UPDATE on Callie, our February Bucket Fund Horse…SHE’S 30!!

Callie, our February Bucket Fund horse is a wild lead mare of a herd in Nevada.  The humans that look after and help this herd, saw that Callie was not doing well so they brought her in to check on her as they figured it was her teeth.  Callie is very integral to the herd so her health is very important.

Well, we just found out per the equine dentist and her vets… SHE’S APPROXIMATELY 30 YEARS OLD!

You can read the original article here.

All donations are 100% tax deductible!  We are 2/3rds to our goal.  We just need $700 to reach our goal!  We can do this for Callie!

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UPDATE:  The vet was out to see her!  And she is approximately 30 years old!

We knew Callie was a very important mare… and we knew she was a matriarch… but this old gal has survived the wild for 30 years!  Amazing!

Here is the information from the vet visit per Least Resistance Training Concepts Wild Horse Mentors

We took Callie to LRTC’s Lucky Horse Rehabilitation Center where the veterinarians were able to anesthetize Callie. (Remember, she is a wild horse so we needed to move her into a squeeze so she could be safely sedated, then anesthetized.) Then the dental procedure had to be conducted with her asleep on the ground.

Dr. Gerald Peck, having spent several decades treating wild horses, estimated Callie’s age at “somewhere around 30 years old; possibly a little less, possibly older.” That is a remarkable age for a range horse that has survived completely on her own, and especially one who has had as many foals as she probably had. Her most recent known foal appeared in 2017. (Comparatively, horses age at an average of about 4 years to every human year, so this would be a rough equivalent to a 75 year-old woman still having children.)

Callie was clearly very underweight, and the expectation that warranted intervention of a range horse was that she had dental issues that impaired her ability to properly grind grass and plant fibers. Those issues in turn reduced her ability to take advantage of the nutrition provided by low-grade range plants. As expected, her teeth were found to be in very bad shape.

Horse’s teeth continue to grow throughout most of their lifetimes. The silica in grasses, minerals they ingest grazing and such, wear on the surfaces and their continued tooth growth accommodates the effects of such wear. When teeth are not perfectly aligned, some tooth edges won’t wear properly and points are produced that limit the ability of horses to grind their food and also can produce sores in the horses’ cheeks. After decades of wear, Callie definitely had points that had to be removed in order to improve her ability to chew properly.

Callie also had a couple of broken molars. In her case, her teeth and gums were not inflamed or infected, so removing them could have actually created more issues than leaving them as found.

After the procedures were completed and Callie was sleeping off the anesthesia, Dr. Sean Peck took out a stethoscope and listened to her heart and lung sounds. He stopped, adjusted his stethoscope and reassessed those sounds. This activity worried us. But when we asked if anything was wrong, he replied, “No. Her heart and lungs are amazing. They sound more like what I’d expect of a teenager.”

Callie’s prognosis is excellent. She will be on a custom diet of pellets, rice bran (high fat content,) soaked beet pulp (for fiber and roughage) along with free choice hay. If she regains normal body weight as expected, an evaluation will follow as to whether she would likely be able to sustain herself if returned to the range or should remain on a supplemented diet and become a “domestic horse.” Now that she is back in Foster care, her Foster caregivers are being careful not to make her overly human-dependent in the event the volunteers are authorized to return her to the range. Meanwhile she has another rescue horse, “Sugar,” as a companion while in rehab.

If Callie can be returned to the range, she will be provided with temporary fertility control. She has already contributed significantly to the herd’s gene pool, and at her age she doesn’t need the added stress of gestating and nursing yet another foal.

The veterinarians also drew some blood for analysis. Range horses as old as Callie are not very common and it is hoped that the results will not only help any medical decisions regarding Callie, but could also provide some general insights as to how well many of the other older range horses are faring medically.

Callie arrives via the Large Animal Task Unit through LRTC

Callie, a wild mare, is sedated for her dental exam and vet visit

Her heart is very, very strong. Lungs good as well. (Callie is a wild mare so she had to be heavily sedated to treat her.)

Working on her teeth… She is easily late 20s to early 30s!

Carefully and quickly as possible… dental work.

Two vets work on Callie while a Large Animal Tactical team member stands by.

Callie was a trooper. She did very well and all the points and hooks are gone!

Callie wakes up and begins her healing!  She also meets Sugar… her new friend.

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Callie is already gaining weight!  She is living with a friend and chickens for now.

Callie is gaining some weight but as expected, it’s going to be a slow process.  Horses that have been undernourished for some time actually should be brought back cautiously and steadily to avoid unintended side effects. 

Nonetheless, Callie is more alert and animated and is in good enough shape to stay with Sugar, a middle-aged domestic mare (abandonment rescue) along with their chicken friends.  John separates them at feeding time so Callie can get her extra supplements.  Once she is near normal weight the next test will be to see if she can sustain herself on grass hay or will need to stay as a “domestic” horse so she can access higher density feed.

Thanks for helping out with this project!

Callie is alert and doing well! She lives with Sugar and some chickens.

As you can see, she is gaining weight! The key will be if she can chew natural grasses. If she continues to thrive and is able to chew natural foods well, they will release her back into the wild to live out her life in freedom!

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It was Fernando Farrier day!   (Sorry that I missed Monday… I had to work on Sunday and it was sooooo crazy busy, I was exhausted and just wanted to go to sleep.  So, I did.)


Wrigley. As long as he has hay, he is a good boy.

BG, always tries to be as polite as possible. But, with her splaying in the mud last year, her back end is still a bit tender. And, now her Spring allergies are back. With all that, she was still a good girl.

Finn was perfect. He is always perfect.  (Can you believe how big that tree is in front of him?!  I only planted that coming upon 2 years ago! Black Diamond Vermicompost is THE BEST.)

Gwen. She is older so one hip hurts a bit, but she was good. I had just braided her hair…

Missy Miss was surprisingly calm and quiet. Usually, she fusses for the first foot. Not today. She was an angel.  It is Amazing how well her feet have healed since she first came here.  She’s got mustang platters now. )

On the other hand, Dalton was not a patient boy today. So, I didn’t get any photos as I was keeping him steady. Dalton was upset because he knew it was his turn to be in the big field and he wanted to get there. As soon as we were done, I turned him out and he ran to the furthest corner. Dalton LOVES being in the big field.

Dodger. 40 years old and doing well. I give him green grass as often as is healthy for him, and it really perks up the old boy. He loves to eat near the paddocks. He thinks he likes to go into the big field, but it intimidates him once he is there… so in front of the paddocks is his favorite, safe, grazing area.

Norma always waits her turn. She comes up and stands there quietly. Mostly, she supports Dodger. Or she just wants to get it over with; I’m not sure. She is Such a perfect donk.


February Bucket Fund: WE CAN MAKE A HUGE DIFFERENCE FOR THIS ONE WILD HORSE!  She looked fine this summer… but now CALLIE, a lead WILD mare, IS STRUGGLING TO SURVIVE. Her Wild Horse mentors think it is her teeth. LET’S HELP THIS BEAUTIFUL MARE get back on her feet so she can RETURN to her Virginia Range family to continue to guide them!

All donations are 100% tax deductible!  THANK YOU.  To Donate, click here!

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!