Sunday, April 11, 2010

Meet Buttermilk or?!

So far we have called her Buttermilk, Buttercup and Ms Trigger. We'll see what sticks. This week, I brought in a sweet 3 y o Palomino mare that was scared to death of the man who had her. She just trembled when I moved a finger. She has come around very well in a few days. She needs some ground work. She enjoys being groomed and is learning that humans can be nice.

Monday, April 5, 2010

How we found Hail Mary!

We got a frantic call late afternoon of February 18th, 2009 A lady was driving by a pasture where she saw a skinny horse a week before. She called the Dept of Ag last week to report what she saw. The lady was actually a state equine inspector a few years back. Yesterday when she went by, the horse was down (lying down) and the weather was getting bad. Another lady driving by saw the horse down and the distressed looking lady over the horse she too stopped. They both made phone calls looking for help, someone called me and the ball started rolling. I called Animal Control, the Marshall and then got a call from the Department of Ag asking if I could help. I told her we were on our way. She asked if we had a sling. I said 'no' but I have people. My volunteers have made make shift slings with lead ropes, girths, saddle pads or whatever we have around and we, together, are a good team. We have gotten horses that are down up more times then I can count! Some older horses just need a boost then they can walk. Sometimes it is just old age with wear and tear, sometimes it is injured, sometimes it is weakness but no matter the reason, we can do it. The very experienced volunteers did what we had to do. We arrived just before dark. There were several people on the scene. Lights flashing, passers-by curiously watching. Someone said they just heard over their police radio that a tornado may be forming in the part of Cherokee county. The wind was blowing, hail was coming down and the tornado sirens were blowing right across the road, loud and clear.
Someone told us we could leave if we don't want to get her because the owner was willing to shoot her right there. We were there to save this horse, not let her die like that.
My team was focused on getting the horse, not any weather problems. We were going to get this horse or die trying. We really believe that doing good will come back to us so none of us was worried at all about any tornado or being pelted by hail. We cared about the horse. We got our ropes and equipment. Then we gathered and put everything in place around the horses body. After a few tries, getting the horse in the right position, we all pulled at 1-2-3! Yea, the horse was up, everyone stayed beside her weak trembling body and slowly walked her toward the gate. It was locked. No one had a key so we hammered the gate chain and open her way to the trailer. She walked right on and three of the volunteers stayed in the trailer in case she went down. It was about 15 miles and the trip went well. She knew how to back off but she was trembling, mostly from being cold and being down so long. We got a stall ready, Put a heat lamp in the stall and towel drying her, she was a happy tired mare. She had some warm mash, good hay and then we took care of ourselves. We were soaked and cold from head to toe. It was really funny seeing us all walk like penguins because our pants were so cold and wet. I think we will call this mare, HAIL MARY! She made it on a prayer, many prayers!

Hail Mary was wet and cold but by morning the sun warmed her malnourished body.

She hung her head and seemed depressed so everyone spent extra time loving on her. She was depressed and hug her head. She began to eat and enjoy walking around more and more every day. She still would go down and we needed to get her up again. Once up, she stayed up for a few days or more.

She was walking down the driveway a bit fast, she was feeling too good. She lost her balance and fell face first. She struggled to get up but couldn't with out our help. We gathered out ropes, the tractor and some man and woman power and up she went but we all slowly walked her back down to a nice flat area of grass.

It was one step at a time for all of us.

Hail Mary improved but still had trouble getting up but she went down much less frequently. She became the favorite of a very lovely couple, Steve and Linda. They planned to move from their home and buy a farm with a nice barn. They adopted Hail Mary. Our dear Hail Mary passed away before they moved but she died in loving arms.

Some people may think it was a waste of time. We know it was a time of love and care, hope and dreams.