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On October 15, 2013, after seeing their pictures on Facebook over the past week, I decided to go pick up a one-and-a-half year old colt Jake, and an eleven year old Sorrel mare named Nellie. The current owner was asking $50.00 each. After a lengthy conversation with them I was “given” possession of the two horses. The story I was given by the people that I got them from was that they acquired them approximately two weeks ago. The actual woman who bought them was bed bound and bought them sight unseen from a woman. Why a bed bound woman bought two more horses to add to her already two horses and a donkey, I will never know. She was under the assumption that she was buying two “nice” and “healthy” quarter horses. She was in for a surprise. When the horses were dropped off they were far from nice or healthy. Nellie was in better shape than the colt but due to an old injury should not be ridden or only light riding. As anyone who knows horses, it is not easy to find horse “companion” only homes. The colt was in deplorable shape weight wise, and from what I have been told he was like this for at least the past year of his life. More than 50% of this poor baby’s life has been starving and pain. But on top of being severely emaciated, in his two weeks under the new owners care an injury had occurred that went untreated. When I talked to her on the Friday before I went to pick them up she said he was limping, never could I imagine what I would see when I got there.
I pulled up to a disheveled yard full of junk and debris, with a small dirt paddock arranged in the corner for the horses. The hot wire fence would not keep even my fattest horses in, so why these horses did not run for their lives I will never know. There were four equines around a roll of hay, one donkey, two mares and a gelding, and the colt off to the other side of the field standing alone. The donkey was in acceptable shape, but none of the others are in any shape that I would consider okay. From my understanding they are all “rescues” and I had to try and take that for what it was worth. They did have hay, grain in a container outside the pasture, and a roll on standby…only water source I saw was a nasty hole in the ground not even big enough to be considered a pond, more like a puddle. I knew by looking at the colt that his injury was not minor by any means, so I decided to catch and load the mare first so that he would be more willing to try and get in the trailer. Nellie was eager to hop in the trailer and go, almost like she was saying “get me out of here Please.”
Then it was Jake’s turn, and at this point I had only observed him from across the pasture. I did not care what was wrong with him; I was going to take him no matter what. As we approached him I saw how awful his injury was. He was trying to run away from her as she caught him, dragging his right hind leg. She told me her farrier was coming out the following day to try and see what was wrong, now mind you this happened prior to me talking to her on Friday. After he caught him I took a quick look at his foot, as she said he split his frog. Anyone with any horse sense should know all frogs have splits, so obviously that was not his problem. I stood behind him and brought my eyes up trying to see what this might be…and low and behold a basketball sized hematoma/infection pocket on his rump almost jumped out and slapped me. I asked her if she had even noticed that and she said “no I hadn’t even noticed.” Now mind you since this had happened to him, he was petrified to go near the other horses, meaning no feed, grain or fresh water in several days! I quickly just said let’s get him to the trailer. It took ten minutes and lots of coaxing to get him to walk the fifty feet to the trailer. And after fifteen minutes of picking up feet and waiting for him to try, he stumbled on the trailer, almost falling on the floor when he finally jumped in. I took Jake straight home, making phone calls on the way to try and get someone to come look at him.
Mind you I have ten horses already at home and now two in the trailer, am I crazy? Why yes, I am. I just could not say no to him. Vet bills unless absolutely dire, are not in my budget. I am a single mom, in full time school, and work two jobs to support me, my daughter and our babies. I called upon a good friend and vet tech to evaluate him. I already had a suspicion that this was infection due to the size and his 103.4 fever when I got him home. But my friend said let’s give it a couple days and see what it does. I should have gone with my gut and opened it but I waited, only for him to get worse. I finally called him and said please come out and let’s get this thing opened and over with! What came out would turn the hardest of stomachs. This video is very graphic! Viewer discretion is advised!
I knew it was infected and now we could start on his recovery. At this point I was still unsure that he had a broken bone or even worse a bone infection. But all I could do was to continue his antibiotics; clean his would and hope for the best. After this initial draining, he never spiked another fever so I knew that the worst of the infection was over. We put in a drain that was left in for the first three days so that it could be flushed and cleaned. I must say that I am not a vet but I dang sure should be going to school to be one. We did a better job of draining, cleaning, and doctoring this guy than most vets I see. And I didn’t have to pay thousands of dollars to get it done. Jake was healing and healing quickly. Within three days he was starting to use his leg, and by day four, had full range of motion. By this time Jake had made friends with my new mini intake Misty. And they have become inseparable.
Today Jake is still healing but has made leaps and bounds. He has a long way to go still, but we have one big hurdle behind us. He is such a sweet and kind soul that did not deserve the hand he was dealt before he came to me. I can assure you that as long as I am alive he will never have another day of want or hurt by humans. I may not be rich but if I went by Love that I have for these animals I would be a millionaire. Please share and support local rescues. 501C or not, we all have a common interest, helping animals have a voice!