Success stories - horses dogs whatever

Discussion in 'Other Pets & Livestock' started by Baybrio, Jan 16, 2011.

  1. Baybrio

    Baybrio Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    Poplar Grove, IL
    I have been reading the posts from the topic about a person looking for a horse prospect to resell. That got me thinking of a number of horses I have purchased (I'm old school and don't use the word rescue unless the animal was about to perish) that have made dramatic transformations. I'd like to hear other stories and see pics of all your rescues.

    This is one I'll share with you all. I was looking for a project horse several years ago. I found an add for a grandson of Seattle Slew who was untouched as four year old and for sale not far from my farm. When I say untouched I mean no one could remember ever touching him, but someone did at one time since he was gelded. He was turned out in a pasture with water and hay when someone remembered. Smokey was a wonderful horse, free in a large hilly pasture protecting two long yearling fillies. Although untouched you could tell he was healthy and sane, I loved him. I love big boned TBs.

    So we herded the group up near the barn and owner says the two yearlings were also for sale and to make him an offer. He was asking $1,000 for the gelding so I offered $600 for all three assuming he would decline and I'd be safe. He immediately accepted. I said I had no stock trailer to haul them. He said he'd deliver them for free! Yikes. The next day all three were delivered to my farm. They had herded them on the trailer and we backed the trailer up to my barn and herded them through the barn to a paddock with a run in shed.

    Smokey was exactly the horse I thought he was. His second day at my farm I put a halter on him and managed to bathe him and start treating the rain rot that covered his body. The first week I worked with fillies on haltering and leading, then called my vet to vaccinate and check them out. Did I mention they were underfed? The almost two year old yearlings looked like weanlings, in fact the vet thought they were skinny weanlings. Smokey was just very thin and covered with rain rot. The gray filly was the worst. So bad the vet was not sure she would ever recover. Not more than a few weeks after the vet came the 9/11 tragedy took place and I lost my contract with United Airlines. I advertised the three for sale and almost immediately found a wonderful women for Smokey. The buyer was an experienced eventer and wanted a prospect. I cried when I sold him - something I never do with horses but he was just special.

    The other two took two years to sell. This is what the gray looked like the summer I sold her:


    Not too shabby for the filly that the vet was not sure would survive.

    Any body else have a good story.

  2. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Songster

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    Well, I have quite a few, but will start with one about a horse. I always wanted a horse, and finally got one from someone who couldn't keep her. They had all their horses together in one pen, no stalls, and this filly was a year old, and and orphaned earlier. The other horses would chase her away from the hay every time they got fed, and she was osing weight. The owner didn't know what to do, so posted an ad on horseville. I decided to take the horse, thinking I would start ground-training, and eventually train her for a trail-horse. Well, the pictures the owner sent me did not have me prepared for what was led off the trailer when they got her to my place! This poor thing was barely more than skin and bones, and could hardly hold her head up. After we put her in the paddock and the people left, my hubby said, "I don't know dear, I don't think she'll make it through the winter." (This was in early fall.) I read up on putting weight back on horses, and started doing what I read----it takes SUCH a long time! Star Gazer made it through the winter, and the next spring, we got a companion for her, and I was working on ground training with both of them----Star was so smart, although headstrong, as she was 3/4 Arab. Well, last spring, I decided that these 2 horses were way more than I knew what to do with. I decided I would have to give them up---for all our sakes. Fortunately, Star's friend went back to his original owner, and Star went to a local rescue, where I could visit any time I wanted. They were both picked up on the same day, so as not to cause any more trauma than necessary-----I didn't want to have a lonely horse! My last visit to Star was the most wonderful ever! One of the women who volunteers at the rescue had decided to adopt Star! She didn't want her going to someone who would later decide she was too much for them. This woman also was adopting a gelding that Star had really bonded with, so I couldn't have asked for a happier ending!
  3. Baybrio

    Baybrio Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    Poplar Grove, IL
    What a nice outcome. What a wonderful act - sending her to a rescue.
  4. welsummerchicks

    welsummerchicks Songster

    Jul 26, 2010
    I think the pony we got with the curled up toes. He had been shut up in a barn for a couple years where the manure had accumulated for at least a couple of years, prior to that had run with a herd of beef cattle and no one had touched him for years. The feet were so horrible, most likely foundered multiple times just repeatedly to get in that bad a shape. I didn't really think he would survive the trailer ride home. I didn't really see how he could stand the agony of standing up on those feet. I thought we'd just give him a couple days of peace where he could look out and see the sun and have some other horsey type friends around him.

    But the next day, he was lying down, looking up warily at us. That's how he managed. He laid down most of the time, I think it was the only reason his feet managed to heal up.

    He started with about fifteen degrees of rotation in one foot and ten in the other.

    He was as wild as a March hare. You could barely put a hand on him. I handled him like I would a wild animal, take everything very, very slow.

    And he never took a lame step. We kept him on sand or cob bedding and tried to give him only very light exercise, as well as reduce his weight down to a healthy level.

    Once he got out of his stall while I was having a lesson on my other horse. I said 'Go back in your stall' and the instructor stood there with her jaw on the ground while the pony walked back into his stall, LOL.

    The other time he escaped, I was longeing my big huge warmblood. I am longeing my gigantic beast in a really good working trot and this little tiny figure of a pony comes FLYING past the warmblood, matching him stride for stride, but performing what can only be called a 100mph passage, LOL. He PASSED that warmblood, LOL!!! What a proud little animal.

    Every morning when I get up to feed, I hear his little pennywhistle neigh as I walk up the drive to the barn.

    Three years later and the amount of rotation has been cut exactly in half, thanks to our genius farrier. To say nothing of how the farrier knelt down and through incredible patience got the terrified little pony to let him work on his feet.

    And this little dude isn't broken by any of this. When he thinks he needs to fight for his life, he will. You have to respect him.

    His hindquarters will never be normal again. He spent too many years standing in that stall on that pile of manure with his foundered feet. His hindquarters have a permanent downward slope to them. But through very careful exercise he has a normal range of motion and is comfortable.

    He is a gorgeous little roany bay with perfectly matched four high whites and a big blaze, the neatest little head with sharp little perfectly curved ears and a thick mane and forelock that reaches to the end of his nose, and a wild bright eye that always shows a lot of white. He is just perfect.

    He may never get any ribbons or ever be known to anyone but us, but the day we had a party and some of the guests went out to the barn to visit the horses, and he just on his own, walked up to one of the guests, expecting to be petted, I was sobbing like a baby.
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2011

  5. mom'sfolly

    mom'sfolly Crowing

    Feb 15, 2007
    Austin area, Texas
    welsummer.....we need pictures!!!!!!!!
  6. michickenwrangler

    michickenwrangler To Finish Is To Win

    Jun 8, 2008
    NE Michigan
    The little bay Arab mare I bought as an unbroke 3 yr old in 2002 is one.

    Her owners did very little with her, in fact she was still pastured with her dam and she was still nursing off her. When I brought her back to the ranch I worked part-time at, they thought she was psycho. Indeed, she was very stressed her first few weeks, rarely eating, trying to jump the fence, and running and neighing constantly. I took a lot of old timey cowboy tips and applied them to her. I would turn her out in the roping arena while I worked Izzie (my gray endurance horse). After she acclimated to the place, I would tie her to the stout 6 x 6 posts in the main barn and she would whinny and pace and paw but gradually began to relax. Then hand-walking over hay fields and through trails. Next came ponying behind Izzie although Izzie always gave me a look that said "Why does SHE have to come?"

    I also did lots of Parelli-esque stuff, having her sidepass and exposing her to barrels, cavalettis, tarps and cattle. She never had much interest in the cows and steers, but Sera (the little bay mare, short for Serendipity) took it all in stride. When it came time to ride her, she accepted that easily as well. Then with trail training. Despite my best efforts and many hours spent slogging in puddles and creeks, she remained terrified of water.

    When the ranch sold out, I took her to a TWH barn for board in the spring ... a very wet spring. I could barely stay in the saddle while Sera earned the nickname "puddle jumper." Miles and miles later, I took her to the Grand Island 25 in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. She came in 4th out of 6 in the lightweight division on her first ride, beaten by seasoned horses with experienced riders. A month later, she took 3rd against the same horse and rider teams at the Hopkins Creek ride.

    I began to focus more on Izzie while schooling Sera dressage and eventually took her to several dressage shows and we even did First Level at a few schooling shows. Then one fall, a group of us took a long weekend to South Branch on the SHore to Shore Trail and Sera not only plowed right into the Au Sable River, she even PLAYED in it! That's the pic in my avatar. I had tears in my eyes since she had always been so fearful about water. I never thought I would have a moment like that with her.

    A friend's daughter lost her horse to sand colic so she began riding Sera, now 9 years old. Rode her for a year in all kinds of weather, and took they took first in a competitive trail ride in the junior division. While the girl and Sera were the only ones in the JR. division, their condition score was high enough that they scored 5th overall out of 14 horse/rider teams. Their next competition they got second against one of the top junior riders in the state, only losing by a few points.

    Then I got laid off. It was a tough decision trying to figure out which horse to sell. I wanted to keep Sera since she was the better youth mount (Izzie is too high strung and would take advantage of a Jr. rider) for my daughter, I realized that it would be easier to find her a home since she was younger, more versatile and will WALK on the trail. A family bought her for their 12 yr old daughter and when I heard from them last November, they gave me an update telling me how happy they were with her.




  7. percyj

    percyj Songster

    Jun 20, 2010
    Yes, welsummerchicks, pictures of this magnificent pony!!!

  8. geebs

    geebs Lovin' the Lowriders!

    Sep 28, 2008
    I have quite a few success stories...... My future success story is a mare names lacey... Lacey was presented to me profoundly lame, rotated coffin bones on both front feet... Elfin in shape and she was lying down for most of the day... unable to walk... She is in her 3rd trim and we have got her heels on the ground and now we are backing up the toe and taking wieght off the morbidly obese mare. She was not able to be trimmed day one because she was in such intense pain (though buted) She couldn't hold her foot up for 10 seconds without shaking and almost going to the ground... We put her in a padded room and managed to get one foot at a time... little bit by little bit over the week we were able to get her walking...She is now in Boots with pads and running and jumping... It is still a long haul for Lacey. It will be 6 months before she can be mounted and then her work can begin. This is a success story in action.


    I have also a long term navicular mare that has just turned the corner and is now sound under saddle... It took 14 months. She was 3 legged lame and three vets gave her no hope. Her owner is so excited as she didn't think there was a chance for her... This summer they have big plans. I will get a picture of her at her next trim (5days)
  9. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    Just awesome!

    I got one story but my mind farted LOL! I will have to come back with the story of my black Paso Fino gelding.

  10. Baybrio

    Baybrio Songster

    Jun 11, 2008
    Poplar Grove, IL
    Wow, you folks are the best. This thread is just the ticket for the January blahs.

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