Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Surprise, surprise!

So if you've been reading the comments, my friend and I headed over to Enumclaw today to rescue the bay gelding with the four white socks. He looked miserable, and a blog reader had offered to pay his bail, transport and first month's board.

(This is the same friend who accompanied me on the infamous tour of garlic, chronicled here and well known as one of the most popular FHOTD posts. By the way, we actually received an update on that horse and he is happy and well.)

15 minutes on the road and the phone rang.

"You know that gelding you're coming to get? Uh...he's a stud. He's breeding mares in the kill pen. And his legs are ... really bad."

SAY WHAT? OMG. We looked at each other in a panic. Really bad legs doesn't faze either of us but dangly bits? That puts a crimp in our plans. We had no place to put a stud. This possibility had never occurred to us. Hmmm. But we were already on the road and at that point decided to at least look.

(Going to "at least look" at a horse about to ship to kill is a euphemism. It means you will be dragging home said horse unless it, like, bites you in the face. And maybe even then.)

I e-mailed another friend who actually has a proper place to put another stallion and asked her if we could bring him there. She gave the okay. We arrived at the yard and headed in to meet the Gelding Who Wasn't. I stopped in the office first and got the papers. Despite various rumors, he was a Thoroughbred, a California-bred 1997 model named Champagne Til Dawn. Then we went back to meet him.

He was skinny and standing in the corner of a pen weaving (they had apparently decided to interrupt his fun in the kill pen and separate him). He didn't show any aggression so I went in and checked him out. He was nervous but sweet. When we tried to get him to walk around the pen, it became immediately obvious he was dead lame. In fact, the neon green shoes on his feet (injection molds?) were causing him to slip and slide on the concrete and he was almost falling. We got him outside to the parking lot, where he had a lot less difficulty walking, but it was still obvious he was in a lot of pain. Still, he stood like a statue while my friend paid for him - on a loose lead, in a parking lot with traffic flying by, in a rainstorm. I think he whinnied once. He marched right into the trailer which obviously hurt him a lot, but he never thought to refuse and rode to his new temporary home as quietly and perfectly as anyone could ask.

Here he is checking out the surroundings at his new temporary home (thank you, Yellow Horses, Inc.!). Despite being brought into a barn with four other stallions, his manners continued to be perfect. He was as sweet and quiet as anyone could ask.

Again, what kind of fucked up waste of oxygen dumps a horse like this at Enumclaw to go to the kill buyer for $40? This is a NICE HORSE. He would be a NICE HORSE to have around. If you couldn't fix his feet, at least put him to sleep. A bullet would have been kinder than hauling him this sore to the auction and letting him stand on the concrete for days - much less the trailer ride to Canada or Mexico that he was saved from.

Well, he is safe now and the vet will be x-raying him tomorrow to see how severe the damage is. I have a farrier who is just excellent with laminitic horses (saved pony whose coffin bones had dropped through the soles on both fronts) so she will definitely be put on the job if the vet's verdict is that he might be saved. We honestly don't know at this point. He is so sore but he's also going to be a great patient with his wonderful, quiet, cooperative attitude. I groomed him loose in his stall as he ate dinner and he never flicked an ear even when I scrubbed hard on mud on his hocks and legs. He isn't weaving a bit in his new home. He's happily eating his low-carb pellet mush and timothy and settled right in without the slightest bit of nervousness.

Now, his original adopter thought he was a gelding and I am not sure she even knows yet how this turned out. For those of you who would like to donate toward what will be significant vet bills, we would welcome that. Paypal to chelcblues@hotmail.com. Another way you can help is to buy an ad here on FHOTD (link on right for info) which allows me some extra income to devote toward helping horses like this one.

You will, of course, be updated about his progress here on the blog. I'm still in semi-shock about the fact that he turned out to be (a) a stallion and (b) a successful runner. We left the house planning on rescuing a sad, old gelding that touched our hearts...but you just never know what will happen in the world of rescue!