Sunshine's story as it appeared in the October 2020 newsletter. We received a phone call from a concerned member who saw a horse advertised on the Internet. One look at the ad and I knew we needed to get the horse under our care. She looked like a one on the Henneke Body Scoring scale. I called the stable and told the manager that we would be willing to take in the horse. It didn’t take long to get the okay from the owner of the starved horse in Iredell County. The owner signed the horse over to the stable and as soon as we were notified, Melanie and I were on the road to make a pick-up.
We never know what we will be facing upon arrival. The stable is owned by new folks and sometimes when a business changes hands, the new owner may inherit problems. It was never clear, but it sounded as if the owner was responsible for the feeding of the horse and that was not happening. The stable owner was wise to try everything to get the starved horse off their property. Animal Control can look to the stable owner as responsible for the care of the horse regardless of the agreement between the stable and the owner.
While I was talking to the stable manager and getting our release form signed, Melanie quietly headed over to put a halter and lead on the mare. We had already opened the back of the trailer. Our new skinny 21-year-old mare showed more energy than expected loading into the trailer.
Sometimes the horses that come to us are unusual. The tall mare is a strawberry roan and also a tri-color. Her face is all white and called “Bald Face,” both back legs have full stockings, and the mane and tail are tri-color. Now it gets really different, she is a registered Tennessee Walking Horse. I have never seen or heard of a TWH with markings like this mare. There is a rumor that she was a show horse.
Her body is covered with fungus, and she will need another fungal bath on the next warm day. Her hooves are in good shape, but there is an issue with her teeth. She can slowly mash up the expensive chopped alfalfa, but can’t manage normal hay. Along with her feed and supplements, we are also giving her three large helpings of soaked alfalfa cubes during the day, which she devourers. She was not gaining weight in a way that we would expect, and a full blood panel only revealed low iron.