Sunday, November 10, 2013

One Year Later...

One year ago I ago I brought home a friend for Bob.  Listed on Craigslist for $800, the add said the gelding was in his "early 20's, "broke, broke, broke", and a great trail horse.  Hmmm, I thought - this might be a good addition to our family.  I called the owner and was surprised to find she was located only a few miles from our place.  She mentioned he needed a "few groceries" but was ready to ride.

I hopped in my car and went to take a look.

I was shocked.  This is what I found...

The owner had neglected to mention the infected bites on his side and along his spine, oozing pus.  Or that this $800 horse was so malnourished that his eyes were dull and glazed over.  She told me the horse had belonged to her x-boyfriend, they'd broken up and she'd been "stuck" with "his horse".  She had told me she'd turned the poor thing out with her mare and stallion and "guessed" the other two horses had beaten him up.

My heart broke at the beautiful palomino, once such a proud and glorious horse.  I just couldn't leave him.  I offered her $100 and 30 minutes later he was safe at our place.  He had literally jumped into my trailer.

His old name did not come home with us.  On the way back with the trailer to pick him up I'd changed it to Prince because he had been a Pauper and now was a Prince.  Bob and Prince quickly became friends.  We focused on healing Prince's wounds and helping him gain weight for the cold winter, just around the corner.

Prince spent all of his time eating and with such gusto that it brought smiles our faces.

Prince last January waiting for the shoer.  New skin covered the open wounds on his back and spine.

Prince in April.

Diagnosed with Cushings, my Niece came out and helped get some of that heavy hair off of him as the weather got warmer.

The vet said whoever had owned Prince in the past had not done him any favors regarding his teeth. Prince only had only a few teeth left.  We started him on Orchard pellets and Senior Feed, which we now refer to as "Slop".  Prince thought this was a pretty nifty idea...

Prince in July, all that is left of the open sores are areas of white hair.

A happy and content horse in August.  Always stands quietly tied.

I had wanted to ride Prince but was content to let him have ample time to recover from his past life. In early October the shoer came to replace Prince's front shoes.  We were both surprised to find Prince having a hard time staying upright whenever either of his front feet were picked up.  He seemed healthy and happy, as long as one didn't pick up one of his front feet.  The Vet was coming in a few weeks to give shots.  I'd bring the concern up with her.

Prince waiting for the Vet a few weeks ago, almost to the same day a year ago that I brought him home.  He filled out pretty good, don't you think?

I explained what had happened when the shoer had tried to replace Prince's front shoes and voiced my concern about it being a dangerous situation for both our shoer and Prince should he collapse. The Vet checked Prince out and told me his knees are deteriorating due to his age.  I had noticed - he didn't lie down very often and now suspect it's because he's having issues getting back up.  The Vet estimates his age to be mid-30's (I hadn't asked for a confirmation of his age on prior visits...guess it just didn't matter at that time).

The issue with shoeing is a big one.  Both the Vet and shoer say that going barefoot will be painful for Prince based on the poor condition his feet were in when I got him.  We will do what we can for him but based on his age and deterioration of joints, we have made the gut wrenching decision that we will need to take action regarding his future sooner than later.

It's what you do as a responsible horse don't let them suffer.


  1. don't know if I should be feeling happy or sad. So happy that this last year thanks to you he's led a good/great life. Sad because when the time comes Bob & You will miss him so much.

  2. He certainly does look like a Prince now, you have done a wonderful job with him. It is lovely that he has had this good time with you. However long it lasts will continue to be a gift for this sweet boy.

  3. I'm confused... what gut wrenching decision? To keep him barefoot or to put him down? I hope he's okay!! If you had to put him down I'm so, so sorry, but I'm glad he was lucky enough to spend his last year with you.

  4. OH GOSH! Prince is sure a beautiful horse, and breaks my heart he was so abused! You are his angel! Such hard decisions around the corner! But trust Prince in that he will guide you.

  5. On October 15 we euthanized our elderly gelding,,, he had the same problem as Prince, when the farrier tried to trim his front feet, losing weight, severe arthritis in his legs, teeth issues. Couldn't let him struggle through another brutal winter in the Midwest. I felt that I needed to be with him,, it was terribly hard & emotional. I am glad I made the decision to do this,, it was the humane thing to do for him. Will be thinking of you.