So after many nail biting months and struggles to keep my opinions to myself(those of you who know me....understand) it was time to bring my girl home. She was still a bag of bones with a grungy coat and horrible feet. I was in love. She was quick to pin her ears, quick to run away if she could, and for the first few days I worked with her I was in tears everytime.....people didn't deserve the millionth chance she gave them. She had a huge heart.
At this time in my horsey life I was running a boarding/lesson barn in south Raleigh. I had tons of students and plenty of barn rats. I know for a fact that I couldn't have gotten all I got done without the help of some really awesome barn rats. They picked stalls, helped feed, went to buy horses with me, went to try horses, went to shows, put some really fun horses through the paces to make sure they were "lesson worthy".....worth their weight in gold. I don't think I told them that enough.
I put Easy in a large stall with plenty of bedding, plenty of hay, and 4 meals a day. She coliced EVERY meal for the first few days. I suspected that she had ulcers....she would get halfway through her food and lay down, roll, and colic. I went through so much banamine I thought I was going to have to put her down. She was a solid citizen through it all though. We had to have a few refreshers on stall behavior and how she needed to approach people but once she got that the rules at my house were different and always the same.....she was a champ. I know that most people would feel sorry for her with her abuse and mistreatment but I had kids, lesson moms, etc running around all the time and I had to have good horses. I do feel bad that people did what they did to my beautiful girl but I didn't do it and neither did any of the people I would EVER allow around her again......therefore.....at my house she was expected to be a solid citizen ALL the time and the respect all people. She took it all in stride. The great thing about my barn rats is they knew the rules and could enforce them. They weren't scared of this poor mare and didn't let her intimidate them.
The treatment for ulcers was going to be VERY expensive. I opted to try to heal them without meds first. I knew that the pain came from the stomach being empty so she was given PILES and PILES of hay 24/7. I had a small paddock for the rescues until they were strong enough to go out with the herd. I had her up at night and made sure she had enough hay that in the morning she would have some left. I did this for the first few days then slowly added beet pulp for her breakfast. Within 2 weeks she could eat all of her meals without colic or discomfort. She was putting on weight!!!!
I started working her in the round pen for fitness. I have learned that exercising a malnurished horse helps them put on weight. I'm not talking about marathons but a little bit of directed exercise really helps. Easy was worked about 15-20 min a few days a week.
These pictures were taken while we were playing in the round pen. Easy had been with me about 6 weeks.