Monday, March 12, 2012

The Super 6

When you have a farm, be it small or large, the work never ends. Even when you have the best of intentions, getting anything accomplished on the list you made at breakfast becomes impossible once you get to the barn and see what is what. Saturday is my day to work at BSRA. This past weekend, a large group of riders went to a local cross country 'pace', which left only a few horses to be managed, including my favorite invalids - Sneaky and Vince, along with two mares that are in different stages of recovery and six newly rescued ponies.

Mouse injured her rear end back in early January and Savannah has a cut on her rear leg just above the hoof. As most of the 'bossier' horses were gone for the day, I elected to turn Mouse out with the few quieter ones left behind. She was getting restless in her stall and the day was too beautiful to ignore. With the new horses in quarantine for 30 days, I put Sneaky inside the arena where Savannah could see him and know she wasn't alone in the barn.

My goofy gelding was also bored with his confined space. After letting everyone out, we set up the outdoor arena for Vince with hay and water. It was big enough he could move around, but small enough he wouldn't be able to re injure the suspensory ligament. With horses outside the arena to keep him occupied but safe, we deemed it time for our newest arrivals.

BSRA ransomed 6 horses, four of them in poor shape. While we worked around the barn they stood in their quarantine stalls, quietly chewing and examining their new location. As soon as we could, Miss Bev and I removed their blankets and took a visual scan of our new charges. What a bunch they are!

Worst of the lot would be Spark Plug, 'Sparky', a smaller Quarter Horse-style pony. My first impression was the dullness in his eyes. This poor boy is approximately 150 or more pounds underweight. From the moment I arrived until I left his nose was deep in his hay. There are no external wounds or scars, he just has been in starvation mode for a while. When I removed his blanket, I could feel every point of the spine, and his tail had been cropped off from the mess it had become.

Next comes the little dun mare, now renamed as 'Daisy'. She is missing teeth in the upper front, victim of a direct kick to the mouth; probably in competition for food, as she is thin and well scarred. In working with her, there might be some residual mental scarring. On her right side along the girth line she raised her hind leg and spun around to warn me something was upsetting her. Rather than push anything, I left. It wasn't the time to probe.

Third would be the red bay mare, 'Dolce'. She has been beaten up pretty well but hadn't been there too long, as her weight was still good. But it was obvious she has breeding. There is a Jockey Club tattoo under her lip, but we cannot find it in the database. When Sami has more time she can investigate.

The other Thoroughbred is a tall drink of water now called Maple Leaf. Not sure if that will stick. Dark bay without a spot of white, her lip tattoo is impossible to read. Only with pictures of her and the remains can we make any attempt at her registered name. She is well under weight and eats like a Dyson vacuum. Her eyes are soft and remind me of our other rescue Sterling. When she gains her health and starts working again she will be magnificent with her long elegant legs.

The other two are thin but only to the touch. From a distance 'Dozer' the Halflinger cross gelding, and 'Dynamo' a Quarter Horse draft cross are both large and in charge. 'Dyna' is leader of the band and watches everything to make sure the others stay in line. Dozer loves three things: food, people and food (not necessarily in that order!). His attitude toward everyone and everything is instant and infectious. His personality really fits with his name.

When I returned after brunch on Sunday, what a happier group awaited me. Late Saturday everyone got groomed and hand walked and loved on. That night they slept warm and full with their blankets. Sunday was a day for the eyes to begin wondering, "Is this really it? Will we be safe?" The noses were extended with more curiosity than the day before, hooves were extended for cleaning. With a wave of love we started the path back to normal, where every horse has a place and a purpose and a forever home with their favorite person.

That will be a wonderful world.

Join us as we track the rehab of the Super 6, along with the exploits of my goofy gelding Vince as he recovers from suspensory ligament damage. Because no day with horses is routine, it's always an adventure!

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