Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Aloha Sheree (formerly Cherry)

Aloha in the Hawaiian language means affection, peace, compassion and mercy. It has also been used in the English language to say "hello" and "goodbye".   So 'ALOHA' is the most fitting thing to be said for our sweet Sheree.

On 9-18-14, we rescued a yearling stud colt named Triton from people running a pony riding service where pictures on their Facebook pages clearly showed horrendous training practices with young, defenseless horses.  We tried to negotiate the release of a yearling filly, but they jacked up the price so we had to walk away.  The picture below shows the makeshift stall and depressed looking filly on that day.  We did not for get her or the other skinny horses left behind.
That same day those sellers posted a Craigslist ad for her asking $700 for a grade filly stating she had ground training. This is the photo they used. She is seven months old and like Triton they were saddling her and probably having kids ride her.
Here is another training photo off their Facebook page, she doesn't look like she is having fun to me.
With the assistance of a wonderful lady named Sheree, who borrowed a trailer and made a rescue trip to purchase this filly on our behalf. We were able to buy her for $400 as they had dropped their price so they could get rid of her fast.  Sheree and her friends braved one of the worst thunderstorms of the season to go get this filly to safety.  Two horses now safe and two more to go.
In the continued rain our newest save began scarfing down her hay only for Sheree to notice that her nose was running and it had bits of chewed hay in it.  She let me know that she had seen the filly cough and we thought perhaps she got some hay up in her sinuses that was slowly draining out.  So she kept a close eye on her and watched for any signs of distress. This filly, who we named Sheree, was very sweet and would follow them around. Was her spirit totally broken or she just listless?

On Sunday, Monique, who adopted TWH Baxter Black last year and facilitated Triton's rescue, along with Shannon who is fostering Triton, made the trip to pick Sheree up and trailer her to HaraNova Ranch where she would be fostered till mid-October. The draining in her nose continued.

I consulted Dr. Kari Christianson about the drainage and we discussed various things it could be, but the most likely was a partial choke like we initially thought.   No emergency call was needed because again she was so calm and did not appear distressed. Monique's called her vet first thing Monday morning for him to come diagnose and treat her symptoms.  Monique let him know that when she drank water, it came right back out her nose. The possibility of a cleft palate seemed much greater and probable, even though it is extremely rare in horses, especially ones this old.
In an effort to research who could treat a cleft palate in the Phoenix area I contacted a fellow rescue and when I described the filly, I was told they knew she had a severe cleft palate because they were asked to take her a year ago by the breeder, but when he found out they would put her down as recommended by their vet, he instead gave the foal to neighbors.  It was verified that those neighbors were in fact the people we bought Triton and Sheree from.  They promised him she would be well cared for the rest of her life.  The photo below is her big, clean stall at HaraNova where she enjoyed fresh water, good food and lots of TLC from the family.
Yesterday was a day from hell on so many levels.  Not only for me, but for all the ladies involved in rescuing Triton and Sheree.  I placed many phone calls to vet specialists and others who have experience with cleft palate horses and the news was not good. Infections and pneumonia are common side affects and in most cases they are unable to recover. We had been told it was a severe birth defect and in fact after seen by the vet, there was a gaping hole between her tongue and sinus on the right side. Not only did she have difficulty eating and drinking but also breathing.

Her cuddly demeanor was in part from her gentle attitude, but mostly because she had a low grade fever and pneumonia and had been sick for some time. Looking at the picture from 9-18-14 above, it's clear she was ill then. The heartbreaking decision to put her down was made and so many tears have been shed since.

These people were so eager for money that they sold her knowing about the huge hole in her mouth and played off her current illness as her being such a gentle horse.  They took the money and watched this filly go down the road without a second thought to their unscrupulous tactics and lies.  We are thankful that her trip was to loving, caring people and not others who would have just sold too because her nose wouldn't stop running.

Sheree meeting Baxter Black
Sheree had 48 hours of tender loving care from Sheree and her family, Shannon, Monique and her family.  I never got to meet our latest rescue and I ache that I never got to hug her and show her love.  Even the vet was hurt by all that had happened to this sweet yearling.

The authorities were notified of the horses in poor health after we rescued Triton.  With the many calls they get and without pictures of the skinny horses on the property the complaint was not processed immediately.  They have since been notified of the death of Sheree and we have been promised it will be looked into. We pray her life will save the others and her death not be in vain.

We incurred unexpected medical bills in addition to the $400 we had to pay to buy her to safety. Any donation to help with these costs (approximately $1000) would be so appreciated. You can  use this donate button

or checks can be mailed to PO Box 2722, Snowflake AZ 85937.

I need time to breath, we all need time to grieve.  While I know in my heart God places his beloved horses in our hands because we will do the right thing, that doesn't stop the hurt.  I pray we can help the others left with those people and get through the rest of the year with no more horses crossing the rainbow bridge.  We try very hard to make the best decisions for all those horses in our care.

Special thanks to Monique, Shannon and Sheree along with their families and friends who have helped us rescue these wonderful bundles of joy. I know their hearts are aching too.  

Aloha Sheree!  No more pain sweet girl.

Blessings to you all,


Friday, September 26, 2014

Triton has pep in his step after just a week!

One week after being rescued, this sweet yearling finally has some energy and we just had to share so you could enjoy him having fun like we have.  

This is what a yearling should be acting like, not cowering in a stall skinny and depressed.  
I have tears in my eyes looking at these pictures.

Shannon and her family are doing such a wonderful job with his refeeding diet, daily care but also providing him the love and care he deserves.   Thank you all for helping us help this sweet baby!

Joy, shear joy!!!!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Being ridden at less than a year old!!!! Meet Triton.

I saw this Craigslist ad on Facebook with a comment, "can't someone help this horse?". There were lots of remarks and criticism of how wrong it was for these people to have anyone riding this horse at barely a year old.  Lots of snarky comments and a few people offering donations if someone would please just help.  But I saw no one stepping up to help. 

With a little research, I found the Facebook page of these sellers and even more pictures of this fine boned Arabian colt being ridden by different children.  We have erased their name, but noticed the comment with the photo that said "proud mommy". 

Yes, they are proud of the fact they have their pre-teen riding this yearling with a saddle while being ponied.  My heart hurt for this sweet colt.

Located in the western end of Phoenix, about 3 1/2 hours from me, I contacted one of our adopters named Monique, who has grown to be a wonderful friend and asked if she could go get him for us and help till I could make the trip down.  Her reply, "In a heartbeat".   So I contacted the sellers and set up time the following day for Monique to arrive.  Monique asked her friend Shannon to go with her and when Shannon learned the situation she offered to keep him at her house and provide help with initial care. 

Monique was shocked to find Triton much thinner than portrayed, there was a filly was not as bad, but her feet were over long and there were two additional horses on the property that were very malnourished, one bordering on total emaciation.   Monique offered to help those horses, but it was refused. So Triton was loaded on the trailer and at least one of the horses lives was changed for good. We will try again soon to see if they will accept any assistance with the other horses. 

Once safely at Shannon's they were able to really get a look at Triton and we were so sad to see his condition.  His top line is bony, ribs are showing, not much of a butt and he was a little lethargic. These pictures show his condition and you can see how depressed he looks.

For comparison sake, let's take a look at his sire, FA EL Shawan, 2010 Brazilian National Champion and 2011 Arabian Breeders World Cup Gold Champion who sadly died in January of 2013: 
And his dam (mother), Blue Spruce Amazia, who was recently purchased by Dr. Tarig Enaya, the Managing Director of Cisco Saudia Arabia and was shipped to Saudi Arabia the day before we rescued Triton:
These were not back yard breeder horses, these horses are worth tens of thousands of dollars. One has to ask with parentage like that, how does progeny of such a magnificent champion and exquisite mare end up how we found him, huddled in the corner of a make shift stall in the a neighborhood so scary that you wouldn't want to go there by yourself?  

Filly also on the property for sale for a huge amount
Well we don't have an answer for you.  Perhaps the breeder thought he wouldn't make the show circuit, perhaps they he was one of too many foals born that year, who knows.  I placed a call to the original owners who bred this foal and have gotten no answer. I can only hope they still care about him enough to return my call.  

One thing we do know is that he NEVER should have been saddled up and ridden when his bones are still that of a baby and he never should have been sat on like the pictures shown on the business Facebook page of the people who bought him from the breeder.  He is not a pony to be ridden at pony rides.  He was only six months old when they bought him and treated like this for the last year. Who can blame him for being depressed.  Well those days are OVER!

First order of the new day.  A bath and he was a very good boy. So happy to have the dirt of his old life gone forever. 

We have assessed his needs and he is on a special refeeding diet for malnourished horses receiving some alfalfa hay and my favorite, Purina's Enrich Plus.  In a few weeks we will deworm him and as soon as his weight is good and system healthy he will need to be castrated.  He will then come to the ranch in Snowflake to spend the winter to just hang out being a horse.  Next year as a two year old we can work on his ground training and in the meantime look for the perfect long term home for this sweet colt.

I doubt we will ever truly know his story, but we have bits and pieces we can put together and guess. The good news is he has a bright future and a long time before he will be ridden again.  Who knows, he may even be another one of our horses that competes in the Tevis Cup endurance race one day.

Most of you know we had to release Babee from the pain of her severely foundered feet on the 13th of September and then just a few days later I felt the call to save this baby.  Still mourning her loss and struggling through the day, I firmly believe Babee wanted us to help this 'baby' and give him the love and care he needs.

If you would like to make a donation to help Triton and the other horses at EqWBR you can see we will put them to very good use.  Checks can be mailed to EqWBR, PO Box 2722, Snowflake, AZ 85937 and if you want to use PayPal just click the donate button.  We are a 501c3 Public Charity so your donations are tax-deductible.

We thank you all very much for you continued support.   This is a team effort and you are part of a wonderful team.   Stay tuned for updates on Triton and the rest of the herd.

Love from Autumn, Danny, Duncan, Fancy, Gen, Gwen, Liam, Lucky, Ruby and now Triton!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Thunder is the sound of her running in heaven. RIP Babee.

Saying goodbye is the hardest thing to do and this past weekend we had to say goodbye to Babee. Recent xrays of her severely foundered hooves showed the coffin bone almost breaking through the sole of her foot and she was in great pain. This was the decision recommended by Dr. Christianson who was instrumental in her rescue and supported by our farrier who has seen others suffer from this.

We rescued her on 4/17/14 and she has been given much love, been able to roam our pastures with our other horses and had many moments of freedom where she seemed to dance with joy.

Brushed and groomed, fluffed and buffed, her last day she also got to eat all those food forbidden for a founder horse.  Apples, carrots, alfalfa and sweet feed were all savored with joy.

Somehow I just think she knew. She hated having her feet handled anymore, spent time by herself away from the herd and did all she could to keep weight off her front hoof.

Our hearts are heavy and the barn seems so different without her there, but I know she is pain free and with friends that went before her.    Rest in peace our beloved Babee.   You taught us so much and touched many hearts very deeply.  You will always be loved!

Thank you all for your support and remember the moments of happiness and love that filled these last few months for this very precious mare.      Run Babee Run!!!!!               2007 to 9-13-14

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Lucky after 2 months & Babee needs xrays

Well I was going to try to send out two separate blogs, but my time just seems to be so short these days and there are two important updates to share with you so I am combining them.

First is the 2 month anniversary of saving Lucky (formerly Frosty) from a very neglectful situation that was putting his life at risk.  On July 4th, 2014, we drove over 300 miles round trip to rescue an emaciated elderly horse and his pasture mate.   Here are a few of the intake pictures of Lucky, said to be in his 30's and that was why he was so thin:

Considered a body condition score of 1 (out of 9) and extremely emaciated at 15 hands high (60 inches at the top of his shoulder) he weighed only 835 pounds.   He is also blind in his left eye.  We started him with small, frequent meals of hay and Equine Senior round the clock and now he gets Equine Senior feed twice a day along with soaked hay pellets and free feed grass hay.   Thank you so much to Purina and the A Home for Every Horse program for the 10 bags of senior feed donated to us (he goes through almost 3 bags a week).

It has been two months and this is what Lucky looked like on that anniversary date:

Lucky's current weight is 1015 pounds, that is almost 200 pounds in the last 2 months.  All this guy needed was to be fed!  His mood is great, he flirts with the girls and based on his teeth, he is in his early 20's not his thirties.   He has about 50 more pounds to go to fill out his hips and top line and he should be the perfect weight for his height and age.

We will draw blood to create a base line and check for any organ malfunction and if his health changes in the future we will have that baseline as a comparison.  We didn't draw blood before because we knew it wouldn't be within normal limits.  With weight gain, deworming and good nutrition he shouldn't be anemic and readings should be normal.  If not, now we can pursue that further.  Duncan, his pasture mate, is doing awesome and is in love with Gwen our Tennessee Walking Horse rescued in 2007.     I hope you are as excited as we are at his recovery so far.

Babee was rescued at a vets request on April 17, 2014 and saved from being euthanized due to her owners unwillingness to feed her properly and causing severe founder and bouts of laminits for two years.   She was unable to put weight on her front feet and couldn't walk.  We needed to give her nerve blocks in her feet just to transport her here.

Working closely with Dr. Kari Christianson of North Country Veterinary Clinic and our friend and farrier Justin Burt, she has been constantly monitored as she grows out new hoof replacing the severe foundered hoof.  She was extremely over weight and has lost close to 150 pounds on a low-starch, grass hay only diet.  She also gets Purina's Enrich Plus low starch, low sugar, no grain complete vitamin, mineral & amino acid supplement to support healthy hoof growth and balanced nutrition (sorry to sound like a commercial, but I LOVE this supplement it has helped SO many of our horses).

In May we drew blood to check for any insulin resistance or equine metabolic syndrome.  Her glucose insulin ratio was high, but not unexpected and her pancreas is compensating for the excess fat from her prior poor diet.  She is not able to exercise like the other horses so weight loss has been very slow.

Babee after two weeks in her sand filled stall
Her diet also includes a variety of herbs designed to reduce inflammation, swelling, pain and help with digestion recommended by Poppy Phillips, long time friend and health care practitioner for our horses and ourselves. She has also been on Previcox for pain relief.  Her hoof growth has been slow, but steady, even though their condition is the worst our farrier has ever seen.

We have needed monthly conservative trims to shape her foot, and remove old sole and hoof as new growth comes in.   Her sole are very thin and crumbly so we have used boots from Easy Care to cushion and protect her feet giving her the ability to be out in the pasture and walk freely.

Old Macs to support her front feet and cushion her walk
As her new hoof growth continues, she has been prone to abscesses and has been moving slower these last few days.  Her most recent trim revealed very soft sole tissue with fluid underneath and two abscess spots on her left front foot.  The fluid could be one of two things, it could be detached sole ready to shed and there is a fluid build up between it and her new growth sole, or with all the rehab we have done so far, it hasn't stopped the rotation of her coffin bone and the bone could be trying to poke through the sole and the fluid could be infection.  We have started her on antibiotics just in case.

This photo taken at the beginning of the trim on 9-8-14
We have Babee scheduled for x-rays tomorrow with Dr. Christianson to determine exactly what is going on with her feet, how her recovery is going and if we were able to start her rehab in time to save her foot bones from going through her hoof.  We are hoping for the best, but the reality is if there has been further rotation and the coffin bone (the end structure to her entire leg) has dropped and is close to breaking through her sole, we may have to consider humane euthanasia.

I am trying to be brave and optimistic, but my friend's my heart is very heavy right now.   So I ask you to please keep her in your prayers and God willing this is just sole that needs to be trimmed off because there is good, new sole underneath.

We appreciate your continued support more than you will ever know.  Your support carries me through the good times and the difficult times and I feel like we are team working to help horses in need and give them a chance at a happy and loving life.   No matter how long it may be.

I will let everyone know how things go tomorrow and in the meantime please say a prayer for Babee!

Thank you all,


Sunday, September 7, 2014

Amazon Donates to EqWBR! How can you help?

It's easy to help EqWBR earn funds while shopping online.   With the new Shop at AmazonSmile program, they will donate 0.5% to us with every purchase you make.   Signing up is easy just click below and chose Equine Wellbeing Rescue as your charity.

When you shop from smile.amazon.com they will make a donation to us.  It's just that simple.

I switched over and now do all my purchases, even my Kindle books this way.  You still get the same great pricing and we get a small donation with every purchase.   It is a win-win for all!

Please, please, please consider helping the horses with this new program.    Every dollar helps!!!

Thank you SO much!

Founder & President
Equine Wellbeing Rescue Inc