Waking up this morning, I thought to myself, “Did I really go to New Holland yesterday and bring home 2 of the possibly worst looking horses there?” Yep. A look out my window confirms that Bill and Dan are in fact here. And hungry.
I went out and tossed them some hay. They stick very close together. I’m almost kind of glad now that I got two, as 1 in quarantine would have been lonely I’m sure. And they seem to like each other. We’ll see if that holds true after they’re no longer sick and starving! They actually drink out of the water tub together, and Bill (the stallion) let starving Dan eat his grain too. I don’t know if Bill recognized the feed I gave him as edible. Maybe amish horses eat something simpler like plain oats? I’m not sure but rest assured I will get him to eat.
What Do We Have Here?
The thing about auctions is that you don’t know what you’re getting. I have zero expectations for them, so that’s OK, but it just means I have to start over and see what they know. So today, armed with grooming supplies (seperate from my other horses to avoid cross-contamination), Dumor treats (Tractor Supply frequenters will recognize them!), Banixx, Tomorrow (cow mastitis treatment also used for thrush), and plenty of patience I set out to see what Dan and Bill know.
When I first saw Dan, I thought “Dang. That is one skinny horse.” So when the vet tech was asking me for a name to put on the coggins and Christy said just pick the first thing that came to mind, I knocked the g off and called him Dan. But Dang was pretty much my first thought again today. So what else does Dan know besides hunger? Dan knows treats. He took one politely as I tied him to groom him. Despite his deplorable condition, he does still have a little shine to his coat, which I think is going to be really nice once he is restored. Amazingly, his feet aren’t half bad. He picks them up too. I used a face brush and the softest rubber curry I could find. He’s too bony for a good scrubbing but he desperately needs one. He also knows fly spray and he ties well. It’s going to be a while before he’s able to carry a rider but I can’t wait to see how he rides. In addition to picking up some weight, he’s got something very funky going on with his teeth (he gets a wad of grain/hay stuck in there, so probably a tooth that has collapsed and will need to be pulled). His eyes are draining which could be secondary to a tooth infection. He has a couple of sores on a hind leg, possibly from being kicked, but otherwise his legs are pretty clean. I expect he has some arthritis. If I had to venture a guess, I’d say that Dan probably had decent care up until fairly recently. He seemed to enjoy me combing his mane. He’s not fearful or timid so I think he knew good people at one time.
When I look at Bill, I don’t see percheron/haflinger cross. I don’t see draft at all. I think the vet put morgan on his papers. He has a nice tail, and I jokingly told my husband who admires fresians that I brought him home a miniature fresian. 🙂 He didn’t buy it. Truth be told, Bill is one of the worst-put-together horses I’ve seen. He’s croup-high, his hocks are funky, his neck is short and cresty and he looks like he’s in foal. There is a blog called Fugly Horse of the Day (google it…it’s enlightening and hillarious). Bill would be a prime nominee. I sincerely hope he doesn’t have any progeny, but as he is a stallion I’m sure he does. The good news is there will be no more. Please don’t take offense to this. I am going to do the best with Bill that I possibly can. He’s got a great temperament and that counts for a lot, but irresponsible breeding is a large part of why New Holland will never go out of business.
Bill doesn’t know treats. I’m not suprised there. He approaches everything sort of willingly, though always like he’s waiting for something bad. He’s not headshy or flinchy, but the rub marks on his girth, the bite marks on his coat, and his deplorable hoofcare tell his story. Have you ever seen a maggot living in the cleft of a horse’s frog? Me neither until today. Bill wasn’t too keen on picking up his feet, but I told him the farrier is coming tomorrow to help him and he needs to meet me halfway on this. He didn’t kick out or stomp or anything bad. When I did get his feet up, it wasn’t pretty. Just looking at him you can see they are very upright and narrow. His frogs are several inches above the ground. He has severe thrush. This is going to take a long time to correct. The best option for his is probably going to be letting him go barefoot to allow the hoof to spread back out to a more natural shape and encourage the frog to grow. He cooperated enough that I was able to get his feet picked out and apply some Tomorrow (a medicated paste used to treat mastitis in cows, that is very effective against thrush as well). He tolerated brushing and stood nicely tied.
Bill is very tolerant and non-reactive. Bill is also sick, but I do think he’s just an easygoing fella. What stallion is going to let a gelding eat his grain? Bill has lived a hard life. His front tendons are thick and he’s got plenty of lumps and bumps. Even though he’s sporting an equine mullet (the amish shave the forelock and a long bridle path on most of their driving horses) and he kind of resembles a mule deer, just you wait. I’m willing to make a bold prediction and say this guy’s going to look darned cute cleaned up and under tack and I dare say he’s going to be a nice little kids horse with his sensibility.
Stay tuned for more. Thursday is vet and farrier day (also known as bleeding wallet day!). Bath day is coming up too.