Thursday, November 10, 2022

Blind, orphaned Forest!


I can’t begin to imagine what it would be like to be left behind to fend for yourself when you can’t see, even worse, to be out in the high desert all alone….as an orphaned foal.

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The park rangers put him in a stall till we could get there.

When we were contacted to rescue this sweet little guy, he had been found by rangers at the Petrified Forest when he wandered near the machine shop, probably having heard noises coming from the building. They let me know his eyes were red and he was very disoriented.
Our horses, Trooper and Gus came to us from the Petrified Forest when they closed their mounted ranger program a few years ago so we knew they had horse facilities. The guys caught the foal and set him up in one of the stalls till we could come pick him up. They sent us a few pictures so we had an idea of how big he was and from the picture we could tell he was very boney with no idea how long he had been separated from his mother. The rangers told us that free grazing horses sometimes wandered onto their land, migrating on and off as they grazed. They looked for other horses at the time and found none.

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Forest settling into his stall at EqWBR

When we arrived, the first thing I realized when we entered the stall is that the foal could not see us. After having hay and water he was not as disoriented as he had been when they first caught him. We were able to get him into a stall and carefully put a halter on him making it easier to get him in the trailer. With the rangers help we got him in the trailer very carefully and with little fuss. We thanked the rangers and headed straight to the rescue. The ride was a little stressful, but he unloaded ok and went right into a stall. A little hay, fresh water and he was good for the night. Now he just needed to decompress and realize he was safe.

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Forest left eye has a ventral strabismus

The vet came out to give him a thorough examination, pull bloodwork and check his eyes to see if he was totally blind or if perhaps he could recover from the eye issues. We have been consulting with an equine optometrist to determine what his current and future needs will be. The specialist is in the valley and we are hoping to get him to her as soon as he is otherwise healthy enough to make the 3-hour trip.

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Forest's right eye - luxated lens

Both of his eyes have luxated (dislocated) lenses and his left eye has a ventral strabismus, his eye points downwards, Dr G feels they have been that way since birth. We are hoping there may be surgery or some sort of treatment that can help him gain some sight. Right now, he can only see light and dark and we have noticed he can usually stop before hitting something so he has not injured himself.

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Petrified forest is high desert with no trees

We named the colt “Forest”, in honor of the rangers who saw him wandering the Petrified Forest. For those of you who don’t know, there are no living trees there, it is high desert so there is a bit of desert grasses, but mostly tumbleweeds and other bushes. Forest has large scars on his back and other places we assume from the herd stallion culling him from the herd.

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You can see the scars all over his back and neck.

Upon arrival he only weighed 236 pounds and was a body condition score of 2. He has gained almost 30 pounds since then; his scars are healing and he is getting his winter coat. We have done a slow deworming process and also check for sand in his intestines as he didn’t gain any weight the first two weeks. He is currently getting eye drops and ointment twice a day. His diet includes a blend of alfalfa and Bermuda pellets, Mare & Foal feed, ration balancer and probiotics.

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Gary in 2019 with Buddie and Rimson

Barbara Hackney contacted me the other night. Her husband Gary, who donated the funds to save Buddie as a friend for Rimson in 2019 and was here when Buddie arrived, has a birthday, today November 10th.

To celebrate he has offered to match $500 in donations to help us raise funds for Forest. Our goal is to raise $3000 for his vet, eye and health care so we can provide this little blind, orphaned foal all that he needs to grow healthy and hopefully gain some eyesight.

We have met the $500 matching donations and more, but if you would like to help with a donation for Forest please click the Donated button below.

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Forest - safe and loved at last!!!!

As we head into fall and winter, yesterday we got our first snow and we have had several nights below freezing, we want to get this sweet baby as healthy as we can as quickly as we can. We have an appointment on Dec. 20th to have his eyes examined by a veterinary ophthalmologist and we will be meeting her at Chaparral Veterinary Medical Center (where Maisie has been treated) which is 360 miles round trip, so it will be a very long day with a long drive. We will then know if Forest can see more than we think, if there is surgery to help his eyes, what his future will be! EVERY donation is so appreciated.

We also want to thank Gary & Barbara for this $500 matching donation to help Forest. Happy, Happy Birthday Gary!!!!!!

Thank you all for your continued support of the rescue and helping us help those in such great need. We currently have 40 horses, donkeys and minis at the rescue and 5 in training so all donations are such a big help to those in our care and others that may be in Forest!

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