we had some very hot days which is very unusual for this time of year and with the spring winds blowing silty dust in their incision areas we followed up their surgery with antibiotics and some anti-inflammatory pain meds. While not fully healed they are doing much better than last week.
They are all showing some spunk and their appetites are as good as ever. They too have been getting a lot of attention from our volunteers.
We are currently at 23 horses, donkeys and mini donkeys and continue to get calls daily for people looking for homes for their horses. Sadly at this time I am having to say no because the mares need all of our attention and caring for each of them daily adds an extra one and a half hours to the morning chores, many days more time than that. Volunteers to help with grooming and other small tasks would be very welcome.
Our emergency food fund is available for those in need of hay or feed assistance during these uncertain times with Covid-19. While many places are starting to loosen up Stay at Home requirements, many will struggle financially for the months to come and your donations have given us the ability to help those horses, donkeys and minis stay at home with some short- term feed assistance. So far we have granted over $2500 in assistance during this crisis.
We hope that you and your family are all well and we know that many had serious health issues prior to all this and are going through various needed treatments and therapies. We are keeping each and everyone of you in our prayers and will continue to do so.
You have blessed us so richly by supporting our mission which has allowed us to help many horses, donkeys and minins in need. Our volunteers work so hard to help with the care and feeding of those at the rescue and help in many, many other ways too. We appreciate each of you SO VERY MUCH. You all make a difference in many lives. Thank you, Thank you!!!
One final note, we have tentatively schedule our Open House for Saturday, June 27th in hopes that more people will be able to safely attend. It will be a very special day because we will be celebrating Sydney, Rimson and Buddie's birthdays. A wonderful day of celebration.
We will keep you updated on the recovery of the mares and plans for the open house so we will be talking to you soon.
Have a great day and wonderful upcoming weekend.
Wishing you good health and many blessings.
Your support is so greatly appreciated, we simply can't thank you enough!
Ten days ago I received a call from someone wanting to know who much they should feed their horses since they were thin. She stated she found out she was giving them poor quality hay and now was feeding hay pellets, but wasn't sure how much to feed them each.
Through the call I found out that an inspector had been out there and stated they were too thin, body condition score 2 of 9 and she needed to feed them. She told me they were over 35 years old and we discussed at length how much of what she already was feeding she would need to feed daily to get them up to a normal weight and that those instructions were clearly printed on EVERY bag of hay pellets she was buying. I went one step farther to tell her with the hay pellets she was feeding it was going to cost her $30 per horse, per week to feed them enough. She had 5 horses in total, just the 2 skinniest would cost $240 a month for pellets only, $1200 for all five per month....just for pellets. It was then I offered her the option to bring them to us, thus saving the funds to purchase for the 3 horses in her care. It did not take long before she called me back and offered to GIVE us the two skinniest horses.
On 4-25-20, they brought us three horses instead. What arrived in two separate trips was absolutely heartbreaking. The first two horses were hundreds of pounds underweight, filthy, bad feet and weakly able to walk. The extent of their long-term malnutrition was so obvious. These horses were skin and bone!
Sable and Rain Dancer were the first two to arrive and we put them in our quarantine stall so they would have room to move around, could be together and we could monitor their food consumption yet they could see other horses so they would not feel so alone. Their winter coat was so long that it was hard to tell just how thin they were. After a few days of grooming the lack of muscle mass or any fat on either was so very obvious.
Sassy, now called Willow was in the best condition of all and that was not good either. In this picture the photo on the left was her on arrival, you can see the filth all over her body. And as we have gently cleaned her over the last days we have found embedded crud, scabs and dermatitis along her back and legs which we have found on the other two also.
On 4-27-20 our vet was out to castrate Rimson, Buddie and Willie, and while here did an exam and pulled blood on all three of the mares. When she saw the extent of the malnutrition Rain and Sable have endured we both stood their crying and she said the only skinnier horses she had seen were dead. Pulling ourselves together we discussed the feeding plan and needed future treatment. The blood work is back and shows anemia consistent with long-term malnutrition and explains the weakness in walking, depression and listlessness upon their arrival, the stocking up (swelling of their lower legs), dull, long hair and so much more. Additionally we determined the age of Rain and Sable to be in their early 20's, not 35+ as the owners stated and Willow (Sassy) to be a little over 10 years old.
We have slowly changed their feed from the pellets that had little nutrition to a good senior horse feed, and have increased they amount of good quality grass hay to a large bale they can eat freely from 24 hours a day. None of them have to worry about when their next meal is and the relief is obvious on each of their faces.
They have many months of needed care. Because Sable and Rain are so weak we will wait to get their feet trimmed, 30 more days after who knows how long is not going to matter much. We will treat the sores and clean the debris mired in their skin and matted on their coats a little at a time to not over stimulate and wear them out.
We also want to weigh them weekly and for that we need a livestock scale that will digitally give us their accurate weight rather than a weight tape which gives you and idea of weight, but not the true weight. The cost of the scale with shipping is $1200, the cost of the feed $110.88 a week plus their hay, topical medicines, supplements, etc. Donations have already come in to cover the blood work, initial feed and care but they will need more blood work in 60 days, farrier care, dentistry, etc.
I will be contacting the inspector to let him know we are getting a scale so we can accurately tract their weight weekly and we are keeping records of all their needs and treatments. While I am still very worried about any organ damage to Rain and Sable and worry daily till they get show signs of recovery we are so hopeful that they will make a full recovery and everyone will see that it was not their age that caused them to not gain weight.
On this Giving Tuesday if you would consider a donation to help us restore these three horses back to health so they can live happy lives and hopefully forget the years of neglect inflicted upon them it would be so appreciated. Funds also help the other 21 horses, donkeys and minis in our care and others we try to help. EVERY donation makes a difference.
We also want to say a special thank you to all over our volunteers who assist here at the rescue, help with administrative work, planning committees and everyone who helps in so many ways. We are 100% volunteer organization with no staff so funds donated go so much farther to help so many more in need.
Thank you so very much!
Your support is so greatly appreciated, we simply can't thank you enough!