The boys are growing into handsome horses. They both turned three years old Buddie on June 17th and Rimson on July 1st. Let's update on Buddie first.
He has always been timid so this year we started him with ground training and desensitization. As a foal he was separated from his mom too early and put in with full size horses that attacked him. When he arrived he had bite marks all over his body, even on his ears. It is very understandable that he can be nervous when being touched. Consistent and patient handling works best with nervous equines.
Buddie is still not easy to catch and halter out in the pasture, but we continue to work on that. In the round pen he is learning a lot of ground manners and recently our trainer, Kenna Chandler with Frayed Feather Horsemanship, saddled him up, no fuss, no muss.
He is far from being ridden, but this is another step in him getting used to things touching him.
We are so please that he is making steady progress and is more approachable than ever before. So proud of how he is maturing.
We have noticed this year that Rimson was having to spread his legs to reach something on the ground like a feed tub, water bucket or hay. We thought it was stunted growth of his neck making it short in comparison to the rest of his body.
Recently I noticed a tightness in the tendons and ligaments in his neck so I called in our team of practitioners including Kelli at Animal Krackers and doctors Secor and Guss to help us determine what is going on with our sweet Rimson.
Examination and xrays showed us that he has muscle atrophy in his neck from lack of movement. Lack of movement, why? We took xrays and were shocked to find out that Rimson's spine where it attaches to his scull and his C1/C2 were all fused together. Something none of us had seen before. What does this mean????
It means that Rimson is unable to shake his head up and down or move it left to right, the only way he is able to turn his head is by turning his neck. WOW! That explains why he has to spread his legs to reach the ground, he can't move his head forward.
Looking back to pictures days after we rescued him you can see the scars from the cougar attack and how they are right where the spine on a horse is. We have regularly done massage on the scar tissue as he has grown to assist with muscle growth and at times he is not happy because it is uncomfortable, but needed.
Perhaps from the very time of the attack damage was done to his spine that was not obvious until now as he has grown and we can see his limitations.
We are currently trying some meds to see if relaxing the muscles can help give him a little more freedom of movement and we have ordered some other treatments to try to slow the growth of arthritis in the area in addition to researching the issue since he will have to live like this the rest of his life.
Will Rimson be rideable? Yes, he certainly can be trained to ride but he would need a person experienced enough to not try and turn his head to turn his body, nor to pull back on the reins to stop him or try to 'collect' him. He simply does not have the ability to move his head and neck to respond to such requests with the reins. He would need a rider that would work totally off the leg and seat leaving the reins loose to not cause him any pain.
We will always make what is best for the boys our priority and right now we are focused on Rimson's neck fusion and how best to treat that and Buddie's training.
If you would like to help us with their health care costs, training, etc., with a donation we would certainly appreciate the funds. We currently have 42 horses, donkeys and minis in our care so every dollar helps.
You can donate by clicking the button below and following the links on our website to the various ways to make a tax deductible donation to the rescue.