Sunday, March 30, 2008

A great update on the no-longer-starving Arabians in Alberta

I just received a great update on how things are going with the 100 rescued Arabians from the Polish-Arab-Breeder-Gone-Wild in Alberta, Canada. I know this is going to make everybody's day, so I couldn't wait to post it. For all of the naysayers who say that slaughter is necessary and that the equine community will not step up to care for these this. It is a great example of the fact that the good horsepeople really can and will step up and give freely of their time and money - at least as much as they can. We can never clean up all the messes in the horse world, but we will clean up what we can.


I know you and many of your readers are currently curious as to the state of the horses that were seized and found to be severely neglected in Northern Alberta. I was lucky enough to be contacted by some good friends of mine, and it turns out the lady who is rehabbing more than 94 horses was actually my first instructor. Her stable is not far from me, so of course we went out to help.

I just want to say I am so glad that everyone raised so much awareness with this. I just went out yesterday afternoon, and there had already been more than 50 (!) people out there helping out. Feeding, mucking, grooming, tracking markings, making notes on personality, etc.

As for the horses, they are doing a completely 360. When most arrived here, they were sorry looking things. Ribs everywhere, wormy bellies, bald patches from lice, matted manes and tails, runny noses... It was hard to imagine what they would look like after some care. Some looked in real bad shape. Unfortunately, they've lost two to date now, but it could have been far worse.

Most of the colts got their balls cut off just the past day and they are working on getting the rest done. Of course, the boys still think they are hot stuff and keep trying to show off to the mares on the opposite side of the fenceline. Silly boys.

Everyone has been putting on weight, and most noticably have been the full grown mares. My jaw just dropped the other day. All but about four of the mares still had ribs showing when I went out just this past Monday (March 24). After having their feet done many of them have shown a major attitude improvement as well. They were also de-wormed when they had their feet done. Now, I can only see about 8-10 that DO have ribs showing. The rest have really bulked up. Some of the bloated looking bellies are gone now too.

So many great people are coming out and just being with the horses, which has further improved their attitudes. Several horses will now willingly approach people, and the other younger ones are learning from these brave ones and coming up closer and closer each day. Some that were too wild to even think about getting an identification collar on them (to record their number. Each are assigned numbers) are now pocket ponies. The sad eyes seen all around are gone now, and they are eagerly starting to play. Just yesterday the whole herd spooked and went for a nice run around the paddock. Many of the horses were kicking up their heels and looked so great.

Here is a picture of the worst case of hooves that was on the property. She had to be tranq'ed slightly to get them off, since they had grown out so far that the blood supply had also gone further out into the hoof. She is doing much better now, although still tender. She's currently housed up in the indoors with the miniature horse that was with these horses as well.

The adoption process is still far off on the horizon, but all the help pouring in is doing great good for such a bad situation. The horses are much happier now (who wouldn't be?!) and their personalities are really starting to shine. So many are sweet and gentle despite what they've been through... I would not hesitate for a moment to adopt one. The oldest mare out there (by the vets guess) is only 16 years. They look far older than they are. Many of them will likely return to being sound with some more care and attention. They are a little smallish, but they are well put together. Not great, but not all are as fugly as you might guess.

Just wanted to keep you updated!

Here is the website set-up by Susan Fyfe Details will be announced here once the horses get closer to being adopted out.

First few days after arriving:

The herd yesterday: