Even though Haley is 17.1 hands tall, weighs around 1,400 pounds and is 14 years old, I still refer to him as my "baby boy". He is a truly amazing horse who has taught me so much, especially this past year.
He has defied all odds and continues to amaze and astound us. Not only has he had to compensate his entire life with a disability, but for the past year, he has had to learn to live with the after effects of a second neurological disorder.
He battles frequent laminitis episodes (inflammation in the foot) and consequent abscesses, seeming to re-bound from each one by some miracle. His desire to carry on is strong.
He knows that he is in his forever home and that I, his momma, will do absolutely anything and everything for him to make him as comfortable and happy as possible.
I've put together a photo album of my favorite photos of him from 2009. I hope you will enjoy them!
Peace and Happiness for the New Year to all!
Monday of this week I spent from 1-8 pm at the TN State Fairgrounds caring for the horses that HSUS seized from a Cannon County farm two days before Thanksgiving. I had been helping round up donated goods and staying in touch with them about their needs since the seizure. HSUS and UAN staff and volunteers were handling most of the needs. They finally needed me to come pitch in a hand!
I was given the task of caring for 13 horses in the back row of the barn. There were about that many horses on the other end of that row that 2 other workers were caring for. I think each row was to have 4 workers, 2 per side, but they were a bit short staffed that day. I flew solo for most of the shift, with someone popping in and out periodically.
They had just started giving them a feed called Thrive which is from a small mill in Texas. It looks like dog kibble and is a forage based product designed to be used in starvation and re-feeding programs. Except for the ones who were on medical restriction, the others could be given a scoop of Thrive every couple of hours. They were also given free choice grass hay. Mostly they would pick out what they wanted, leaving a mound of hay in the stall, to be scooped out the next morning. Every horse had a blanket, halter, lead, bucket with salt brick, muck tub sized water bucket and a feed bucket. The stalls were being mucked constantly–at least I know mine were 🙂
The day before they had acquired enough panels to make small exercise pens on one end of the barn that some of the horses were being rotated out in. These pens were padded with shavings just as if they were stalls. Most of the horses were shy and wary of people, so workers had to be very mindful of that when entering stalls to clean or feed. One adorable mare with a blue eye had the worst case of rain rot I'd seen–in large patches all over her body. She allowed me to lightly groom her and settled right in and enjoyed it.
Not long after I got there, workers were trying to get up a horse on the row behind mine. I went over to see if I could assist. It was a thin, young black TWH who had been down for a few hours and wouldn't get up. They had 2 sling ropes and 6 people working hard to right him. He finally got up and was walked up and down the barn aisle a bit. As alarming as this might seem, this was not an uncommon occurance. These horses were in starving conditions and it will take months and months for them to regain strength and health.
Most of the horses were young. I only saw 2 in the entire barn that were over age 10. Mainly 4 and under – Tennesse Walkers and Spotted Saddle Horses. All aspects of their care had been neglected. I was scheduled to work there again this afternoon/evening, however am pleased to learn that 15 of the strongest horses were transported to Horse Haven in Knoxville, TN on Wednesday and many others were to be transported to foster homes thru Volunteer Equine Advocates in Gallatin, TN yesterday. So their need for community volunteers is diminishing.
Although it is very sad that someone could allow these horses to get to this state, I was honored to be allowed to be a part of their salvation and recovery, if only for a short time.