Our Bucket Fund this month is for the 60 starved TBs who were living among carcasses and barely alive themselves. These poor horses were rescued by Louisiana Horse Rescue Association and called, THE MANY, because they came from a town called Many.
If you missed the original story, please click here.
All of the mares aborted their foals except one. And miracle of miracles, that mare was able to deliver an early, but stable filly yesterday! She was immediately named, Jewel.
Yes, there are issues. The baby is premature. Mom had no milk the first 24 hours. Baby has some deformities due to malnutrition. Several vets, techs and volunteers have been running around gathering everything this baby needs and tending to her while the milk situation was assessed. But, after a stressful first day, Jewel’s prognosis is very good. She has a bit of a road in front of her, but she is surrounded by help and love.
What a miracle for this haggard and sorry group of horribly neglected and traumatized horses!
Let’s hear the story from Sunny, the Spokesperson and one of the ‘in the trenches’ backbones of LHRA…
Here’s a little background on Baby Jewel.
The mare pasture on Charles Ford’s farm in Many was the saddest place I have ever been. There were bones scattered about – some clearly had been there a long time, others very new. There were two carcasses in the field, about twenty head of mares (two turned out to be geldings). A couple of horses laid down colicking as we were there – two were euthanized onsite. There were fresh graves in the back, and further down into the creek, where I did not go, there was reportedly a dumping ground for more. The most heartbreaking thing we saw was a newly aborted fetus. It was chestnut with three long white stockings and a fluffy white tail. The rest you could not make out – the vultures had done their job, but the tiny little legs and that stark white tail were flawless, and the thought of them brings tears to my eyes now. There was another aborted fetus -a week or two older, just a pile of bones by this time. The mares, so starved and weak, had aborted their babies around that field. All but one mare.
It was rumored that some of the horses in the herd were jointy owned and so it was important for us to identify the mares. As we identified the vets examined each one, and palpated those they thought may be in foal. At the end of the very long weekend, only one mare was pronounced in foal. With so much uncertainty around the horse’s general health, it was decided the mares would go to a quarantine pasture in Alexandria. This mare so close to foaling though would need close supervision. She was transported to a large mare care farm in Folsom, where she could be watched night and day. She turns out to be the only mare we have not been able to identify. This mare is bay with a white sock on her right hind and white star. She does not have a lip tattoo but she’s clearly a Thoroughbred. We have no idea who the sire is.
Late last night ‘Unknown Bay Mare’ delivered her foal. She did so on a gorgeous clear night, quietly observed by the staff at the farm. She was brought into a beautiful foaling stall full of clean straw, and given plenty of hay and fresh water. The foal weighed about forty pounds, less than half the size of a normal TB foal. The farm manager named her ‘Jewel’ immediately. Jewel took about three hours to stand on her own, and was ready to nurse within five hours (slow progress). Her dam, although a good mother, did not produce milk at first, depriving Jewel of vital nutrients. The farm acted quickly and Jewel was tube fed for that first night and all day Wednesday. By Wednesday afternoon the mare’s milk had begun to come in and Jewel was ready to receive it. When I visited at three o’clock today she had a bit of a tummy ache, was wearing a pink doggie blanket donated by the farm manager’s daughter, and had stolen everyone’s heart. Jewel’s prognosis is good, although she’s not completely out of the woods. She has a hind limb deformity caused by malnutrition – we saw it in some of the yearlings. The hind fetlock is enlarged and pushed forward. With proper nutrition from this point forward it could improve. She is able to walk normally and other than being tiny is absolutely gorgeous.
Baby Jewel’s medical needs, along with the three yearlings that survived (three of seven), are mounting. She may require specialized treatment to correct her hind fetlock. She will continue to be tube fed to supplement her dam’s milk until the vet says otherwise. She is going through straw, man hours, and vet care faster than a full grown horse!!
JEWEL’S FIRST VIDEO!
As an aside, the man in these photos and the below video is Sunny’s hubby. He isn’t much of a horse guy but has totally fallen in love with Jewel, as you can see… Very sweet. Click here or on the image below to watch the very short video.
Out of the ashes comes this little baby who must have been very strong to live through what no other baby on that farm could.
Let’s help with this baby (supplemental formulas and milk, meds, treatment of her legs, treatment for dam) and the remaining mares and gelding who are in rehab/re-feeding via LHRA!
Hooray for Jewel and the heroes of THE MANY! Let’s continue to help these mares, the two geldings and this baby through our Bucket Fund!
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE DONATION THERMOMETER RISE!
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.