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Animal rescue online always includes a lot of drama, and one of the primary complaints is “Why can’t you rescues work together?  Why do you bash each other?”  Well, the truth is, where there is a lot of bashing, there is usually a reason — a hoarder or very low end rescue that is just as bad as the people the horses are coming from, or a skilled con artist who is bilking donors of thousands and frustrating the heck out of the real rescues.

Still, I understand that it gets old.  So today I am going to tell the story of three rescues who did just what so many of you ask – worked together to get a lovely old mare to safety!

Nicki Branch, down in the San Diego area at Falcon Ridge Equine Rescue, posted on Facebook with regard to four horses whose owner had died, up in my neck of the woods.  I said that I’d be happy to go check them out and evaluate them.  You never quite know what you are getting into in these situations.  I talked to the daughter, not a horse person, who said the horses seemed really sad and she thought maybe they all needed to be put to sleep.  So, I was a little worried I was going to walk into a really horrifying situation.  I made an appointment to go out there and take a look.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a total nightmare.  Three of the four were underweight, but not terribly so.  They all needed hoof care desperately, however.

Those haven’t been done in years.

The horses had belonged to an elderly couple. They were all registered Arabians. The wife had died last fall, the father recently. The kids didn’t think the horses had been out of their pipe corrals in over five years. We were able to identify them as the following: Millacent, a 26 year old mare, Scimakota, a 27 year old gelding, Star up Front, a 19 year old stallion and LLA El Demon, a 21 year old stallion. (These situations, there is almost always a stallion. Why?  Why? Why????)  Star Up Front was Millacent’s son and had been with them his entire life.  They had never been able to pick up his hind feet.  Ever.

I made arrangements to have my farrier do their feet and was thrilled to hear they got Star up Front trimmed all the way around despite the many years of neglect. My farrier, Jorge Ordonez, is a rock star.  Even horses who are terrified of men are fine with him. He just gives off that nice vibe of being trustworthy and calm – and he’s super talented.

Next, we got busy networking these guys all over Facebook and some of the Arabian web sites.  Terry at Arabian Rescue Mission offered to take in Millacent.  Millacent needed immediate care.  Her feet had been done but she was thin (most likely bad teeth and a gut full of sand) and had a bad case of rain rot.  The only problem was, Terry was in New Jersey.

Millacent in the corral she had been in for five+ years.

Fortunately, a foster home stepped up – Carolyn, who was located just an hour and a half away in Oak Hills, California! We made arrangements and I headed out with my truck and trailer to take Millacent to her new home. When we brought her out to load her up, she danced around in excitement and it was obvious that, amazingly, she was totally sound despite having just had her feet done for the first time in forever. She got into the trailer with minimal encouragement and headed off to her new life!

...which included an AWESOME huge turnout!

…which included an AWESOME huge turnout!

Her foster mom has bathed her crusty back and it’s on the road to healing. She is sound as a dollar and trots around her big turnout in total joy. She has had a half-tube of Zimecterin and is getting psyllium and beet pulp to clean her out of sand. The rest of her life is looking great from here!

The reason you don’t hear all the stories of quality rescues working together is the same reason you don’t hear about all of the celebrities who don’t do drugs or get arrested. The happy endings don’t generate as much interest as the train wrecks, but it doesn’t mean they’re not out there. And for every crappy owner who starves and neglects a horse, there are a lot more of you out there who take fabulous care of your horses and would feed them before yourselves.

Now, anybody else need an Arabian? 🙂 I think we may end up making a non-polo-pony exception and bringing Scimakota over here…he is just tooooo cute and keeps sucking up to us!

No, I’m not a polo pony, but I’m cute and I want a home, too!