Spring has finally arrived, things are turning green, early flowers are blooming, and the horses are shedding their winter coats!
Eagle‘s Cushing’s Disease was not able to be managed well over the winter, despite our many efforts to do so. A recent vet visit and blood work confirmed that a significant increase in his medication was needed. Special thanks to volunteer Paula for giving Eagle his spring body clip!
Siegfried, who recently turned 24, has been battling abscesses since early February. First the left hind foot, then the left front foot, then the right front foot. All abscesses have occurred in the white line, so picking up his feet is a necessary, however quite challenging, part of his treatment. Even our vet agreed that there was no time to waste when picking up and working on this big fella’s feet!
Big Mack has presented with more issues surrounding his arthritic knees and left stifle injury. We are giving him extra supportive care in attempts to keep him as comfortable as possible. He also has blown out an abscess in his right front foot!
Shiloh has issues with his respiratory condition from Spring thru Fall, and allergies exacerbate his coughing, so he is on supplements to address that condition and help reduce the coughing spells.
In early March we accepted a new senior into the sanctuary–she is completely blind in both eyes and we named her Ruby. She is a big draft mare and requires special management for her disability. She is very sweet and enjoys attention, but has some issues with touching her head ,ears, and the handling of her feet. She is getting healthier by the day and has made a new best friend in Maggie, one of our eldest horses.
On a positive note, you won’t believe your eyes when you see the transformation that Tom has made in the 4 short months he has been here. Arriving in December in an emaciated state, infested with lice, look at him now! He is coming out of his shell and looking fantastic! He is a big boned, elderly Percheron who is quite handsome!
We currently have a long list of Needs! Our donations are down and our bank balance is meager. We need your help and there are many ways to do so, even if you don’t have money to give! We keep our WISH LIST current and by clicking the link will see what we are in need of!
In the next week we will need to order more medication for Eagle, and prescription anti-inflammatory medication we use for several of the horses arthritic conditions. Our hay supply is low and fingers crossed we make it until the first cuttings are ready!
Just some of our monthly costs to support our Sanctuary Senior Horses: Hay $1,200, Feed: $800 Trims: $355 Supplements: $1,200 Medications: $200, not to mention supplies such as shavings and topical products (all on our Wish List).
Some of the supplement items we buy from Bulk Foods: MSM, Vitamin C, Tumeric, Garlic.
Our choice of Vitamin/Mineral supplement from Horse Tech: High Point for Grass.
If you have horses, know of folks that do and use any of the Triple Crown feeds, please collect the Proof of Purchase (POP’s) from the back of the bag for us. We are able to redeem them for cash towards our next feed purchase!
If you conduct a bit of on-line shopping, please use iGive.com to support our charity! Hundreds of merchants donate a percentage of your purchases to charity and issue monthly checks. Just sign up, and choose Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse Sanctuary as your charity of choice!
We have several on-going Fundraisers that we would love for you to be a part of!
If you are in the area, our next Open House is Saturday May 18th from 10 am to 3 pm. Come see what we are all about, I don’t think you will be disappointed! Feel free to share this post to interested friends and family!
Cindy Daigre, Founder
The start of 2013 has been a tough one-two of our oldest residents Maggie & Willie have not been well, battling ulcers, the stress of weather swings, going off feed, and just feeling their age. Then the hard drive crashed in my laptop, but I am back up and running now, albeit behind on my year end paperwork and books. For all of those who donated in 2012, you will be receiving your donation receipts before the end of January! We filed for our 501c3 tax exemption status on 9/1/12 and are waiting on the IRS to get thru their back log to receive our determination letter. All donations of goods and dollars will be eligible for tax exemption back dated to our date of becoming a registered non-profit on 7/20/12!
We continue to receive inquiries of owner surrenders and senior horses in need of our care, but are equipped to only care for a limited number, as much as I would like to say yes to everyone, I simply can not. We are always in need of donations to help us care for our residents-these seniors with special needs are quite costly to care for.
Siegfried has a Birthday coming up! He turns 24 on February 10, 2013! He is a magnificent horse, full of beauty and charisma, but not without his own set of health issues. The ringbone in his front legs is significant and causes him discomfort a lot of the time. He requires soft, stable ground to navigate on-mats and lots of shavings in his feeding and sleeping areas, joint supplements and anti-inflammatory medication. I have created a WISH LIST for Siegfried’s Birthday if you care to purchase a gift for him! I will also open the farm for a 2 hour “Meet & Greet Siegfried” on his birthday weekend! If you wish to come see him, bring a donation or a gift! Details will be announced soon. How many $25 donations can we raise in Siegfried’s name by his Birthday!!!?! I would love to see enough of them to cover his care for one month 🙂
We are accepting 80 donations towards our Rockin’ For the Seniors Fundrasier and when we reach that goal, will draw a name to win one of Alan Daigre’s Rope Rockers!
We still have our 2013 Calendars available-each month featuring a different horse in our care! Simply donate $25 and specify “Calendar” and we will mail you one!
We will be scaling back the number of natural horse & body care products that we can make and sell. The needs of the sanctuary are too time consuming at the moment to offer the full array of products. Each season, they will change, and announcements will be made when new products become available. Existing customers need not worry, your orders will continue to be filled!
Thank you for your continued support! Cindy Daigre, Executive Director, Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse Sanctuary
Siegfried is a 23 year old white Percheron draft gelding who stands 18 hands tall and weighs 2,200 lbs. He is quite handsome with his long flowing mane and tail and snow white coat. He is very laid back, taking everything in stride, and there is not much that rattles him. That disposition was ideal for his past life as a jousting horse. He spent from age 3 until his retirement in New York with a Medieval Jousting company and was used for theatrical performances. When it was time to retire him from this work, he was taken in at a nearby rescue that spent over a year trying to rehab him from lameness and laminitis, which he has a history of. From there he was adopted as a “hubby horse” for trail riding, and that situation did not work out so he was up for adoption again. That’s when I found him!
I agreed that he would have a forever home with all of his needs met at our retirement farm and sanctuary, Ferrell Hollow Farm, in TN. I hired an amazing transporter and he was hauled from Long Island, NY to our farm in rural Middle TN. The moment he stepped off of the trailer, I was awestruck by his magnificence -he was breathtaking and stunning! He lead right into his paddock and settled in immediately. He had finally come HOME 🙂 That was June of 2011.
Since his arrival Siegfried has presented with several health challenges-unexplained lameness and odd pastern dermatitis lesions-all of which had vets scratching their heads after diagnostic testing proved inconclusive. What we did discover thru radio-graphs is that he has significant ring-bone (arthritis in the pasterns) in his front legs, which will always need to be managed by a good joint supplement and at times anti-inflammatory medication.
Right now, as this is written, he is doing amazingly well, better than I have seen him. I have worked with Dr. Juliet Getty, Equine Nutritionist, www.gettynutrition.com to fine tune his supplements and he is absolutely glowing and feeling great!
A few fun facts about Siegfried’s upkeep: Draft horses eat A LOT of hay! Siegfried is on limited grass due to his history of laminitis, so he eats an average of a bale of bermuda grass hay a day-a bit more in the winter. Here are his costs per month:
$50 Ration Balance Feed
$75 Anti-Inflammatory medication when needed
Tons of love and labor: Priceless 😉
Siegfried has become our ambassador, the one who represents our farm, with his grace, beauty and lovely disposition he shows us that we can age with dignity if given the chance to do so.
Please consider contributing a donation or sponsorship to help with Siegfried’s upkeep and care–you will find Donate buttons on our website www.ferrellhollowfarm.org
Mary is a 26 y/o Standardbred mare who came to Ferrell Hollow Farm almost 3 years ago, with pal Francis. She is a very large gal, built much more like a Warmblood/Draft cross! She has an illegible lip tatoo, so I have not been able to trace her in the STB registry. She most likely had an early career on the trotter track, then transitioned to a life as a carriage horse. Mary worked the streets of NYC, but it is unknown for how many years. She was retired to Pets Alive before she turned 20.
Mary does have some arthritis which has become more prevalent over the past two years, however the most noteable condition that I have had to treat her for his hoof canker. It has been a long battle of using many topical products touted for “curing” canker, and boosting her immune system with no success. My feeling is that hoof canker can not be cured, at best it can be reduced or kept under control. Mary’s is deep seated and all 4 feet have been affected. In fact, last Fall when she became very lame, having had no success with any treatments, I felt an end of life decision was going to be needed to be made. Then I was told about a little known canker formulation created by an equine sanctuary in NY, and arrangements were made to get it to me. I was leery at best. However to our utter amazement, the canker began to dry up on 3 of the 4 feet! The drought spring & summer conditions were very helpful, as canker thrives in a moist environment. With the help of our trimmer, once a month we can trim away more tissue to expose yet another deeper layer of the canker so it can be treated. As of now, we are just battling canker in her right front foot.
Currently Mary is sound and happy, which is our goal for her–she is the picture of health otherwise! She maintains on a sparse grass area, eats lots of hay, demands daily grooming sessions and tail scratching and requires a daily joint supplement. Of course the canker treatment will always need to be on the supply shelf!
Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse Sanctuary is now a registered Non Profit Corporation with the State of Tennessee! We are currently filing for 501c3 tax exemption status. Our mission is to dedicate permanent sanctuary care to senior horses with special needs that do not have resources available to them otherwise. We are the voice for the underdog. The special ones with health issues, mobility issues, chronic issues, and no longer sound or serviceable. To us they have value, and are worthy of putting time, effort, caring and love into. To give back to them what they have most likely always given to someone else. We will be here for them until the end.
How can you help us help these sweet souls?
If you shop on-line, choose us as your cause:
If you purchase Triple Crown feeds or forages:
Cut out the Proof of Purchase (POP’s) from all feed bags and send them to us so we can redeem them and save on future feed purchases!
Purchase any of our hand made, all natural horse and body care products:
We will be sharing other ways you can help soon! Of course let us know if you think of ways as well!
Visit our website for more information about us at: www.ferrellhollowfarm.net
Ferrell Hollow Farm welcomed Big Mack, a 17.3 hand grey Percheron gelding, today as a new companion for Buddy! Big Mack is estimated to be in his mid 20’s and was rescued by his current owner from an abusive & neglectful situation a couple of years ago. He has severe arthritis and he too, needed a companion. So he has come to live at Ferrell Hollow Farm! We look forward to getting to know Big Mack, but we already know that he is a big sweetie 🙂 and that Buddy likes him!
Cindy Daigre is the founder and director of Ferrell Hollow Farm, an Equine Retirement facility in Middle Tennessee focusing on the unique concerns of Senior and Special Needs horses.
She is continually inspired by the beauty of the gardens she lovingly cares for and regularly creates unique herbal blends based with the plants surrounding her home. As with all of our products, only cruelty-free ingredients are used.
In addition, she provides Equine Nutritional Consultations, has developed a specialized line of Natural Horse & Body Care Products, Herbal Blends and Seed Mixes for Horses, and has written several articles for Natural Horse Magazine.
Sales of all of FHF products go towards helping the senior horses we care for!
Relatively mild winter weather, above average temperatures and lack of rainfall this spring are all expected to create a worse than normal fly season in our area. Ferrell Hollow Farm has implemented many natural methods of fly control over the years and continues to research and try new things to keep our senior retirees comfortable.
Diatomaceous Earth: This is a fine white powder that can be sprinkled on manure piles to decrease the breeding fly population.
Apple Cider Vinegar: Use only the organic, raw vinegar with the "mother". This can be poured over the feed meals or in the water buckets or troughs at a rate of 1 cup per day, introducing the flavor slowly.
Vitamin B1: Thiamin has been thought to be a natural insect repellent. We are feeding 1,000 mg a day to all of the horses.
Fly Spray: We use natural fly sprays made with high quality essential oils, sprayed at least once a day.
Fly Gear: Fly masks, fly boots, and fly sheets can be quite helpful in keeping the horses comfortable during the day. I find the soft breathable mesh material and belly bands to be the most comfortable for the horses.
Fly Traps: The only effective control I've found against biting horseflies are traps such as the Epps Biting Fly Trap and we have made several varieties of our own versions to keep it more economical. One trap in each horse pasture has been necessary.
Fans: All of our pastures have large run in shelters with electricity so that we can run fans to keep the air circulating during the heat.
Shade Screens: Hanging shade screens in each run in shelter cuts down on the sun streaming in the sheds, which not only deters insects, but keeps the horses more comfortable during the heat of the day.
Cindy Daigre is the founder and director of Ferrell Hollow Farm, an Equine Retirement facility in Middle Tennessee focusing on the unique concerns of Senior and Special Needs horses.
She provides Equine Nutritional Consultations, has developed a specialized line of Natural Horse & Body Care Products, Herbal Blends and Seed Mixes for Horses, and has written several articles for Natural Horse Magazine.
Today was the day to do a Clean Trax soak on Mary's front feet. CleanTrax is a deep penetrating hoof cleanser used on tough hoof infections, and does not harm healthy tissue. It is a lengthy process to use this product. The horses feet need to be cleaned first (I pick them out then put the foot in a pan of water, add a couple of drops of dish detergent and scrub the foot). Once the solution is mixed, the horses foot is placed in a reinforced bag, the solution added and the bag sealed to lock in the vapors for 45 minutes!
Mary is a 26 y/o Standardbred, retired from life as a NYC carriage horse. She quietly nibbles at hay while her feet soak. I use duct tape to reinforce the seams on ziploc bags and vetwrap to seal them closed.
Once it is time to take the feet out of the solution, the next step is to place empty bags back on the feet, seal them again, for 45 minutes so the vapors can continue to penetrate the crevices of the hoof.
It was necesssary to clean Mary's front feet with the Clean Trax as a preparation for canker treatment that is beginning this week. Hoof Canker will be a topic for another blog entry 😉
Cindy Daigre is the founder and director of Ferrell Hollow Farm, an Equine Retirement facility in Tennessee focusing on the unique concerns of Senior and Special Needs horses. In addition, she provides Equine Nutritional Consultations, has developed a specialized line of Natural Body Care Products, Herbal Blends, Seed Mixes and has written several articles for Natural Horse Magazine. http://www.ferrellhollowfarm.net
For 2 days only, when you order a Calendula Balm, you will receive a FREE sample of our NEW Calendula Cream, soon to be debuted! If you have sensitive skin or require fragrance free products, this one is for you! This offer lasts thru midnight Tuesday April 10th, 2012! All proceeds from the sales help us care for the special needs horses we have adopted and retired at Ferrell Hollow Farm! Our vet is coming this week for x-rays of 3 of the drafts feet and hocks, and to assess our mare with hoof canker.
Ferrell Hollow Farm’s Calendula Balm is very beneficial for healing wounds, soothing dry, cracked or chapped skin in both people and animals and taking the sting out of bug bites! It has a very mild, natural scent with no essential oils added, making it exactly what those with sensitive skin need.
Cindy Daigre, owner of Ferrell Hollow Farm’s Equine Senior Retirement Farm, is continually inspired by the beauty of the gardens she lovingly cares for and regularly creates unique herbal blends based on the plants surrounding her home. As with all of our products, only cruelty-free ingredients are used.
Saturday March 17, 2012
One woman, 10 horses, 8 cats, 2 dogs and 2 goats. It just took 2.5 hours to care for all of them. So? The horses are spread over 6 pasture/paddock locations. The cats are in 4 different areas. Every horse receives a bucket meal with necessary supplements, and then enough hay until the evening meal comes around. Poop is scooped or sprinkled with DE to deter breeding flies. Nets and buckets are prepared for the next meal. Everyone is checked over. Yesterday we had a colicky horse related to ulcers. This morning that is better. Whew! A draft has active laminitis. Another draft comes up lame and is blowing out an abcess. If you've never worked with drafts, they are quite large and every thing is exaggerated with them. The mare with hoof canker has a foot that is separating. The gelding with the stifle injury is not quite as comfortable as he was a week ago. The 2 Cushing's horses are way too hairy for our unseasonable 80 degree weather.
While this work load may not seem like much to some, realize that I am operating on less than 100%, still rehabbing from ACL reconstructive surgery 9 weeks ago, with continued physical therapy for at least another 2 weeks.
What does the rest of the day hold for this lady? My house needs to be cleaned. My farm house also needs to be cleaned-baths, kitchen, appliances, laundry room and windows cleaned before showing to prospective new tenants on Monday.
The laminitic horse needs a watchful eye and increased care, and the abscessed foot also needs more attention. It is a 7 day a week job with long hours. A labor of love.
If you would like me to work with you on getting your horse healthy thru a consult, but don't want to pay for it, don't ask. If you would like me to board your senior, retired, special needs horse for less than my monthly boarding rate, I can't. If you do however, see the value in these things, please contact me, as I would love to work with you and your horse(s). This is how I make my living. This is how I can take in special needs horses that need this level of care and pay for their upkeep myself. It is not easy work. It is a true labor of love. These horses need me and I need them. They are here to teach me things and I remain open to listening to them.
Please visit my website for more information and support our passion if you can, or share with others–thank you! Cindy Daigre