God Bless the Old Ones and the Wonderful people who care for them… Do you agree?

Monday, May 23rd, 2011 | Filed under Uncategorized

I love all the horses, for sure.  But, I have a special place for broodmares, foals and the old ones…


Do you have any old ones around your place?  Many people don’t.

The sad truth is that lots of the old ones end up you know where when they no longer have a function.  This is sad to me because the old ones teach the younger ones.  Really, they do.

I cannot tell you how many times Tess (22) has settled the herd.  Aladdin, who 21 when he passed, uncled all the youngsters and spread a calm in the valley.  Dodger, 20, now speaks English.  I swear he understands everything I say and then translates it for the others.

For me, there is a lot to be said for the older, been there done that horses.  They are solid citizens and wise.


Some wonderful rescue people also have a special love for the old ones and create rescue facilities for only the aged horse.

And, thank goodness that they do because most rescues don’t take the geriatric horse.  Why?  Because older horses could potentially cost more to upkeep as their health declines and because there is a very low adoption rate.  Most elderly equines become sanctuary horses – they are not adoptable.

For me, sponsoring an older horse is a great way to help a horse without having to keep him in your backyard.  And, the older guys are one of the last category of horse to be helped.


The Golden Carrot takes on ONLY the older horse.  TGC gives all of them their meds, tends to them daily and knows each one of them very, very well.


Some of the old ones, hanging out (or rolling) together at The Golden Carrot.


If you go the Golden Carrot’s website, you can find all the horses with their stories, pics and sponsor status.  Casey, the owner of TGC, spends so much time with each one of these horses, she writes about them as if they were her roommates.  She knows all of their quirks and who they pal around with on a daily basis.  Those special details help me know how much she cares about them.

You can sponsor a horse for a month, a few months, a year, or forever.  (To view all the horses that need sponsorship, click here.)


These expressions are priceless! And look how healthy! (Check out the photobombing dog...!)



I chose to write today about a few geriatric horses from THE GOLDEN CARROT who need sponsors.  Old horses without sponsors are very sad to me.  And what is even more sad, these horses were dropped off with an empty promise to support or abandoned – left to fend for themselves (if you can fathom that…).

1)  QUEENIE   (Age: Unknown, 14′ white appy mare)

Queenie, abandoned

In Casey’s own words:

Queenie is a little Appy pony who was abandoned, either at Norco feed store, or the Norco Animal Shelter, and left to her fate. The Norco Animal Shelter had her for a year or two, but as she is a senior animal, had trouble placing her.

Queenie seems to think that even the tiniest touch on her nose is a cue to rear. I don’t get a frightened or angry hit off it – I swear I think someone trained her to do it. I can’t get a look at her teeth, and suspect they couldn’t at the animal shelter either. So, the first order of business with Queenie is to get her to accept a touch on her nose; then we’ll work on moving her lips so I can see her teeth. I’ll update this site with a better idea of her age when that happens. However, she is VERY willing to take a treat off your hand – the touch has to be hers apparently – and eats with a hearty appetite. She appears to be completely sound – what a waste of a good pony! Right now, although she and Happy are friends having come from the same facility, she is definitely in Ronan’s eye – and they DO make a cute couple.

Wise old gal...


2)  SARGE  (1970 Chestnut QH gelding)

Sarge, left in a riverbed

In Casey’s own words:

Sarge, formerly known as “Haas” at Heavenly Horse Haven, came to TGC as part of my recent work with HHH. Gina, at HHH, does adopt horses out, so when a horse like Sarge comes along, in his 30s and with a swayback making him hard to place, Gina talks me into taking him, so she can have a space for a younger more adoptable horse.

Sarge came to HHH through Animal Services, who were called to find Sarge abandoned to die, without food or water, in the Norco Riverbed; I can never understand the callousness of people. Now, during his time at HHH, Gina discovered that Sarge may have been a charro rodeo horse, of all things! She reported that when she tapped on the back of his fetlocks (to get him to lift his foot), instead he moved his front feet further and further forward, assuming a position like a dog at play with his butt in the area and his chest almost on the ground! This is used in charro rodeos to make it easy for a rider to mount, and then Sarge had to lever his own body mass AND a rider up! Unbelievable… except for this – look at Sarge’s butt – note the excessive muscular development right at the base of his spine! (looks like butt pads!) Poor old guy – my words to people who need this are – get a life, and a mounting block!

I love this! Sarge is stealing out of the hay cart - and knows he's been caught!


3)  ROCKY  (aka Freebe’s Lad, Jockey’s Club Reg No: 9321248, Foaled in April 20, 1993, 16.2 hh Thoroughbred gelding)

When Rocky first arrived

In Casey’s own words:

Rocky was “rescued” by a woman in the high desert, when her neighbors indicated their intent to abandon Rocky in the desert (apparently an epidemic of such abandonments is occurring in the hi desert).

His mismatched feet and the corrective shoeing

If you can send support for this huge, and badly starved horse, please join his sponsors below and donate what you can. I’ve got to bring him back asap, as the winters in Anza are very bitter and he just doesn’t have one bit of flesh and fat to protect him….

Here’s (a photo of) Rocky’s front feet. You can see the difference in size, and the smaller left one is flat on the inside, causing his foot to collapse to the inside, and causing a lot of strain on the ligaments and tendons and his knee. On the right, you can see that foot with his new aluminum shoe. We hope his foot will grow “into” that shoe. On October 19, he got a new set of shoes and there was a LOT less shoe showing, so his feet are growing well. I plan to try lunging Rocky in the next week or so, to assess his level of training at least where groundwork is concerned. He’s got loads of energy now.

Rocky is in love with Surely.

Rocky now with his girlfriend, Surely

4)  SURELY  (1992? 15’2, QH mare)

In Casey’s own words:

This beautiful QH mare was the next horse to be loaded on a truck bound for Mexico, but the truck was full. And before the next truck arrived, Shirley Puga arrived and saved this mare and 24 others. Shirley contacted me for help placing the horses, and I told her if she had an older horse, or disabled one, I would take it. I was delighted when I saw that Surely has 4 white socks (Bobby Sox and Prophet, two of my favorites, both did).

Surely, just about to head to Mexico

Poor Surely. She was deeply exhausted when she arrived after an 18 hour trailer ride from Central California. That was only a day after she rode from the Nevada feed lot to the Central California Coast. And of course that was back to back with 10 days at that lot, competing with many other horses for food, who knows how long a stay at auction; and all the confusion and uncertainty of the horse cast off by their family. She was fat, muscular and healthy looking in appearance, but had a little nasal discharge on arrival. It took another 10 days to turn into a life threatening strep/drylands distemper situation.

Drylands Distemper - ugh.

Look at that moustache!  I swear it’s only on that left side – I thought at first she might have one on the other side, and someone cut it off, but no. She has just the one whisker. It’s adorable, I think.

The moustache

The day after she arrived, she slept all day. And for 9 days, she was on and off her feed; in and out of her stall; close to the herd, or completely separate. I thought she was tired, or shy. But actually, Dr. Zadick believes she was ‘brewing’ up a constellation of ailments which exploded on the 10th day.

the abscessing which normally drains from the belly area in drylands distemper, or from throat and jaw area in strangles, dragged down; first swelling her upper legs to enormous proportions, and then finally spilling pus, blood and serous fluid down her legs. Although I cleaned and scrubbed as best I could, at first, these areas were very sensitive, and once the blood and serum dried, it was like lacquer to remove. And once enough pressure was relieved, the skin which had been stretched with the swelling, began to die. I’ve removed giant chunks of dead skin and blood; Dr. Z has removed more. Thankfully, she’s much less sensitive about it now and little by little, parts of it are drying and healing.


The girl is healed! And in recent weeks, as the anniversary of her ailment’s inception approaches, Surely runs out every morning at top speed, bucking and head tossing! I keep massaging lotion into those scars, and slowly they decrease, but she’s well now. Time to start some training.

But look how good she looks otherwise – her weight is starting to look better; she has four white socks again and her whisker has come back, on both sides!

Healthy again!



If you’d like to sponsor or donate, PLEASE click this link.

If you would like to donate by check:  Please send check payable to The Golden Carrot, Inc., to 44700 Terwilliger Rd., Anza, CA 92539 – we will send you a tax deductible receipt – and our thanks!

If you’d like to set up an ongoing sponsorship for any of these horses (for any length of time) please email Casey (cocarrot@earthlink.net)

Click here to meet all the horses under THE GOLDEN CARROT's care.


If any of you move forward and sponsor an Oldie but Goodie, know that I highly commend you.  And anyone that sends love and good thoughts to these needy older sweeties, I thank you, too!


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7 comments have been posted...

  1. Casey O'Connor

    Hay, Jan? I had the vet check him out and he also is amazed at the thick muscle on the FRONT of Sarge’s hip area, but behind the lumbar spine. After hearing about the wierd trick he seems to know, Dr. Z thought it possible this overdevelopment in this one odd area was caused by this trick. It also explains his knees…. In the pic, he still has his winter coat – it’s all shed out now and he’s shiny and healthy! Not fat at all, in fact, since he acquired new girlfriends Allie and Comet, he dropped the little weight he had. Got some very studdy behaviors with them! I’ll try to get a pic of those butt pads and post them on Sarge’s page soon …

  2. SJ

    Thank you so much for this great blog! I have a soft spot for the old ponies! I actually just brought home a twenty-something QH gelding with a back/stifle problem about two weeks ago. His owner dumped him directly into the Kill Pen at our local auction house, didnt even give the guy a chance to run through the auction. He is happily munching away in a big field recouperating as we speak :)

  3. Miss Jan

    Mari thank you for rescuing the draftie. Those are the hardest to place because of the (perceived) challenges of feeding and housing and farriery, as everything is super econo sized – even finding a nice leather halter that actually fits these guys is a tough go. And canker is such a worry for feet, most farriers don’t do drafts and won’t do drafts and so are clueless about canker. Draft farriers are scarce and worth their own weight in gold!

  4. RiderWriter

    Gee, Dawn, way to wring my heart muscle… I adore old animals and old people, too. I think they have so much wisdom to offer, and are often just grateful for our company. I HOPE my darling dog gets old and grey, and I’m with Jan; I HATE people who dump their elderly animals!! Of course, they also do it to Grandma, so what’s the surprise… I browsed all around TGC website just last week, after following the link from Fugly Blog. Casey is quite the person, and definitely deserves all the support people can give.

  5. LVS

    I’ve got 2 ponies who are 30 and 31 who I will never part with, and 3 others nearing 30 and I could never put them in any situation that would harm them or make them suffer. They have given their entire life to owners and deserve a good retirement, even if they job is to mow the grass.

  6. Mari

    I rescued a Belgian/Draft at age 22. He is now 27.
    Last September, I rescued a TWH at age 22.
    I rescued a STBD at age 9 who will be 16 this year according to the freeze brand on his neck. Unfortunately, he has DSLD/ESPA….a genetic disease of the suspensory ligaments and connective tissue. He is on Dr. Eleanor Kellon’s protocol and has been holding his own for the last 4 years.
    I rescued a 25 y/o mini donkey about 15 years ago. He is a wise old soul. Comes when he is called, wags his tail when I pet him and follows me everywhere just as a dog.

    I, too, love old horses as they are very wise and very sedate. I always advise people who are looking for a pony for their small child to consider an older horse in stead. Shetlands can be very unpleasant.

  7. Miss Jan

    Sarge’s “butt pads” as reported coupled with the look of his coat, reported age, and the fact that he is a gelding, suggests more equine metabolic syndrome than muscular development. Haunch muscle would be where the muscles would get large such as seen on draft horses who do pulling competititions (or even regular plowing) or on reining horses and cutters.

    I have a 33 year old Arabian stallion who looks half his age; a 22 year old gelding with EMS and mysterious intermittent mild lameness, an 18 year old gelding companion to the old stallion, and both my minis are in their upper 20s – and their (former) “babysitter” crossed the rainbow bridge last year in her early 40’s (minis sometimes live a very long time, like donkeys who routinely make it well into their 30s if cared for properly). Old horses and old dogs are the best company ever. I can never understand nor could I ever forgive people who dump old horses or old dogs.

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