Please bear with me, I am new to blogging...
So, two months ago my friend and a fellow horse person texts me asking if I wanted this older underweight mare that she had just rescued. After asking her fifty million questions about this mare, such as how old is she, what is wrong with her besides the being under weight, etc., I go and have my husband kill the wasp nest that had formed it my old trailer and check to make sure everything was in working order, and hook it up for me. I lined the trailer with fresh shavings, put some hay in the net and took off to my friend's house to check her out.
I pulled up at her barn and walked over to the pasture they had her in. There stood this very tall, pathetically malnourished, rain rot-covered, walking pile of bones, who went by the name of Beauty. I felt so sorry for her. I wanted to cry, she looked so bad.
I asked my friend why she looked as bad as she did. She told me that the woman she got her from was only feeding her hay. So I said I'd take her. At the time, I only had Cora, my two year old rescue Arabian. Then she asked me if I wanted to take Beauty's buddy too. I asked her what was wrong with her. She told me that the same woman that was starving poor Beauty, and this woman got this other horse from some man that was really mean to her, and that she was shy. So I said sure. At this time, all was thinking was that my husband was going to hang me. We all know how that is. I'm sure we've all been there.
So we decided to try loading the shy mare first, seeing as we thought she would give the most problems. After her standing with her front feet in the trailer for a few seconds, she loaded with no problem. So then came Beauty's turn. She barely had energy to walk, so it took her a few minutes to load her, one leg at a time. Then I headed for home, which wasn't very far.
I pulled up in the yard and Cora knew I had friends for her. She was running around the pasture neighing. I unloaded Beauty first. I wanted her to get some water, even though she was only in the trailer for a short drive, but it was a very hot day. So I turned her loose. The other mare was in my trailer kicking and neighing wanting out, so I unloaded her next with no problems. I walked her over to the same pasture I just had turned Beauty loose in, and let her go join her buddy. I then gave them a ton of hay and a little bit of food to each. And I left them to get to know their new home.
The next day, I called the vet to come out and have them checked from nose to tail. I was nervous that he was going to tell me that I was going to have to put Beauty down, and I wasn't about to give up on her that easily. He found that Beauty's teeth haven't been managed in a very long time, which is the reason she was 750 pounds, when she should weigh about 1200 pounds. He said that there was nothing wrong with her, besides needing her teeth done, and that she needed worming. She was twenty-three. As for the shy mare, she had a long rope burn across her chest, a tendon problem in her right fetlock that has her slightly lame from an old injury. He floated Beauty's teeth, gave them shots, and so on.
So now that left me with a ton of research to do on the best way to put weight on poor Beauty. There was a lot to sift through. So I went with trial and error. I tried everything from a senior diet to rice bran. Nothing worked. So I started to experiment. What I have found that works the best, for her anyway, is I give her only enough pelleted grain to flavor her mash made up of soaked alfalfa cubes, beet pulp, and rice bran. It took me a month to get this right. Plus I have to feed her separate from the other two, because they run her off of her food
Now her rain rot is almost gone after a lot of bathing and picking of the loose crusty stuff and hair by hand. If I'd used anything else, (like a rubber curry comb), it would hurt her. She has gained about 150lbs, and you can see her starting to fill out slowly.
Today she has more energy. She no longer has her head down, and she trots around the pasture. It's a shame someone let her get so bad. She has had a lot of training and is very sweet.
Thank you for reading. More to come soon.