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