In reality, ALL horses rescued are success stories. However, some are more involved. Some of our incoming horses are in such bad shape when we get them that the change we see, with a little love, care, feed and water, is AMAZING!
Bonus was four weeks old and laying in a pen with a stallion who was trying to protect her and a bull. She couldn’t raise her head and all of her natural sucking mechanism was gone. She was too dehydrated. We believed it was too late to save her.
I insisted she come home to die in loving arms and stayed with her and continued giving her goats milk until she fought me. After ten days and a lot of salve on her nose for the blisters from dehydration it was clear that she wanted to live.
The first picture is after three weeks. I think she was rotten even then. Bottle babies form an attachment with what they think is their mother and she did just that. Too young to know she was a horse, she still thinks she is a human. She is up for adoption if the right person with enough attitude to match hers comes along. Until then she can be sweet, she can be rotten, and she can be both at the same time.
Our beautiful rotten cremello baby with the prettiest blue eyes!
Bug came to us through our local humane society. When she arrived she was just skin and bones. She would not have made it much longer if not for the rescue. She was so hungry for a scratching that you couldn’t get rid of her, hence the name “bug”. Her owner had not cared for her and she had not had her teeth done, probably EVER. Besides doing a general “float”, we pulled one nasty infected molar that was poisoning her system.
Within three months she had put weight on except for her topline which comes slower when they are older. Bug is easy to catch, loves to be touched and rides nice but she may not be suitable as a child’s horse.
Callie was a sheriff’s pull from another rescue. She came to us starved and dehydrated, covered in rain rot, and scratches on all four legs. Even with all of those issues, she has shown a great will to survive. Here at Spring Creek she has healed and grown. She has learned to halter/bath/trim/ride and is happy to be alive.
Colton came to us three weeks after a dog had chased him through a fence. He was half the size a yearling should be, severely starved, terribly scared of humans, in pain from his injury, wormy and dehydrated.
Our vet cut off the flesh from his wounds, cleaned up what was left of his back legs and left us with LOTS of antibiotics. Never having been handled, the activity in the barn sent him to the corner to cower. Although he moved away from any human, he watched with amazing interest everything going on. When his legs had started to heal and the weather grew warmer, it was time to start haltering, handling and worming. Some of the other colts were first, Colton stood in the corner of the barn and watched. After three of the other horses were introduced to the chute, haltered and touched, the humans were tired. We figured Colton had already been through so much that we would leave him for another day. As we began to put things away, pleased with the progress the other colts had made, Colton came forward, looked at us, and put himself in the chute! The intelligence and understanding he demonstrated was AMAZING. Although he cringed when touched, he dropped his head, licked and chewed, and let us groom both sides and halter him. After six months his legs are still healing. He’ll never grow to his full height due to early malnutrition but can be happy and healthy living here at the rescue.
Update: Colton became a gelding on 1/07. He has become one of the most social horses at the rescue and is our greeter for every new horse that arrives, especially the ladies. He now asks for attention from his human caretakers, likes to be groomed, and hates to be ignored. We expect him to really blossom this summer and become all that he can be.
Updated – May 2008: At this time Colton still has big trust issues and continues to have a fear level above normal. For the time being he will continue to be a permanent resident here at Spring Creek until he can trust multiple people.
Update – February 2013: Colton has matured in size and really looks like a horse now. His call still sounds like that of a 2 year old, and he still does not trust everyone, but his fear level tapers as the years go by.
Update – January 2015: Colton has matured into a great looking gelding. It’s hard to believe he is 10 years old now! He has mellowed some with his age, but can still be quite a booger to catch (when he’s in the mood-ONLY). The Rescue is in a quieter place now and his attitude reflects this. He is not quite as spooky and not quite as fast to just run when he encounters something he’s not quite sure of. He’s still very social but still has the fear of being hit – although it is less. He still loves his butt scratches and begs for attention from ALL – not just his “person” – so we are gaining.
Originally Published with Photos: http://www.springcreekhorserescue.org/horse-rescue-stories.aspx