The Hungry Herd from the February rescue is doing well. The littlest mare, Maggie, is so thin and is having trouble with abscesses, but she is eating well and is putting on some weight. It just seems such a slow process. You want them to get better, right now!, but rehabilitating them takes time and can't be hurried. I put her in the barn the other day thinking I can soak her foot easier if she's inside and give her extra groceries, plus she'll be warm and dry. I opened the top of the dutch door so she could see out and get some fresh air. I came back a little while later and she'd jumped over the door! I don't know how she managed it, but I decided to put her back outside with the rest of the herd, figuring if she's that upset about being separated the stress won't help her at all. I've been able to halter her and clean the burrs out of her tail and poultice and soak her foot so she's getting some good handling at least. Haven't had a chance to work with the others at all, but they do come running as soon as they hear the chain on the gate rattling!
On March 9th we went to a local horse dealer's lot to check out a herd of Clydesdales that were there. There were 7 geldings, a stallion, a yearling filly, a two year old filly, and 6 mares - four of which were pregnant and one that had just foaled that morning. All were in pretty rough shape, underweight and with terribly neglected hooves. Some of the mares seemed friendly but most of the horses were nervous and seemed unhandled. Not surprising, given their situation. Six of the geldings had already been sold and were going to Iowa to be trained to drive. The remaining horses' prospects weren't too bright. We ended up buying the rest, 10 plus the foal that had just been born.
We happened to have our horse trailer with us as we'd just dropped off some horses at Janine's and made what turned out to be the fortuitous decision to bring the mare and foal home with us that evening. We named the mare Philomena and the foal Fonda.
Meanwhile, Fonda the foal, such a sweetheart!, was doing well in spite of all that her mom was going through. We began supplementing the mare's milk to try to take the burden off Philly of having to nurse Fonda continuously. Fortunately Fonda took to drinking from a bucket right away. But in spite of everything, we could not get Philomena to eat anything but a bit of sweet feed. She would only nibble at hay or cubes and as soon as we added anything else to the sweet feed, like supplement or broodmare mix, she wouldn't touch it. The following Thursday, after 10 days, she laid down and we couldn't get her up. We'd IV'd her and tubed her with everything we could throw at her to try and boost her energy and get her going again but it was not to be. Philly was euthanized on the 20th. We were so heartbroken.
With Philomena gone, Fonda became an orphan and we had to figure out what we could do to make her and our lives a little easier, as raising an orphan foal is no small matter. The next day we were advised of a mare for sale a couple of hours away that had aborted twins the day before. We made the immediate decision to purchase the mare and try and get her to take Fonda as her own foal. A huge thank you to Gigi and her family for driving out to pick up the mare and bring her to the Rescue! It was a really long day for you. And thank you to everyone else who offered to help. The new mare, who we named Bitsy, is a beautiful 14 year old registered QH mare (Ima Bit Te). She has a scar on one hock, looks like an old wire cut, and she was very lame. We were told she'd been recently kicked. Thankfully within a day she was fine though. Gigi and family arrived with Bitsy late in the evening. We put Bitsy in the stocks and gave her a bit of sedation, then allowed Fonda to nurse a little. Fonda was happy to do so! Bitsy wasn't too crazy about it but she didn't fuss much. The next morning we did the same thing. By that afternoon after a couple of more feedings without having to sedate Bitsy, foal and mom started to nicker to each other and Bitsy even faced towards Fonda's stall when they were separated. Mike and I had to go out that evening (thank you Judy and Sherral for taking over while we were gone!) but by the time we got home late that night Fonda and Bitsy were definitely bonded and got to spend the night together and have been together since!
Thank you to Four Feet Companions Foundation for the grant towards the care of the 'Hungry Herd'; to Trendsetting Stable Riders and Noble Riders 4-H Club for the donations; and Shay-Ann Rangen for donating for your birthday! Thank you to Calgary Regional Trail Riders for once again generously supporting the Rescue through your donation. Thank you Annalise Blishen for doing massage therapy for Emmy. Thank you Linda Somers for arranging the weekly fruit and vegetable donation from Planet Organic Calgary North. The pigs, goats and poultry love it!
Mary Ellen has set up a facebook page for used tack sales to benefit the Rescue - https://www.facebook.com/groups/bvrusedtack/ If you aren't on facebook, you can contact her directly if you have tack to donate or are looking for something to purchase - email firstname.lastname@example.org
Krystle has arranged a wonderful fundraiser for Bear Valley! Dueling Pianos LIVE! from Las Vegas - Come join us for an exciting evening filled with LIVE dueling pianos (all the way from Las Vegas!), May 31, 2014 at Cremona Community Hall. $40 per ticket, $5 drinks, silent auction! You will not want to miss this fantastically fun evening! Call Krystle at 403-836-4096 for tickets. If I can find a website for the venue I'll post it on the fundraising page. There is a facebook page set up for the event - https://www.facebook.com/events/628812433879006/
Snuffy and Isis have been adopted together, and Cecil, who was out on foster, has now been adopted by his foster home. Janine, our treasurer, has taken on some of the special care horses - Monkey, Joanie, Munsie, Torque, Snips and Sasha.
We have a lot of new sponsors - Isobel, Shay, Dan, Saffron, Marnie, Eclipse, the goats Isabel and Waffle, have all been sponsored in the last month, in addition to the sponsors of the Hungry Herd! Thank you to all sponsors, past and present. Your continued support helps us to meet the needs of all the animals in our care.
Torque, Snips and Ellie had their teeth floated at the beginning of March. We have about 10 more that need doing this spring - just have to get to it! Also once the weather warms up we have to do some gelding - Sigmund, Elvis, Flame and the Clydesdale stallion need to be done. Mike hauled home another 100 round bales, with another 50 still to pick up. We also purchased over 500 more square bales. Can't wait for winter to finally end!! We now have 96 horses in the main herd and 44 at the house, and lots more fostered out. Adoptions have been slow while intakes have been overwhelming. It has been such a long, cold winter, I think everyone, us included, has been in survival mode. Hopefully things will pick up once winter loosens its grip. It is, after all, almost April!