Thursday, October 11, 2012

Horses, Horses, Horses in Need!

Jake ~ Arabian horse weighting 752 pound

I take a deep breath, turn on the computer and get ready for a conflict. Not a day goes by that that phone calls and emails come in begging for help to save a horse. The conflict is how I can help without actually taking the horse myself. I read on...This horse is at animal control and will be euthanized if rescue not found. Another horse has nowhere to go because owner lost farm and will be foreclosed on in 5 days. Oh, how I wish this owner planned for their horse welfare before it got this close to the eviction. Then a young  untrained horse is placed on Craigslist. The owner just doesn't care about the horse any more and  is giving away to the first person who shows up. That could mean kill buyer. Free horses can be sold for a per pound price for meat. How many colts, healthy and unhandled because they have not been gelded are being given away every day. A person acquires an ungelded horse, hoping they can make money with a stud by breeding. The horse is not quality breeding stock, nor does this owner have experience with a stud horse because it is nature who makes this horse react badly. It is a stallion. The owner realizes he can't profit so the horse is placed Free. That means a certain danger of slaughter. This free horse will cost $200-300. just to have him gelded. Then training starts.  More money! Instead he is sold per pound for meat for human consumption. 

Some of these horses are out of state. Many are at big auctions where they are brought in and caring horse lovers bid to save them.  They surely are in danger of slaughter. That is really another costly problem. Gas prices are skyrocketing, that means transport costs and health certificates across state lines are an added expense  Getting the lowest bid to transport could actually cost the horse to become ill or even die because an inexperienced hauler may not stop to rest or give the horse adequate care along the route. There are starving, needy horses in my area. It is just heartbreaking to read these stories day in and day out.

SaveTheHorses if full! We have 'time-share' stalls now. With winter coming, more horses will need to be in stalls. I will help the next horse by blasting out the information and finding a home or at least foster home. 
Jake when he arrived

Then, I read another email about an Arabian that was losing weight. The email said he was 6 years old and was ride able. I told myself, we will help find him a home. He is 6 years old, we can surely find someone who would love a young Arabian gelding who just needs some weight on him. He is sound. When the next email came with pictures, I thought  the words 'losing weight' was far from what was wrong. He was going to die soon if I didn't bring him here now. He needs several small feedings a day to get him up to weight and health. I made arrangements to pick him up and met with the owner. He told me Jake has always been fat on grass in the past. They had a beautiful home, beautiful pasture and a skinny horse. Then he told me Jake is 26 years old. 

Very underweight
Now the story made a little more sense. Jake needs grain. He can't eat grass, his teeth are bad. He can't even eat hay unless it is chopped hay. I don't know why the owner waited until Jake was so thin. They said they dewormed him. I was also given a bag of Triple Crown Senior just purchased to give Jake. Jake loved it so we put some in a bucket for the trailer ride back to the rescue. It was a 30 minute ride. I parked and walked back to the trailer to open the door and get Jake out. He was peering out looking at where he was. He gobbled the Senior food so fast he choked. His food was coming through his nose. He could not get the food down. It was stuck in his throat. Dr Duvall Mohoney was at the barn in a short time. Two hours later, and a mess all over the ground, it was nearly cleared up but it was time to stop and not stress him any more. She had to slowly insert a tube into his nose and slowly work it down to the blockage. He had a quiet night. Dr Duvall Mohoney came back in the morning and the tube went all the way down to his stomach. That meant it was cleared, no more choking. Now we are careful to give him small portions of wet food and chopped hay. Jake really needs a sponsor until we find a him a permanent home. We are not a sanctuary (though we hope to have a sanctuary some day) but we keep horses as long as we have to. We do not euthanize for space. We are totally funded by donations, no government funding. We use the space wisely and do everything we have to to keep the horses healthy and safe. 

Jake with Todd
It seems we have more questions than answers. Why didn't Jake's owners call a veterinarian or ask someone who may have horses for suggestions, I don't know. It does not matter now but it made me come to the conclusion that horse owner need more education. 

We are planning on classes for horse owners and non owners, anyone interested.  Please let us know your ideas, interests, what you think is needed most. You all have supported Save The Horses in every way. Please help us again as the horse lovers you are and let's make more horse owners more knowledgeable. We need to hear from you. 

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1 comment:

Leigh said...

I would love love love a class so I can learn more. I grew up riding but have only owned my horses for a few years after they were "dumped" on me by my neighbor. I learn something everyday and have friends I can call but I would really like a class where I can learn about day to day caring for them. I think I do a good job but it wouldn't hurt. I live in Northwest GA-so driving to Cumming isn't easy due to my schedule. Hence, why I haven't ever visited. Thank you for all you do-owning 2 horses is a lot of work so I can only imagine how much work goes on there.