Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Boston Marathon and Buggs

Last year, while we were all mourning the Boston Marathon bombing with the rest of the county, here in our horse community, we had our own sadness. 

We took in a mare from animal control hoping to find her a good home. Tracy Hunter agreed to foster her. She was very thin and in need of good nutrition. As time passed, the mare gained weight and Tracy had a suspicion that Bugsy was in foal. After a vet check, an ultrasound showed no foal. Bugsy continued to gain weight and became uncomfortable. Tracy called the vet again and this time confirmed the pregnancy. Bugsy was not a happy horse. She was getting everything she needed but seems unhappy. 
Feb 2013 and 2 months to go, Bugsy was growing bigger.
Tracy watched Bugsy gain weight at a rapid speed. After another vet check a few months later, it was confirmed Tracy was right, Bugsy was in foal. Once you know a horse is in foal, you look at her everyday, wondering if today may be the day. Bugsy seemed to be uncomfortable every day. Tracy gave her hugs and kisses but it couldn't take away the uneasy feeling something was wrong. The more miserable Bugsy was, the more Tracy was concerned. It became daily posts about Bugsy until the day came Bugsy was really in labor. Tracy, her daughter, Maddie and Jackie, who are all horse savvy were there to help. It wasn't going well. Bugsy was having a hard time, she was in obvious distress. Humans hands were there to tenderly help the foal be delivered. Another panic moment when the umbilical cord broke and the newborn foal was hemorrhaging. Humans hands again there to help. Many horses are left alone to have their babies but Tracy had the instinct to keep a close watch on this one, thankfully so. 

Bugsy was also bleeding. It was hard to tell if it was just from the birth or was she hemorrhaging as well. She surely was not a normal mare because she was not acknowledging her newborn as her instincts would call her to do. As she stood a few feet from her foal, her eyes were glazed. Her body trembling and her heart rate and respiration rising along with her temperature. The vet was on her way but it would be a while before she arrived. She told us what medication to give her to help make Bugsy comfortable but it didn't ease any pain for sweet Bugsy. Our hearts were aching for her. To stand their helplessly and watch was painful. All we could do it try and be gentle, stroke her and reassure her it would be better soon. 
Bugsy  quietly looked down at her new baby and gave her a quiet tender whinny but she didn't have the strength to do more than that. Not knowing if Bugsy would survive, Tracy started milking Bugsy to get the needed colostrum Baby Buggs would need to survive. A baby bottle was given to the baby and momma was milked again. 
Bugsy was suffering. The closest large animal hospital was 3 hours away and there is no way Bugsy would survive the trip. One the vet arrived, she knew the only way to relieve her suffering was to let her go peacefully. Now Baby Buggs was an orphan and her survival was up to us. Colostrum is so important the first 12 hours after birth, we had to put out a call for colostrum, fresh or frozen, because we felt that we didn't get enough into the foal even though Bugsy gave us 30 ounces, it was not enough. 

 Horse lovers sent out the word and we soon found 80 ounces of frozen colostrum nearby. Tracy set up a mattress in the stall and Maddie cuddled up with baby Buggs to keep her warm and give her a bottle every hour. To raise an orphan, you have to be dedicated,,,Sleepless nights!

Buggs sleeping in his bed. 
No Momma but still needs milk!
The next morning Baby Buggs' bloodwork was good, one less worry but we had to organize to get 24 hour humans to take the place of the mare. Baby Buggs was transported to the SaveTheHorses farm. Everyone volunteered to spend time with this little cutie. 
Everyone's heart was captivated by this little orphan.

She was happy to get all the attention she was being showered with. Everyone couldn't get enough of her cuteness! She is thriving on human love and good care giving.

 Our biggest problem is that she thinks she is human. She has no interest in horses. Why should she? They did nothing for her. It was the humans that gave her milk, gave her attention and loved on her. We hoped teaching her to lead may give her the idea that she was a horse.

Natalie asked her to take a walk.

Look at Buggs today... 
Beautiful young mare Buggs
As we still weep for Bugsy, we are happy that our little miracle is thriving in a good home. But every year, when we memorialize the Boston Bombings, We will also remember the sweet mare, Bugsy, and offer a silent prayer for her also.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Dixie Kitten

Look at her now! She has been at the Rescue Farm a short time.
Dixie Kitten has wounds from laying down. 

A thoroughbred mare born February 20, 1998.  Bred to run and win. Born in Kentucky, home to many thoroughbreds.  She won over $110,000 in her racing career. Then her journey is not clear. She may have changed hands several times. She had been bred many times, and her last foal died. Maybe the stress from that loss caused her to severely founder. When SaveTheHorses was called, we were told she wasn't taken care of at the boarding stable. We really don't know what happened to her but we knew she needed help. We couldn't leave her and she laid down more than she stood up because of the pain. Her xrays look terrible but we are following Dr Marcella's advice and trying to keep her comfortable. She's a darn sweet mare. She deserved a change and we are going to give her that chance. 

Friday, October 18, 2013

So Many Horses!

So many horses! 
SaveTheHorses has been so busy with horses, it is hard to find the time to type anything. I forced myself today because I know you all care and love the horses and support what we do...Save Horses!

We recently saved an older horse the owner didn't really want. He went to get two riding horses and was told he had to take the old skinny gelding. He put all three in a pasture but the older guy had special needs, like daily feeding! Even more than once a day, 3 or 4 times would have helped but he really wanted the two other horses who were easy keepers and decided to put the gelding down. A caring neighbor god involved and called SaveTheHorses. We had no room for him so the frantic posting began. It didn't take long to find him a home. People are good, especially people who love horses. 
Bob the gelding

Fearing this old horse would be dead, I went and brought him to the rescue farm for a few days. He was located right near the farm in Cumming, GA. We moved a few horses around so he could start getting the car he needed.  We called him Bob. He really didn't seem to care what we called him as long as he had food and hay in front of him. He is super sweet. 
His new loving home is south of Atlanta and he is now called Gentle Ben. Sometimes we just have to do what is right. Glad we did. It changed his life. It would have been dead by now. 

Cumming, GA

Monday, July 29, 2013

Believe! I do believe.  I believe doing good comes back to you. It is how I have lived my life as long as I can remember. It is the way I run the rescue farm. I know people who plan in great detail but not me, I use my gut feeling, or intuition. 
(Wikipedia gut feeling, or gut reaction, is a visceral emotional reaction to something
I smell the roses, I see the beauty in everything.

Sometimes I am down to my last few donation dollars, have tons of bills to pay and someone hands me a check or donates a car to sell or offers to pay on a feed or vet bill or donates hay. I believe it happens because I did something good; a good deed, a good thought, a word of encouragement.

When bad things happen, I try to understand and learn how to make things better. I was recently trying to help a lady who has many animals and is getting into a better place after living in her car and letting her dogs take over her home. She also has horses. Her animals are not starving but it was hard for her and now it is getting better. She now has a safe home, run ins for her dogs and lovely pasture for her horses. One horse was a stallion, sweet but not handled. She had an older mare who the stallion attacked so gelding was necessary. I see it always as necessary anyway.
Vets planning on how to dart the stallion.

Thursday, two experienced vets, a dart gun, a vet tech and myself finally caught the stud and the gelding procedure went quite uneventful. It was clean and fast. When he started to awaken from the sedation, one vet held the lead rope at his head, the other his tail. He was too unsteady. The vet got him to lay back down. The horse kept trying to get up even as the vet held tightly on to the lead. The horse flailed and rolled around. There were puddles filled with water, guide wires from a  security light, fencing and other dangers around but the vet held on. The horse even crashed into the horse trailer but just had a small cut from the corner of the trailer. The vet had him down on the ground and again, he jumped up, fell into a ditch. slipped again and fell again. When he got up this time, he fell and broke his leg. He had to be euthanized quickly. The owner was screaming, crying and just was inconsolable  We all felt her pain, no one wanted it to end like this.

My gut feeling when we arrived at the lady's farm was this horse was going to die. I surely wasn't going to say that to anyone and tried to get it out of my mind. As I was watching the whole gelding process, I felt surely I was wrong. It went so well. Was this God's way of preparing me for the sad outcome? It was horrible. I have relived it every night as I lay in bed trying to make some sense of it. Every intention was for a good, positive outcome. Why did this happen?

I really needed a good thing to happen. It has been 4 days now. I was still holding onto the sadness and pain. Now it is early Sunday morning and I opened an email about a horse needing a home, one of several I get daily.
Jazzy is blind and needs a loving home

Jazzy is very healthy but only a special person sees the beauty in a disabled horse.

It was a blind mare, owner going to college, parents can't care for to help. The owner loves the mare and wants safety for her. I looked on FaceBook and my dear friend, who loves blind horses was already posting and she is on Central time, earlier then it was here. I told her about the mare and she said 'YES'. It went wonderful, it was easy! It was good. Was it another of God's plans that we both were up early? Was it part of the Universe, the way it should be?  What ever the force , I believe! 

Thank you for believing in SaveTheHorses. 
You are our strength and 
your kindness is our most valuable possession.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Good Bye Lady Jane

Lady Jane has left us. We let her go with dignity. It is the hardest choice to make for any horse. There is no turning back, no changing your mind once you euthanize them. All you have left are the memories and they make your heart feel empty for a long time. 
Sandy put bows on Lady Jane before we let her go to Heaven.
It was nearly a year ago that Lady Jane arrived. Everyone gathered around the trailer to see this majestic beauty. She was a big elegant Percheron mare. Beauty's Haven Equine Rescue (http://www.bhfer.orgin Florida asked if we could take her. She wasn't doing well in the humidity of a Florida summer. She seemed to have some breathing problems. She moved slowly and flared her nostrils. All of the volunteers loved her but Sandy Lehman was totally in love with Lady Jane. She wanted to adopt her but I wanted to make sure Lady Jane was healthy and didn't have any breathing problems like COPD. If she did, Sandy most likely would still adopt her but we would know exactly what she needed to keep her healthy.
Sandy riding Lady in the ring.

As the weather cooled, she started moving better and breathing fine. Sandy started to gently ride her and they both seemed happy to be best friends.

 Sandy started to buy her feed and Lady Jane was never without special treats. Everything seemed perfect.

It was early March when she started laying down. 

We didn't notice a limp for a few days. She was a trooper. The farrier came out to see her, then the vet came out to check out her foot. An abscess is painful but treatable with some work and patience. 
Looking for abscess

More farrier care, more soaking her foot, applying special medications that were sent to cure her. We had radiographs done, dug out infections, cleaned them out to have another place on her hoof start oozing with pus. 
Sandy soaking her foot

Then it would come out above her hoof, more radiographs, more medications, more soaking, more prayers, more hope. All the while we had Lady Jane on anti-inflammatory medication so she would stay comfortable. 
Regional limb perfusion

We did not want to give up. Dr Mary Pat Hill donated her time and expertise to do homeopathic remedies and acupuncture regularly. Sher Kerr volunteered to do Reiki treatments. Everyone sending good thoughts and prayers. We even considered seeing if we could get a prosthetic hoof made for her if we could figure out how to make it work comfortably. We has so many wonderful suggestions for horse lovers everywhere.
Beautiful Lady!
Now 4 months and $3000 later, we could not win this battle against the infection. Lady Jane was put to rest in the big pasture, covered with her new blanket and lovely roses placed at her head. 
Sandy is going to pay Lady Jane's medical bills. Though she never adopted Lady Jane on paper, she surely adopted her with her heart and soul. 

 We question every decision, every treatment. We so wanted a better ending and not now but years from now. Sandy was here every day, many days for hours. I sang to Lady Jane every evening. I would do my night time barn check and sing, 'Lady, when you're with me, I'm smiling'. Now I am crying. 

We will always miss Lady Jane. The emptiness will start to fade away but right now it hurts so much. It is heavy on our minds.

Then one of our little volunteers, Sydney, sent this picture. She says this is Lady Jane running after crossing the Rainbow Bridge and we smile.  

I am sure she is right! Run on Lady Jane! 

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and visit our website www.SaveTheHorses.org 

Friday, June 28, 2013

This Ace Almost Lost The Game of Life!

What happens to a horse to look like this? 
Did someone forget to feed him? Did he refuse to eat? 
Did he want to die? 

Ace on arrival at SaveTheHorses.org/ His back legs were covered with dried manure.

I don't have the answer. I know the story the owner told but what was the truth, I have no answer. What mattered was he get to the rescue farm, and we start him on a good refeeding program. He is a big boy but was a skeleton covered with dirty, smelly white skin and his manure was all caked down his back legs. He was so thin, the manure didn't fall away from his body like a normal horse, it fell out and stuck to his legs. When he came off the trailer, we decided to give him a bath right away. We usually wait but he legs were getting scalded from the crud stuck to him for so long.

He is getting cooled off daily now to keep his temp down and appetite up. 

Ace is slowly gaining weight. His appetite is better when he is cool. Early mornings he really eats well. By hotter afternoons, he eats and leaves some food. He seemed to have a virus too. That ran it's course but yesterday he had a  mucus running out of his nose. Today he seems normal. We have never seen him sweat. Vegetarian animals need to sweat to cool off. Ace had a condition called Anhydrosis. He is on a medication for it but beer, yes beer, may help him as well. He is one of the sweetest horses we have ever had. Making him healthy and happy is our goal for Ace. This Ace almost lost the game of life. He couldn't have survived must longer in his condition. We really do not have extra room to keep him here but another Georgia Rescue does. 

He is going to Sunkissed Acres Rescue to retire soon but we wanted to make sure he was healthy enough to travel. He fell in the trailer on the way here so he needs to be balanced and strong enough to make the trip to Summerville, GA. 

Thank you for caring.
We need your compassion and support to continue to help horses like Ace who through no fault of their own end up starving or dead because no one was there to help. 

Donate Now     www.SaveTheHorses.org

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Wild Horse, Wild Heart!

Animal Control picks up more than stray dogs and cats. Hall County AC in Gainesville, GA had a horse that they picked up that they considered dangerous. They planned on euthanzing her. She could not just go to someone who had little horse experience, for sure. I understand their dilemma. It seemed the only alternative. This mare was a Mustang. She was wild. She was captured by our government agency, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) who is supposed to be taking care of public lands. She had freedom since birth and lived in a herd as wild horses do. It is a symbol of the Wild West. 
A lone mustang who escaped the helicopters watches a Bureau of Land Management roundup in the Stone Cabin Valley in Nevada during the winter of 2012. (Dave Philipps)
How does a Mustang from the freedom of the Western United 
States end up Georgia Animal Control?
They get rounded up with helicopters and forced into small holding pens. They are not seeing humans as friends at all. 
Watch the video and see for yourself. You tax dollars at work.

I can only imagine the journey of Ellie Mae. She is a 1996 Mustang captured in Nevada, sold by the BLM and on a long road to dead ends until SaveTheHorses.org stepped in. 
Ellie Mae's brand shows her information  from BLM

When I first met Ellie Mae, she was in a stall at Chickopee Woods, a holding place for horses picked up by animal control. The officer explained why they considered euthanizing her. They had to get her off the road and wild horses are not cooperative like a domestic horse. You can't walk up to her, offer her a carrot and she come willingly. I am sure it was a 'rodeo' of sorts. I can see the danger of that capture, adrenalin rushing the horse and humans alike. Ellie Mae saw the capture again and resisted like her life depended on it.

 As we approached the stall, Ellie Mae became wide eyed and immediately stepped to the back of the stall to get away from her enemy, the human. To me it wasn't dangerous gesture, just a fear movement. That was October 2010.  We agreed to take her and keep her safe. We spent many hours patiently working with her. We were able to touch her but her heart was wild. She only wanted freedom. Why should we take that away from her? Why should we enslave this wild heart? 

If we had a sanctuary, we would keep her til death do us part, but keep her takes up room for another needy horse. For nearly 3 years, as she stayed safe with us, we tried to find a place out West to release her. Many calls and leads led nowhere. Then space in a  Sanctuary for wild animals became available. We already knew the great work they do. We visited our two adopted miniature horses they adopted for their petting zoo. It is called Tigers For Tomorrow. 

Sounds like a scary place to take a horse? Rest assured, they do not feed the horses to the tigers. It was my thought, too so we personally checked it out first! They care for every animal on the sanctuary with love. They had a pasture they were fencing and what better way to educate the public than with Wild Horses!

Ellie Mae and Ella enjoying their new home. 
The pasture at Tigers for Tomorrow was finally fenced. We recently took in another Mustang, Ella, from Trinity Equine Rescue. Ella is a little more domesticated then Ellie Mae. I put a halter on Ella and loaded her on the trailer. We coaxed Ellie Mae on the trailer by walking behind her and leaving her a way to get away from humans...that was the trailer. When she hopped on and I closed the door, a lump filled my throat and tears swelled in my eyes. I was so happy for her but so sad for me and for all the volunteers who knew and loved Ellie Mae. It is best for this wild hearted mare, she has freedom. It isn't the thousands of acres she once knew long ago but it is freedom. 

You are all welcome to visit our Mustangs and all the other wild animals at Tigers For Tomorrow located in Alabama. Meet the tigers, lions, bears and wolves who were bought as pets or had horrible lives in backyard zoos. 
Sue Steffens having a conversation with one of her beloved bears. 

Every animal in rescue has a story. Some are very brutal. Ellie Mae now has a good story. The past fear is in her heart but the past cruelty is gone forever. 

Thank you all for your compassion and continued support! 

At the top of our wish list is a 100 acre plus sanctuary so abused horses can live their lives in peace. Until then, we continue to help all the horses we can in every way we can. You are the biggest part of our wish list. You keep us going every day.