For those of you who haven’t befriended me on Facebook, I’ve been quite busy with a new project. I’ve been so busy, in fact, that I have put the Bake-Off on hold for a bit.
So, without further ado, let me show you what’s been going on.
**WARNING: Graphic photos**
While I admit that the photos I will be sharing below are not that bad, IMO, I do realize they could upset some readers. So, if you’re one of those, please feel free to skip this post entirely and know I took in a skinny, starving mare near death and I’m working on making her better.
Meet Sugar, a 14hh, upper-teens, stock horse type mare.
Just 12 days ago, I helped rescue an abandoned horse at the end of our road. Her owners didn’t want her any more and turned her loose, just like that. She’d been fending for herself for some time in a swampy area. But, in case you haven’t heard, Georgia is in the midst of a drought. Our ponds are mostly dried up and the grass had been dormant for most of the summer. So , the swamp was dry, with no water and no nutrition in the grasses she was eating.
Mind you, this is the second horse I’ve found since moving to Georgia. You can read about the first one here
I told my husband I was going to go take a look at her. He told me we just couldn’t take on another horse. We’re already full up here. AND he’d just purchased another for me a few days previously as a surprise. (I knew about it. Oddly, he bought her that SUNDAY night. It’ll be some time before I bring her to Georgia though, as she’s a baby and in Oregon).
So, he protested mildly.
After seeing the plight of this little mare, at how painfully thin she was (and still is), and seeing her old injuries that weren’t cared for, my heart broke. I spent the next half hour trying to get the owner to relinquish her to my custody (and he was a scary, strung out, tweaker dude!), followed by 90 minutes of slow walking to move her the two miles it was to my house. I could not leave her there. I simply couldn’t. A couple more weeks on her own and this mare would have died, if she hadn’t wandered out into the road and been hit by a car first, causing a terrible accident and loss of lives.
During that walk, I prayed that we’d make it home safely. That Sugar wouldn’t go down, and would have the strength to make it to my house. I sweet talked that little mare the whole way home too, calling her “Sugar HoneyBaby” and begging her to not go down on me, all the while pleading with God to keep vehicles from flying up the road at us, causing an accident, or spook, or worse.
We made it home. Sugar was in pitiful condition. I gave thanks for our safe journey. I gave thanks that my husband’s soft heart caved when he saw her. And since then, I’ve worked hard to put weight on Sugar and to make her comfortable. She’s gaining steadily (52 lbs the first week), but she’s not out of the woods yet.
It’s also been financially tight for us to take Sugar on right now. Not only did we just pay a substantial amount of money for my new filly, but my husband’s company announced they were changing our pay cycle and we’d be going an extra week before being paid again, all on a payday that is already reserved for rent and bill and whatnot. But some how, so far, the Universe has provided, not just for us, but for Sugar too. (Because, rehabbing a horse is VERY expensive. In 11 days she’s cost roughly what I spend on my two horses here at home for a three week period).
I de-wormed Sugar yesterday, as she was finally strong enough for a mild de-wormer (pyrantel, if you’re wondering). Even then, I was deeply worried about a chance of colicking. Oddly, colic and founder are my worst fears when it comes to my horses. I’ve never really had to deal with either (except a little belly ache with Casey because he was cold last winter). So, I checked on her hourly, until after midnight. She’s fine today, a little quiet, but fine.
In the past 12 days, I’ve been able to piece together that Sugar was someone’s beloved, well-trained baby in the past. She blankets like a pro, even lowers her head to put on and take off the blanket, de-worms without need of a halter and doesn’t fuss, and is about the easiest going mare I’ve ever known. Of course, with some additional weight, some of that may change.
I don’t know much about her past and I can only guess at it from what I observe. I do know she came with a calcified knee injury, but I don’t know how old it is. She needs her teeth floated, but appears to be about 16-18. She fly sprays like a champ. She spooks sometimes, but she spooks in place. She has an eye injury that has left her with some vision impairment. And she spooks when strangers she doesn’t know approach her from the left, the eye with the vision impairment. Once she knows and trusts you, she’ll follow you anywhere and actively seek out your company.
Sugar came with the name, “Cocoa”, but we changed it for obvious reasons. I’m told that she is papered and that her previous, previous owners would just give me her papers. But so far, that hasn’t happened. At this point I haven’t been able to find out anything more about her. Not her registered name or breed or date of birth. But that’s ok. I’m learning about Sugar all the time, just by what she shows me.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a broken down old mare to go love on and a stall to strip. 🙂