I am known in my area for taking in and helping all kinds of four legged friends. When my mail lady came to me with a concern on a horse it was no surprise to me. She had been watching this horse for years and just recently said that he had become very thin and in need of attention. She stated that she did not want to get involved because of her job but also did not want to stand back and do nothing. So I told her I would at least go check on him and see if there was anything I could do. She gave me directions and I headed to go check on him.
What I came upon was a sad sight. An aged draft looking gelding tied to several long lines tied together. He had a roll and a water tub, but it was only accessible when he wasn’t tangled up. He was visibly thin and not in good shape. I decided to try and get closer to him to take pictures to send to my state guy to get him help. I turned my truck around and parked it behind a barn and walked onto the property as close as I could without being seen. As I got closer I realized he was looped around his roll which made him unable to reach his water. As much as I wanted to go help him..people don’t take kindly in the woods to people messing with their animals. My daughter was in the truck, and I could not take that risk. So I decided to get the pictures and send them straight to him.
I posted his pictures on Facebook afterwards. Because I just couldn't stop thinking about that poor old guy, hot, thirsty and hungry. A few people started commenting on him, asking where he was and the usual questions. I told them I did not want to say where he was because I had already called on them to get him help. I then got a message from a wonderful woman who told me that if I had the nerve to go and talk to the people, she would pay up to $125 for the horse if they would sell him. She did not want him. She just wanted him out of there and with me so that we could get him taken care of. I told her it was worth a shot. So the following day I went to their house to see what we could do. All the while not thinking I had already gotten the state involved.
I pulled up the following afternoon and found an old black woman rocking on the porch. I asked if I could come up and talk to her about her horse. She gave a snide look and said sure..come on up. So I walked up on the porch and sat in the chair next her all the while trying to figure out how to start this conversation properly. I told her that I had gotten a phone call from someone concerned that they may need help with him. She was very annoyed at first and said well the state man already came out and talked to my husband about him. Said he was going to call back today and tell them what they needed to do. I did not tell her I was the one that called as I did not want her to tell me to leave. So I proceeded to tell her that I take in unwanted and neglected horses and rehab them privately. I told her that I would be willing to buy him if they wanted to sell him. She said he had always been a big healthy horse but that the last two months he started to fall off real bad. Said that some boys came by and wanted to buy him, and when told no a few days later they found antifreeze in his paddock. They said ever since that day he has been sick and getting thinner. I empathized with her, all the while not believing her story. I again offered to buy him. I said "I could give you fifty bucks for him", and her and her husband agreed! I thought wow that was too easy. So I ran home got my trailer and fifty dollars and picked him up.
When I left, I messaged the state guy and said I just bought that gelding for fifty dollars, so you don’t need to follow up on him there, you can come to my place. He was quite mad with me and told me that next time I had to let it go through the process or I would be in trouble…Oops! I told him I would try this first next time before I called him. Needless to say, he has talked trash about me to everyone, but that just means he finds me to be a threat. I did not think about the trouble I could be in. I just wanted Jack out of there ASAP.
I started by giving him a good brushing and sheath cleaning. And what I found in this poor guy's sheath would make you fall to your knees. I noticed that he was just dribbling pee, never saw him pee a full stream in the two days I had him. I decided I needed to check for a bean. And low and behold a bean that was so large I had to break it into three large pieces to get it to come out the opening without hurting him. In all my years I had never seen anything like it. It took me three hours of watching and waiting for him to drop to get it all out. I would run over, grab it, and get as much as I could before he pulled it away. I know I am crazy but all I could think of was how much pain he must have been in for so long that I did not want him to have that pain a moment longer. Of course I could have waited another day and do it while he was sedated for his teeth appointment, but that was twenty-four hours too long! Finally after three hours, I got the last piece and I think we both breathed a sigh of relief. Mine was because I knew that he would feel better, and him because I wasn’t going to be pulling on his weewee anymore.
The following day my dentist came to assess his teeth, age and all that. We determined that he was not eighteen, but closer to twenty-four. In my eyes, I did not care. He was beautiful, and I was going to make him happy once again. He was not a tall horse but very thick, so I could only imagine what he would look like when I fattened him up. To our surprise he still had all his teeth, and even though they had been neglected for years were not all that bad. His incisors were long, but after he was done he looked good as new. Now I expected for him to fall off even more due to rearranging his mouth so much, but he never skipped a beat, thank goodness.
I have had Jack for three months, and although his progress is slow, he has gained about 300 pounds. He is such a doll to be around and always gives me a nicker when he sees me coming with his meals! I sure do love him and he will be a hard one to part with when his time comes to place him. But he deserves the best and a home where he can be loved on and give him the attention he has missed for so many years. Seeing his progress and the love in his eyes is why I continue to do what I do! Best feeling in the world!
Here is Jack's Facebook album! I try and update pictures all the time!