Category Archives: Horse Stories

HORSE STORIES and an UPDATE on the Starved Colt.






I can look at the amount of visits per post and it seems that Horse Stories are one of the most popular topics!  So, today I am going to tell a few of my own and then post others that made me smile.

First though, I wanted to give an update on the starved foal who was rescued by BHFHR on Saturday eve.  Here are a few photos.  He has a bad coat, is very skinny, his hocks are swollen, he has horrible rain rot and his belly wormy.  But, they are working around the clock to help him.  I’ll keep you posted.  To keep up to date or help, go to the website.

HEART IN THROAT
I had a few guys helping unload a large flatbed of hay.  The truck was backed up almost to the hay barn.  As usual, the guys have a system for unloading hay.  First they create a hay bale bridge from the truck to the hay barn.  Then, they stack the hay into the barn kinda like Leggos.  You see a stair-step pattern off of the truck and a stair-step pattern into the barn.

Well, on that day last Summer, it was too hot to continue so the boys came in for a cool drink.  I knew my Icy and my TWH filly were roaming loose.  But, I didn’t worry because they were grazing far away on fresh, green grass.  Famous last words…
As I walked outside to see the progress on the stacks, I noticed the Icy IN THE BACK OF THE TRUCK on the bale Leggo structure.  She was totally on the top of the pile, teetering.  I froze.  Where was the other one?!  I told myself to breathe deeply and stay calm.  OK, where is the other one????

I see her, on top of the Leggo mountain in the hay barn.  She was 20 feet up inside the barn.  They must have gotten onto the hay bridge, I’m sure egging each other onward,  and then each picked a different direction.  So here I had my Icy teetering in the back of the flatbed and my TWH filly standing on loose bales near the roof of the hay barn.  If either of them got scared, broken legs were sure to follow.

So, I gently approached, cooing as best I could.  “Awww, aren’t you smarty girls, getting into the hay… Are you having fun?  Wanna come down?  I have some treats… Be careful now, no rush…”  My heart was in my throat.

You see, they didn’t know they were in a pickle.  So, both of them just bounced down and out, as if they weren’t 20 feet in the air, surrounded by holes and loose hay.  Unbelievable.
Above is a pic of my TWH filly.  Can’t you just hear her, “What??!”

BUCKET GIRL

This is why I never use plastic buckets/bowls to feed anymore.   One night, I heard a horrible banging down at the barn.  Boooom bangity bang!  Bang booomer bang!
I was trying to stay asleep but no, it was really violent and I figured someone was trying to get my attention.

I put on my robe and boots (a good look for me) and went to the barn. There, looking really sheepish, was one of my Morgan mares.  “Uh, I don’t really know how this happened, but could you please remove this bucket from my ankle?”  The plastic was ripped and sharp, right around her arteries.  I told myself that she had probably been that way for hours and I needed to calm down. Luckily, she held her foot up and waited patiently for me to fix it.  (Pictured is Gwen, my bucket girl.)

DITCHED
Once, when I had my horses boarded, Damien decided to maneuver the fence to get to the much better grass on the other side.  Unfortunately, he got caught up in the wire and ended up on his back in a ditch, stuck, with one foot attached to the fence.  Like the smart boy I didn’t know he was, he just laid there for hours.  I found out from a neighbor that when the boarding facility found him, he just nickered, let them pour water in his upside-down mouth and waited for them to release him. Atta boy!

STORIES FROM OTHERS!  I found these on the internet and thought I’d share…

QUIT BUGGIN’
Every Sunday, I ride for 3 and a half hours. In Central New Brunswick on the best horses you could ever wish for. No kidding its true, but there is one in particular that I love the most. His name is Ebony Frostbite. Frosty (as we call him) is a registered Quarter Pony with the attitude of a 15 hand Arabian stallion, but yet… he has one weakness. BUGS! He gets an allergic reaction to bug bites and they puff up and are super irritating. To him it is the most annoying thing in the world. He kicks, bites, itches and rolls. Anything to itch those bites. These horses have run-out pastures. They can go outside at will whenever they like. Frosty realized this and also realized the bugs could also go in and out at will so he decided… “Why don’t I CLOSE the door” so he slams the door in everybody’s face and then backs up and puts his rump against it so it stays permanently closed. The woman who owns Frosty went outside so she could drop his hay by his usual feeding spot. She had opened his door, and when she came to close the door Frosty gave her a look of deepest disgust and smashed the door in her face. She told me it really meant, “Haven;t I told you a MILLION times to close the door when you leave??? The bugs will get in!!!” So in courtesy for Frosty everytime we open his closed door we close it when we’re done. We don’t want to be told off by a stubborn pony again. – Victoria Blair

FABRIC SOFTENER HEADRUSH
I’ve seen horses do alot of things, but a friend’s mare is one of the strangest. My friend would let her mare graze in the yard, when Shelby (the mare) would hear the clothes dryer come on, she would scurry to the dryer vent and inhale the hot air … we never could figure out if she liked the smell … ie Bounce Dryer Sheets, mountain fresh scent… or the hot air… (the air was already hot.. it was 95 degrees) .. or if she just was a silly mare. As long as the dryer was running, you knew exactly where to find her. – Karen Sue Taylor

HORSEY SENSE OF HUMOR
We had 3 horses at home in 1999 and one of them was a 2 year old Thoroughbred we called Lil buddy. His registered name was The Charminator because he charmed everyone he met. One afternoon my husband and I went to groom and ride our horses. We were grooming in the run in shed, my husband and his horse on the outside of the gate and me on the inside with my horse….and Lil Buddy. Lil Buddy was nuzzling my tshirt while I was grooming my horse and rubbing my back. I bent over to clean my horses hooves and Lil Buddy kept rubbing my back, pushed through my waistband and pulled up my underwear GIVING ME A WEDGIE! We laughed so hard I almost fell down until I looked at all 3 horses faces and they were all grinning! I never saw a horse actually grin before that day. -Bonnie Gerdes

WON’T CROSS WATER BUT WILL SWIM FOR CHICKS
My horse is possibly the Harry Houidini of the horse world .One day as I was cleaning stalls I went outside to dump my wheelbarrow full of you know what and I saw him he was swimming across the lake that partly encloses his pasture. To understand why he did this you have to understand two things: one, across from his pasture was where we kept my two mares and two, he is a pride cut gelding who thinks he is a stud.Woopsy. As he proceeded to get out of the water and shake off I stood like an idiot with my mouth open I mean this is my gelding that barely crosses creeks much less swims lakes suprise suprise. Then as I was standing there he ran up to the mares and started chasing the mares from one end of the pasture to the pasture to the other. I quickly regained my senses and caught him but to this day I can’t put him in the pasture, nor will he cross a creek. -kamie harrell

WHAT DID HE DO, NOW??

We own Peck’s Bad Horse. Chaos is his middle name. “Rat ‘Chaos’ Friedman”. I’ve been in my truck driving to the barn and met him coming down the road in the opposite direction. He’s spent days removing all of the bolts from the gutter on the shedrow barn at one farm. I’ve gotten daily calls from one farm manager that always started with, “You have GOT to get over here and see what your horse is doing!” He’s taken apart a western saddle and buried the pieces in the sand footing of the arena before he was caught. He’s found a whip and gotten the rest of the horses running in circles until they were exhausted. He’s spent an hour or so working his way into the middle of a coil of rusty barbed wire and backing out again, over and over and over . . .

Most recently he developed a grudge against a horse in the neighboring paddock. During the night (his most creative time) he took down the fence between them, crossed it, beat the bejeezus out of his erstwhile enemy, then quietly crossed back into his own paddock, where he was found grazing peacefully the next morning. All in a night’s work for our boy.

I’ve got a rider on my insurance policy that names him specifically with a disclaimer for whatever he might do that we haven’t thought of a way to prevent.

I could go on, but I get nervous when I think for too long about what he might be doing while I’m typing. I’ve just started sleeping through the night again since my daughter moved him a state away. Most folks dread the midnight phone call because they fear for the health of elderly relatives and errant children. I jump out of bed and start pulling my boots on before I’ve got the phone off the cradle because I know I’m going to hear, “Wait’ll you see what he’s done this time!”

And he’s only one of seven. Is it any wonder I tend to hunker in the corner humming show tunes and making farm animals out of duct tape and baling twine?
__________________
Joanne M. Friedman

THOSE are a few horse stories to enjoy!  Do you have any?


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Oy. Sometimes You Just Get Emotional. Any Helpers Out there?






I have to say that I am very careful about these kinds of posts because I don’t want to become a rescue blog.  I’m not saying I’m not all for it —  I am.

So, standing on the shoulders of my byline, “Exploring the bond between equines and their people”, I’m going to post about an equine that needs people.  Now, there are many, many horses out there that need help, but babies and skinny, pregnant mares seem to really tug at my heart.  Well, they ALL tug at my heart…

I was sitting here on Saturday morning, musing about my topic for Sunday when this came into my mailbox.  Oy.  Another starved baby on Craigslist.  The sad part is the owners think the foal is just fine and want $100 for his purchase.  Luckily, a wonderful rescue in that area, Beauty’s Haven Farm and Equine Rescue, is going out to get him today.  As of right now, I have no idea if they will get there in time…  If you want to watch the progress of this rescue, you can go to the BHFER  website for updates.  Or check in with this Forum (you might have to sign up… if so, look for the header, “BHFER: Starved baby needs help” under HORSE RESCUE ISSUES) that is taking donations and keeping everyone abreast of the situation up to the minute.  It will take many man hours, man power and special care to nurse this baby back to health.  If you feel the desire to donate, I do know that BHFER is a  501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization so the donation is tax deductible.

So, if this moves you, please go to either of the sites above to watch this story unfold or to  help with his, we hope, rehabilitation.

HOW DO YOU RE-FEED A STARVED HORSE?   Did you know that you cannot just give them a bunch of grain and hay?  There is a method to re-feeding a starved horse.

WHAT VETS SAY (I have two vet links highlighted here)

.  Most vets recommends this:

“The best approach to re-feeding a starved horse is to give frequent (every 4 hours) meals of high-quality alfalfa hay,” Stull says.

One pound or about one-sixth of a flake at each meal will provide a good source of protein to begin rebuilding the body. Because alfalfa is high in calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, it helps provide electrolytes that reduce the risk for catastrophic system failure.

This diet should be maintained for 10 days, though the amount of alfalfa can be increased (up to four pounds) and the number of feedings decreased (to three) for Days 4 through 10.

After 10 days the horse can be fed as much alfalfa as it will eat in two feedings, and it should be allowed access to a salt or electrolyte mix. Feeding grain or other supplements should be avoided until the horse is well on its way to recovery, which can take 60 to 90 days.

THRIVE

I’m going to tell you about his incredible feed for starved horses.  I’m not saying the vets aren’t right, I’m just saying that this works great, too!  This is an easy to digest, complete feed for horses in general —  but for starved horses in particular.  So, you will know if you ever come upon a starvation case…

I first heard about this feed when I was watching a starved horse story on one of the rescue boards.  Then, I saw THRIVE pop up several more times on other starvation cases.  What really got me is that the manufacturer of this feed, DALE MOULTON went above and beyond the call of duty.  I know he traveled the feed himself to destinations where the starved horses were being rehabilitated.  He would do whatever he could to get the feed to the horses!  I remember that he once met the rescuers half way between a far away starved horse and the Thrive distribution center in Texas.  I was amazed!  He won my heart after that!  But, not just on his grace, on the success of the feed.

One Thrive starvation story that I will site here is the case of “Dolly”.  When she came into Rainbow Meadows, she couldn’t even stand up.  The rescuers picked her up, loaded her into the trailer while she was laying down, drove her for 3 hours and tended to her like a Faberge Egg.  (This was Oct 31st pictured.)  I can remember how the first five days were touch and go as they waited for the Thrive to get to them.  (Pictured as Nov. 1st.)  As you can see by the pictures (third pic is Dolly on Nov 25th), Dolly thrived (last pic was Jan ’10)!

Here is an excerpt from the Rainbow Meadow website regarding Dolly:  “Dolly came to Rainbow Meadows in the most dire condition of any horse to arrive here. Saved by two wonderful volunteers, who trailered her in from Missouri, Dolly had almost nothing left in her. So thin and so weak, she couldn’t even stand for the three-hour trailer ride to the rescue. For the first days, she spent much of her time lying down, and could only rise when given the assistance of being hoisted up with a tractor. But by less than two weeks later, she was already trotting, gaining weight and healing from her wounds caused by her struggling as she laid in the trailer for transport. Her recovery will be a long one, but she has already proven that she has a true zest for life and Rainbow Meadows is doing everything it can to give her the chance she deserves!”

So, in conclusion, this post holds a few stories of man helping equine.  I sure hope this little nameless starved Craigslist colt will have the same happy ending as Dolly.

Thanks for reading this…


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