Meet Hershey, the deaf and blind horse who, miraculously, was healed!

The Miracle Worker.

Did you ever see that movie?  Anne Bancroft played Annie Sullivan and a very young Patty Duke playing Helen Keller.

This isn’t a story exactly like that, but sort-of.  Hershey was deaf and blind.

Meet Hershey.

He is a 15′, 24 year old quarter horse.  Gorgeous.  Dark brown with a lovely blaze.  Hershey spent his younger years as a lesson horse.  He is described as incredibly kind and gentle.  He even took his previous owner on trail rides up to her 8th month of pregnancy!  Hershey got along with every other horse she had.  In fact, his previous owner ran all 7 of her horses together and they all loved Hershey.

And then, suddenly, Hershey was struck deaf and blind.  All of a sudden, with no preceding illness or upset, Hershey could no longer see or hear.  He wouldn’t come in when he was called nor did he respond and come in at feeding time as did all the other horses.   Hershey just stood there out in the pasture, not moving. His previous owner was distraught.

So, she contacted The Golden Carrot because she knew that TGC was known for taking in the old, forgotten, dumped aged and otherwise manageable but disabled horses.  It was worth a try…  After all, Hershey was such a good horse, was up to date on all of his shots and was otherwise a healthy gelding… he deserved a home to live out the rest of his life.

At first, when TGC  heard about Hershey, they were reluctant.  Yes, they took in many disabled horses, but they had no experience with blind horses let alone blind AND deaf horses.  And, donations have been down in this bad economy so taking in another without sponsorship was a risk.  After consideration, Casey from TGC declined taking Hershey in, but did offer to help re-home him.

In the ensuing weeks, Casey didn’t have any luck re-homing the deaf and blind Hershey… and she hadn’t heard back from the owner.  Hmmmmm.

A month later, Hershey kept popping into Casey’s mind so she contacted the owner to see how Hershey was doing…  The owner answered the phone and said that Hershey was the same.  She offered to send a photo of Hershey to Casey to help with re-homing him.

Casey got this photo from the owner…  Not good.

The photo Casey received about Hershey's condition...

Heartstrings a tuggin’, Casey immediately agreed to take Hershey.  She guessed it was time to foray into the world of blind and deaf horses!  At least, she thought, with all the older gentle horses at TGC, somebody would hook up with Hershey and be his eyes and ears.

So, Casey met Hershey.  Hmmmmmmmm.

Hershey upon arrival gets a trim. Skinny skinny.

He didn’t seem blind.  He also didn’t seem deaf.  But, he did seem really sickly and really skinny.  Hmmmmm.  This was all very odd.  On a hunch, Casey separated Hershey from  the other horses at TGC, which she would anyway with a new horse, and whaddyaknow… he watched her bring his food, had no trouble finding it, and ate every last speck.  In fact, he ate like a crazy horse. He ate everything.  He ate and ate and ate and ate…

He wasn’t blind or deaf.  He was simply the lowest guy on the ladder rung.  He wasn’t getting enough to eat and he became weak.  He couldn’t fight the other horses for food (and I guess the food wasn’t separated) so he didn’t bother any more.  Hershey just gave up. He was resolved to not eat and just wither away.  He was deaf and blind to the world around him because it had turned on  him.

Oy.  None of that!  “We will make you well!” was Casey’s battle cry!  No wonderful old school horse who has given his life to teaching kids and giving rides to pregnant ladies is going to die such a miserable and lonely starvation death!  Here is a direct quote from Casey:

Rear View after just one month at TGC!

Hershey has no vision or hearing problems – when it’s time for his bucket, he could find me if I was in Afghanistan. He has blossomed with 4-5 buckets a day, spread out over the day. After 5 days, he was looking to join the herd, although still freaked at the numbers facing him. He is slow to heal the little booboos he gets but is tolerant of being treated; he had a little fungus going on in his coat so has had a nice medicinal bath and a soaking with anti-fungal solution has stopped his tail rubbing. He did get some fly eggs laid in his right eye, and under the influence of some mighty drugs, he stood quietly while Dr. Zadick cleaned them out and injected his eye tissue with antibios and steroids. After a few days, he started to be impatient with the daily application of antibio ointment in his eye, so now I have to enlist the help of my neighbor. Once caught, he stands resignedly…. Dr. Z also had me give him another dose of Ivermectin to prevent fly eggs laid in his booboos from burrowing in ….. at this stage, he’s just too frail to fight off the usual stuff.

And, look at Hershey now!

Hershey now! Fit, happy and working his new job!

No longer deaf and blind… Hershey has filled out and is just getting better and stronger with each day!  The herd has assimilated him easily and he eats well with them.  And, he has fallen in love with Savannah.  Wow!  Nothing like good food and a new love to give one a fresh start in life!

Oh, and Hershey has a job!  As a school horse, he reigns SUPREME!  As the number one academic at TGC, Hershey truly is a lovely older gentleman that has lots of life left to bring to the children.  In fact, Casey has used Hershey to help a young girl who was shattered by a horrific horse accident.  Riding Hershey has rebuilt her confidence.  Atta Boy, Hershey, Atta Boy!

I tell this story because I would love for you to support THE GOLDEN CARROT this month.  As you know, TGC is our Bucket Fund Charity for the month of July.

Hershey, the misunderstood horse, saving another little girl from dispair.

Any amount (from $1 to infinity) helps and will be added to the bucket to create a combined donation at the end of the month.  To read more about THE GOLDEN CARROT, here is their website. And, here is the story we wrote about them previously.

Please click the DONATE button and help the wonderful owners and volunteers at The Golden Carrot who take in the old and forgotten horses.  Many of their sweet and forgotten 35 horses need support and sponsorship.  Please consider sponsoring (here is the link to TGC page for all the horses who need sponsoring) or donating here.  Bless The Golden Carrot for doing what most would rather not…

school fundraising ideas

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The Oft Misunderstood Male Horsefly, and other crawly/jumpy barn dwellers by Thomas Shahan…

OK, maybe I’m stretching things a bit to speak about a horse fly.   But I think we, as horse owners, have to put up with them…  so I may as well write about them.

The benign male horsefly...

However, since I try to spin everything in the most positive manner possible, today we are going to wax lyrically about the MALE horsefly only.  The female horsefly isn’t so wonderful.

It is the female who bites.  It is the female who lays the eggs.  It is the female who buzzes around your green horse like a DC-10, sending him into the “OMG that thing is gonna land on meeeeeeee!” hysteria.  Yup. the female of the species is kinda pesky, to put it lightly.  She is the one with all the bad qualities.  She is the one who gives the horsefly its bad reputation.  Luckily, though, there is a particular kind of wasp that delights in fine, fresh female horsefly flesh.  So, at least there is that to think about next time Helga the Horsefly comes a buzzin’…

Vampira, female horsefly, with her slicing mandibles.

Let’s get back to the male.  He is a lovely and somewhat dull creature.  All he does is fly from flower to flower.  Since his body is large, he can spread the good stuff around easily therefore he is a very important part of pollenization — although he might not know this.  .

Amazing Walking Stick Video

Yup, the male just flies around eating nectar and bits of pollen while he unconsciously dumps pollen pieces all about.  He’s your regular, non-invasive kind of insect.  Too bad he has to be associated with the female of his species…

You see, the female is the only one with the scissor chopper front leg things.  Only a female can slice into your skin or your mount’s skin.  She is the relentless, buzzing witch that drives your horse crazy.  But, luckily, her bite is generally not bad for you, it just HURTS.  (Sadly, female horse flies have been known to take down small animals by swarming and sucking…)  Owweeee.   Vampira lives inside the female horsefly but ONLY the female.  And that is my point here…  I mean, I KNOW that I combine all horseflies into my “Get out of here NOW” rant category when one dive bombs me or my horse.  I don’t distinguish gender.  But, I should…

Common jumping barn spider video with macro - cool!

Today, in honor of the misunderstood and maligned male horsefly, I am posting the micro images of these wonderful insects for you to admire.

These incredible photos were taken my my favorite bug photographer, Thomas Shahan.  (Here is a link)  I find myself really drawn to his work.  Really.  I’m astounded by the beautiful color and structure of all the insects he has photographed.  Don’t get me wrong.

anything crawling on me or to find any type of bug in my bed… but when I look at these photos, I get wide-eyed with amazement.  It makes me look at insects a bit differently — if only for the instant before I scream and get the bug relocation contraption I have sitting on my desk.

This is a Robber Fly... I just thought it was pretty so I added it here.

(I put them all back outside with a scolding…)  My point is, if there is a God who created bugs, including horseflies, his brush was very small and his eye was discerning.  Insects, evven the horsefly, are fantastic to view through Shahan’s macrocamera.

And, just for fun, I’ve posted two You Tube movies that Thomas shot using his micro lens.  One is of a small jumping spider and the other is of a Walking Stick bug.  These were fascinating in an oogey way.  I showed them to bugophobic Hubby and he was glued to the computer screen.

So, please humor me this foray into the horsefly and other beautiful bugs.  I appreciate it.

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If you want an update on THE GOLDEN CARROT SANCTUARY July Bucket Fund or to donate, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)

Riding Warehouse
Your purchase with Riding Warehouse through this link helps the Bucket Fund!

Supporting The Bucket Fund through Amazon Smile
Please choose HORSE AND MAN, INC when you shop via Amazon Smile through this link.

HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!