I know a lot of you have been waiting for an update and here you go...
The first two horses to be removed, Pie and Isabella, continue to do well in their foster home. You can read their story and all of the updates on Save A Forgotten Equine's message board. Basically what happened is that a bunch of us saw the following Craigslist posting and knew the horse listed was heading nowhere good.
"old gelding pasture pal or lawn mower - $50
we have a very old gelding that really needs to go somewhere that he can be 1 of 2 horses. We have to many and he gets pushed around. he is very under weight but he is 28 years old and everytime we try to fatten him up he founders. so in the spring he gets fuller and is a great kids horse but winter is hard for him. he has to have a blanket and a shelter. i will supply the blanket if you can supply the shelter. he needs somewhere to enjoy the last of heis days in happiness and love. If you think you can take him will you please let us know. "
I offered to go look at him and what I found was an emaciated gelding living in a pen with an equally emaciated mare. They both crowded into a single standing stall together that was about 2 feet high with fresh manure. To get out to get a drink, they had to back out and sunk halfway to their hocks in muck. Fortunately, the owners surrendered the horses the next day and they were in box stalls living in the lap of luxury within 24 hours. Any donations for their care are welcomed as the veterinary expenses are high, but the prognosis is excellent for both horses. SAFE is a 501(c)(3) so your donation is tax deductible.
During my visit, I really wanted to go look at the other horses and animals but I didn't have an "excuse" to go over to the other side of the property and do so. I had a bad, creepy feeling that there were other things that were not right on the property but you don't want to get yourself shot, either. So I merely took my pictures and went home and figured we'd follow up with animal control. Fortunately, it turned out the wheels were already in motion on this - the owners of the horses were arrested on non-animal-related charges and animal control stepped in to make sure the animals went to safety. In addition, some completely innocent family members stepped in to take charge and help place the horses, and feed them in the meantime.
As a result, last night around 11 PM, we got two more of the horses. They're both good examples of pretty nice horses that wound up in the wrong hands, and I think it'll be fun to compare these "before" pictures with the "after" pictures in a month or two!
The mare is called GBF Pretty Miz Kitty, and her pedigree is here. She is only a few months past 4 years old (a November foal, how weird is that?) and it looks like her current owners had her since around February of 2007. As you can see, there is a fair bit of work to do here to get this mare back to perfect health, but since she is so young and has gained so much in a week, we think she will be a pretty easy rehab.
Here's her sire. He was top ten at the World Show in halter twice, and so far his foals have earned over 1,050 points in various breed associations.
To me, this is an interesting comparison because their structure is not dissimilar. It's just with her, you're seeing the stripped down version - not enough weight, absolutely no muscle, and the look of long term neglect and parasitic infestation. Needless to say, the first thing I did this morning was deworm her. Look at them, point by point, and see what the different points of conformation look like with weight and condition - and without.
Her dam's side is excellent too - Obvious Conclusion, Chocolate Convoy, Blondy's Dude, Luras Oak Bar. And yes, she is HYPP N/N. The really exciting news today was that she is sound. She has a very bad old wirecut on the front of her left hock and we didn't expect her to be okay on it, but were pleasantly surprised when I jogged her down the driveway. We turned her out to play with the weanlings and a few other wimpy mares, and she displayed a stunning, huntseat-type extended trot for us! I think this one is going to be a real superstar once rehabbed. We are keeping her, so I am not accepting any donations for her care.
The other horse we picked up was represented to be an AQHA stallion, and indeed we didn't really look at him the other day and took them at their word. And last night it was late, and dark. Today I think we can safely say that while he is a stallion, he is not in any way, shape or form an AQHA stallion. What do you guys think, Saddlebred? I think either Saddlebred or NSH.
We are told this one is well broke and definitely rides. He needs a home and I will accept donations for his gelding and dental work. I'm not a 501(c)(3) so if you give me money, you will not get any cash back. I will, however, be happy to put an accounting of everything received and precisely what it was spent on on the message board. Paypal is firstname.lastname@example.org.
What he needs most is a home, so if there's someone out there with Saddlebred Rescue, or just someone else with stallion friendly facilities and experience who'd like to help this guy, please e-mail me. While my first thought with a rescue is always GELD IMMEDIATELY, this situation is such that some of these horses may not legally have belonged to the owners, and I do have some fear that this stallion may have been with this lady on a long term lease and is not really hers, and I don't really want to chop the balls off of a critter that for all I know is the last living son of Wing Commander or something. (Don't laugh too hard at me, I admit don't know squat about Saddlebred bloodlines or when Wing Commander actually died) All I can tell you is that this guy kinda looks to me like he might have been somebody at one time, and the fact that he's very well broke lends some credence to that theory, and I'd really like to solve the mystery of who he is!
He has pretty good manners. He thought he was going to scream and run in a circle around me and we did have to have a discussion about that but he figured out pretty quickly I wasn't Pushover Lady and then stood still and shut up. I am willing to hop on him in a few weeks after we've done the feet and teeth and everything and see what he knows, but if he's a saddleseat horse, it won't be the world's best eval as I'm definitely not a saddleseat rider!
So if anybody recognizes this face or knows who this boy is, please e-mail me ASAP. If he has an owner or former owner who loves him and wants him back, we're more than happy to make that happen. He's a kind horse without any aggression or vices, and he definitely deserves a great home that will appreciate him.