Friday, September 21, 2007

Into the unknown.....

Today begins a new chapter in the life of one old horse, I hope it turns out to be a good one.

Our local AC auctioned off two horses last was young, fat, and pushy-$100. The other was old (Mid 20s) and had several unattended issues-$25.

I actually went to see these horses in person, and while the younger gelding was cute, he was obviously way more than my arthritis laden body could ever hope to handle. I have a pretty big soft spot for the senior horse, so I spent the majority of my time there going over the old mare.

A small mare with a small frame, I guessed she was mostly (or all?) Morgan type. A black with two socks and greying around the muzzle and eyes, she was probably quite a looker in her younger days. She sported a rough and dull coat, and sunbleached, butched mane and forelock. She had the tell tale protrusions on each side of the jaw, just where the molars would meet. Since she didn't want that area touched, it's a safe bet that she needs her teeth floated to relieve pain. And too, there were a few quids of hay laying about. She also had a swelling under the jaw on one side-right where the glands are. Perhaps a remnant of the bastard strangles she endured earlier in the summer-who knows. She was a condition score 4+.

In addition, she had largish patches of white hairs on both sides. It was quite obvious that these were the result of injuries-likely from poorly fitting tack over the years. From how far down the sides they went, I think she has probably worn a pack saddle too. These injuries included an open wound on the point of her prominent wither-about the size of a quarter. Ahead of that wound was swelling down both sides of the shoulder and slightly into the neck. It was obvious nothing was being done to close the wound.

To top it off, she had a deeply swayed back, fairly extreme. I am pretty sure it wasn't due to pathology, but rather to heavy use as she aged. Just ahead of the loin was some sort of soft swelling, just alongside the spine itself-more trauma from hard use.

And yet, her legs were clean as could be, although she obviously needed more trims to correct the angles of her hooves, which showed a slight "slipper". She looked ready to retire, not carry anyone, and I said as much to the shelter officer.

AC has had the mare in custody since about the first of May.

Think about that, if you would............

In almost five months of their "care" they had not treated the open wound on the wither.
They had not given vaccinations.
They had not floated the teeth.
They had not addressed the swelling under the jaw.
They had wormed her (perhaps twice)
Their records on her care and treatment were not available.

It was posted on a local group that there had been a news report about the auction, which included the statement that they had "put 200 pounds" on the mare since she had been in care.

What utter hogwash!

What BS, what a stupid, ignorant statement to make, by people who SHOULD KNOW BETTER! After all, some of their officers have even been Outside to special courses on horse abuse!

This whole thing really ticks me off-that they would make such statements and BE PROUD of it too! I know FOR A FACT that the mare would be DEAD if she weighed 200 pounds less than she did the day before the auction. Idiots. People toss around impossible, improbable figures like this and all it does is illustrate just how much they have to learn :(

I have challenged other people to go to a grocery store, and load up 100 pounds of roasts into a cart. Just take a look at the MASS that is, you can try it yourself. If it doesn't seem right, add another 100 pounds (if you can fit it in there) to see for yourself just what it really masses. Keep in mind we are talking about a small frame, small mare-perhaps 14.1 or 2 with a severe sway back-there is no way she would live with that much loss.

I'll have to touch upon other aspects of this later on, but the challenge remains-go load up 200 pounds of roast into a pile, or a cart, and take a good long look at it.

Do you really think a 14.1 horse could stand to loose that much, and *still* be a condition score 4+??



forthefutureofthebreed said...

So, did you get her?

suvalley said...

No I did not....whoever got her is looking at about a $600 vet bill, right off the get go, at least-and that depends on the amount of dental work to be done-not to mention the culture thats needed and probable antibiotics to treat the underlying infection.

The first thing I would have done, before teeth, is have a wellness panel-which costs almost $200, plus call out.

I can feed easily enough without the teeth being done-it was the evidence of pain that concerned me-nostrils crinkled, wrinkles above the eyes-this old girl was not comfortable at all.

Eff the local AC, it's not like they aren't "educated" about senior horses, and not like they don't KNOW how to care for them-and they do have experienced resources to help them with diet and management (myself being one of them) but they CHOSE NOT TO.

Which means, they let that POOR MARE suffer with these conditions for MONTHS, and did nothing!!!

Can ya tell it's a sort spot with me?

My hub says to hang out, wait, and the appropriate horse will come along. I think this particular horse should have been put down, before "saving" her from the strangles she would have been the humane thing to do.