Monday, April 26, 2021


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Sable, Rain and Willow in back, Photo by Leslie Brucker

4-25-21 it has been a year since Rain, Sable and Willow (formerly Sassy) arrived at the rescue. Their owners had been given a 7 day notice to show they had received vet care for the severe condition of neglect and also having two other horses, they contacted us for help. We agreed to take Rain and Sable sight unseen and when they delivered those two they asked if they could bring one more, so we said yes and they went home and brought back Willow (named Sassy at the time). Below are pictures of the devastating condition they arrived:

20200425 Sassy intake

Willow (prior name Sassy) 4-25-20

20200501 Rain in the sun

Rain on arrival 4-25-20

20200505 Sable eating - rt side

Sable on arrival 4-25-20

They arrived in much worse condition than we were lead to believe and we called Dr. Tammy to come do her veterinary assessment and do bloodwork to see if organs had been effected by their long-term malnutrition. Tammy arrived and had tears in her eyes saying Rain and Sable were the two skinniest horses she had ever seen that were still alive. Rain and Sables blood work was off the charts, Willow being younger was able to fight for food so she was not as underweight, but still very malnourished.

They all had swollen legs from lack of protein, dermatitis issues, long hair that should have shed but didn't, their feet were horrible and they were all dull eyed and VERY depressed. We are certain that Sable would not have lived much longer with out us starting care immediately. When equines in are such horrendous condition they need slow, frequent feeding, water consumption monitored and slow introduction of different feed, hay or supplements. It was touch a go for the first week, then we were able to get them on a more regular schedule and add the supplements they would need to get well.

20200508 Willow weight scale
20200508 Rain weight scale
20200508 Sable weight scale

After two weeks they had each started to gain weight. Willow 45 pounds, Rain 59 pounds and Sable 22. Much of that weight was rehydration and having enough of an appetite to be eating almost a complete normal portion of feed and hay a day. We were able to track their weight gain with the addition of a 3000lb digital livestock scale purchased for the rescue by the Hovden family. This allowed us to know exactly what their weight gain would be through their recovery.

Through their recovery they lost all their hair and had new regrowth that came in healthy and shiny, their hooves started to heal from deep thrush and when they were trimmed our farrier said they were in such bad condition they felt like dried, old Tupperware...just crumbly. They started to respond to human kindness and care with little sparkles in their eyes.

Willow was the first to recover her weight gaining 325 pounds in 4 months , but it took longer for her dermatitis issues to clear. Rain recovered her weight in 5 months gaining 450 pounds. Sable took over 6 months to gain appropriate weight for her size, but a few more months for her hip bones and top of her spine to cover. Sable more slight of build gained 330 pounds. It also took six months for their blood work to return to normal and we still worry about organ damage Sable may have sustained in the near death condition she was in upon arrival.

Now a year later here they are:

20200825 Willow running

Willow 11-18-20 Photo by Leslie Brucker

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Rain 11-18-20 Photo by Leslie Brucker

202009 Sable by leslie

Sable 11-11-20 photo by Leslie Brucker

Take a look at Sables hips a year ago and now, it is hard to believe it is the same horse. They ALL look fabulous, have wonderful, vibrant spirits and have become SO affectionate. Both Willow and Rain have been adopted by wonderful families and Sable will remain here at the rescue to happily live out her days. She and I have created a bond that is so very heart horse for sure. For those of you who remember Gwen, I think her spirit lives on in Sable.

We have so many people to thank for the love, caring and support we received to be able to provide EVERYTHING they needed to have a full recovery. Together three precious lives were saved and reborn a new.

We wish them all a Happy Anniversary and thank you all so very, very much!!!

So very, very blessed,
Christine and everyone at EqWBR

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