On July 4th, 2014, Lary and I made a 300 mile round trip to pick up Frosty and a second horse named Duncan that was at the same property. The pictures previously sent to us of Frosty had been taken on 6/28/14 in the dark and he looked bad, but in person, we were shocked at his condition, he barely has just skin hanging from his bones with a body condition score of 1 out of 9. Body Condition Score link
"BCS1 is extremely emaciated. Spine, ribs, tail head, and hooks and pins are prominent. Bone structure of the whithers, shoulder and neck are easily noticeable. No fatty tissue can be felt." From the pictures below you can see he sadly meets that criteria.
|Frosty 7-5-14 Intake photo of spin, hips, tailhead (streaks are fly spray)|
He has no top line muscles from his spine or meat covering his ribs, the bones of his pelvis and hip joints are visible with sores on the tips, and his belly is not discernible.
|Frosty 7-5-14 Intake phone whithers, shoulder, ribs hips and spine (streaks are fly spray)|
The only place he has a little muscle left is a small amount on his chest and thighs, but a horse in good flesh would have his thigh muscles touching each other in the back and you typically cannot see their sheath and belly.
|Frosty 7-5-14 Intake photo from behind|
He is blind in his left eye. I was told that cataracts were the reason and it was several years ago. While he gets around pretty good, it is important to be talking to a horse with sight deficient so he knows you are approaching and from what side. Both Max and Tucker had blindness issues so we are familiar with the handling of them.
|Frosty 7-5-14 Intake photo of his blind (left) side|
I was told he was 33, but in my years as an equine dental practitioner, I would gauge his age to be closer to 25-28. We measured him at 15.0 hand high using a professional measuring stick with a level in it for accuracy and using the Purina weight tape he is approximately 835 pounds. At his height he is at least 200 pounds underweight, 250 for his bone structure would be even better. We will struggle to rebuild his top line as that is the most difficult area to put muscle back on a horse this emaciated.
The good news is that he is eating many small, frequent meals and has rehydrated with lots of clean, fresh water and electrolytes. I have been monitoring his manure and it looks good as does his urine. His gut sounds are very loud and steady. His mood has picked up and he loved the time I spent yesterday grooming him. His feet will be done immediately and I am treating the sores on his hips and the scratches on his hind legs (pastern dermatitis). We will hold off from deworming for a few weeks till he gets some weight on and his condition has stabilized. It will be hard to know the extent of any organ damage from being this malnourished, but we are very optimistic that he will get most of his health back, it will just take a long time.
I have started giving him limited pasture time while he gets used to roaming with only one eye. He goes out while I have most of the other horses in stalls eating so they won't bother him. He needs to learn the perimeter and feel comfortable in the large space then I will let more horse out with him till I am sure he is safe and feels confident in his surroundings. Today I witnessed him run through the pasture with his head and tail held high and the look of shear joy on his face. That brought tears to my eyes.
He is an absolute pleasure to have around and shows no signs of missing his old place at all. With his new life and his new home, we are considering a new name for him....we think he deserves one. So if you have any suggestions for this noble guy, just send me an email.
In addition to Frosty we rescued Tamarisk Duncan, a 26 year old Morgan horse. Luckily he was only there for 3 weeks, so his condition is not as bad. He measured 14.3 hand high and his weight was 840 pounds. It is hard to see in this picture, but his spine area has lost muscle tone and his hips stick out a little and his ribs are visible, but his overall health is much better. His Body Condition Score is 4. We should have weight back in him in several weeks versus several months for Frosty.
|Duncan 7-5-14 Intake photo left side|
It is quite unusual for a horse to come with any paperwork, so we were please when his registration papers, some vet receipts and prior sales/ownership transfer document were included. I have been able to contact a few of the prior owners and even spoke with the breeder this morning who thanked me repeatedly for letting her know where he is and all about him as did the others I spoke with.
For the most part he has been a well loved family horse with a few bumps in the road, but he is highly rideable, steady on trail and no bad habits. We should be able to find a good home for him as soon as his weight is back on. Our volunteer and friend Donna may just have found the horse she has been looking for!
|Duncan 7-5-14 Intake photo right side|
In a surprise turn of events, the man that owned him before he ended up in his most recent bad situation is going to come and visit him tomorrow. He will not be taking Duncan back, but wanted to visit with him since he will be in the area. He realized that he missed the seemingly obvious signs that he was not leaving Duncan in a place he would be well cared for and regrets it.
Their living conditions were horrible and even though the lady 'loved' the horses, loving and providing appropriately for them are two different things. Sadly she still has other animals and there is really no way to prevent her from taking on more. I pray that she does not take on anymore horses, ever.
We thank everyone so much for the huge outpouring of support to help these horses. With the recent passing of Max and his medical bills, we hadn't planned on taking on another horse so soon, let alone two. But I think Max was the angel that brought these sweet boys to our attention and with your donations we were able to save them.
They will need on going care so if you would like to make a donation to help them or the other horses at EqWBR the funds are put to very good use so we can continue the provide quality and loving care for our other oldsters: Autumn, Danny, Fancy, Gwen, Ruby and youngsters Liam and Babee as long as they need.
You can mail a check to PO Box 2722, Snowflake, AZ 85937 or click the donate button to use PayPal or a credit card.
Thank you again! And don't forget to email me name suggestions!