Shasta's story as it appeared in the July 2012 newsletter. A call came in from Rowan County Animal Control asking HPS to check on a group of seven horses who were very thin. Small herds such as this can severely drain funds from local animal controls so it is not unusual for them to contact local rescues for assistance and we are always glad to offer any help we can.
The owner of the property was placing out a large round bale of hay to the small herd when we arrived. Two of the horses were old family pets and the other five were horses had come to him for various reasons; two were being kept for a friend who had moved out of state, two had been taken in as payment for services previously rendered, and the last was a little white mare who had just weaned a foal.
The little mare was in the worst condition at only about a 2 on the Hennecke scale. Lack of pasture and feed while nursing a foal had taken its toll on her. The property owner said that she was 20 years old and showed us her little paint foal that was now six months old. The foal was very tiny for its age despite having had a 16 hand sire. It was evident the property owner knew nothing about foals since this one had never been de-wormed and was not even on a feed designed for foals. We discussed proper care of the foal with him and he promised to secure the correct feed & de-wormer. It became clear that he was trying to cull the herd. He was making arrangements to send two of the horses to West Virginia to their owner and was trying to sell the other two. He felt that by cutting his own hay he he could take care of two to three horses.
We advised him on feeds for the older horses and advised him to keep his teenage children off the horses until they regained their weight again. However, the white mare concerned us and we made arrangements to have her brought to the sanctuary. The little mare quickly gained weight and was named for the Native American Shasta tribe in Northern California. Our vet determined her to be much younger than her former owner had stated.
Shasta may be one of the smartest mares to ever have resided at the sanctuary, she never ceases to amaze everyone with her intelligence!