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Life with Liz

Life with Liz is challenging.  Imagine the life she led for at least 12 years: pregnant every year, confined to a standing stall with her urine being collected for 7 months out of an 11 month pregnancy, with little human interaction, her foals just a “by-product” of her preganancies.  Now that she’s off the “pee line” she’s been forced to conform in a domesticated soceity but was never taught how to handle that.

Liz  Doctors prescribe hormone replacement therapy drugs to hundreds of menapausal women and one of the most commonly used drugs is Premarin (Pregnant Mares Urine).  Wyeth (a division of Pfizer) manufactures Premarin and this is how it is made: Mares are kept pregnant year after year, and for 7 months of their gestation, they are confined to standing stalls and wear a urine collection device at all times.  Once they give birth and the foals are weaned, the process starts over again.  Foals are considered a by-product of the industry and go to auction, and when the mares can no longer conceive, they too are shipped off.

Even though the PMU ranchers must follow a code of practice,  were horses put on this earth to be exploited in this way?  If they are lucky enough to escape the slaughter pipeline when used up, there seems to be only two options for them: 1-turn them out on large tracts of land where they do not have to be handled by humans, and are no longer expected to reproduce and give urine and live their life freely, or 2-attempt to win their trust and gentle them to humans.

Liz2In Liz’s case, I would take 1 step forward, and at least 2 backwards for months.  Then, when it was time for full turnout, things seemed to even out.  I was farther along with her training, and some days it seemed she was almost “normal”.  Then Spring came, and her hormones likely out of whack from not being bred, she has become extremely reactive and fearful to touch.  What do we do?  Calming supplements, herbs to help ease her cycles, how long do we wait, what is acceptable?

The relationship I have built with Liz is one of mutal respect.  I respect that she is the way she is, but also I have a few expectations of her.  They are not unrealistic.  Some days to her they must seem so.  She trusts and respects me to a point.  No one else has this from her, and likely never will.  She is pychologically damaged by the life she was forced to live by a money hungry pharmaceutical company and it is more than challenging.  Lovely Liz, you are at our sanctuary for life–you have a good one now and I think you know it 😉

Please take the time to educate yourself, your family and doctors on the PMU industry and just say No to Premarin!

Thank you!

Cindy Daigre, Founder

Ferrell Hollow Farm Senior Horse Sanctuary

Photos curtesy of Sue Doyle

2 Responses to Life with Liz

  • Linda Taschereau says:

    Thank you for this ! Tried to get news out on Premarin & will do again .No this touches my heart even more , Love Liz !!!!!

  • Jane Osborn says:

    Liz’s problems with cycles sounds a lot like what my young mare Empress has been dealing with since Spring. She was very much like what you were sayhing about Liz. Before she would go onto heat, she would start behaving badly, planting her feet, not moving, becoming aggressive even with me, or her trainer. She became down right dangerous to handle, so we decided it best to let her work the worst of her heat out inside the barn. She went thought hard heat, with the “don’t touch me” thing going on like she would crawl out of her skin. The vet said this could happen with her, as she is young and never been bred.. It was really rough and dangerous, but then we got Mare Magic for her, it is an herbal supplement that I get at TSC it is about $13.00 a bag and it worked wonders with Empie. This last heat she had was very different, she was much calmer, much more like herself and no crawling out of her skin. She did not seem “desperate” like she did the other times when she suffered through hard heat. I don’t know if Empie’s body caught up with her hormones, or what happened, but the hard heat did not happen this time and she was fine. Don’t know if Mare Magic would be the answer for Liz, but might be worth a try. Good luck. Hope things work out better.