Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lilo – 08/11/09

Lilo is a 15 year old Saddlebred mare, broke by the Amish to ride and drive.  She’s a very shy, quiet mare who is slow to trust humans.  Someone else rescued her off the slaughter truck last year and she was even thinner than she is now.  Then she was taken in by a family south of here, but after six months of feeding her senior, beet pulp, rice bran, and flax seed and not seeing much improvement, they decided to turn her over to us.

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Her teeth are in good shape and she comes with a clean bill of health from the last vet that examined her.

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Let’s start with the obvious fact that she’s thin.  Yeah, no kidding, right?  But look closely at her and you’ll see that she’s not quite as thin as you first thought.  She’s got some muscle on her shoulders and butt and her ribs aren’t protruding that much.  The first thing I notice on this mare is her TERRIBLE conformation!  That long back that sits much lower than her croup, the straight shoulder and back legs… this mare was not built to withstand the workload imposed on her by the Amish.  Three of her ankles are bulged with old injuries and she’s got mild arthritis in all four legs.

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She’s a very picky eater and wouldn’t finish her first dinner here last night.  She has no interest in hay or grazing, but prefers instead to stand in one place and simply take in her surroundings for hours on end.  We’re going to move gentle old Stride in with her today for company to see if that helps bring her out of her shell a bit. 

We’ll worm her today with Anthelcide and have already started her feeding regimen, which is pretty simple:

1 qt soaked beet pulp, 1 qt senior, 1 qt rice bran

We gave her twice that last night when she got here and she barely ate half of it.  If she finishes that much this morning, I’ll repeat the feeding again every two hours until she doesn’t want anymore.  Since she’s so picky, we’ll have to play it by ear with her and only feed her what she will eat. 


inchwormwv said...

Wow! She looks 115 years old :-(

sylvia said...

girlfriend is longer than a freight train! poor thing... hopefully you can fatten her up!

Tinia said...

I am very hopeful that you all will be able to improve her much more than I was able! Thanks so much for taking her in, and I look forward to reading her updates!

Jodie said...

I had a tn walker/standardbred that looked almost identical to her and equally as conformationally flawed. I bought her after only seeing pictures and met the people halfway...what I saw get off the trailer was NOT what I saw in the pictures. I felt sorry for her and took her home anyway. Her long legs did not do well on our hilly land and she was the very lowest on the pecking order and wouldn't even want to eat if the others were w/in 100 feet of her but she was a nervous wreck when I seperated her from them. She had a scar on her hip I assume from pulling a buggy or cart, she acted very much like you say this one does...very untrusting, she didn't even know what a carrot was, her teeth were horrible all she knew was how to do a job, she didn't know how to relax and enjoy grooming or treats, she just knew how to go when asked and was a nervous wreck otherwise. I know they say some Amish treat their horses well..but I've seen more than a few that were used up and thrown away..its so sad.

Anyhow I worked hard trying to get weight on that mare. I fed soaked beet pulp, veg. oil, senior feed, weight builder supplement from TSC, and soaked alf. cubes for a while until the equine dentist could get to her (her teeth were horrendous)ramps in the back over one inch long and sharp hooks about 1/2 inch long and looked like little sharp arrowheads. She had to have been in so much pain, the eq. dentist said he knew for sure she had never had her teeth worked on.

My horses bullied her to no end b/c she refused to take up for herself but also hated to be away from them. We sold her to a man who wanted a gaited weekend trail horse and is experienced with hard keepers and he tells us she's doing great.

Anyways..I'm rambling..but good luck with this girl, I hope she blossoms and thrives, I know how hard one of these ex Amish horses can be to rehab!

sylvia said...

I *used* to have so much respect for the Amish. I realize I can't group all of them together...but since learning more about the way they treat their horses...and the puppy mills...I have lost most all respect for their "peaceful" way of life.
Tinia, thanks for giving her a second chance at a loved life, and trying to fatten her up...maybe wvfarmgirl will have some luck. Poor old girl :(