I was originally going to post pictures with this, but I managed to get hold of a lot of them, and the scanner needs to be dug out from the abyss of the basement. So you’ll get pictures of her tomorrow (I hope)
Babe is a chestnut thoroughbred mare, about twenty five years old. She has the tattoo on her lip, but it’s impossible to read, so we don’t know her registered name. She came to Rocky Mountain Horse Rescue about two weeks ago, while I was away for a family event. And even after two weeks of regular feeding, she still looks really bad.
The most tragic part is that Babe wasn’t the victim of active abuse, but being owned and cared for by people who didn’t know how to take care of a horse. She was put to pasture for the last five months, over the winter, and not given any food.
This is a common misconception about horse care. People reason that a domesticated horse can find food in a field because mustangs and other wild/feral horses can. What they don’t realize is that feral and wild herds have miles of fields to find food, while the average pasture isn’t even one square mile. Horses will always, always, always need to be fed, even during the summer months.
They also need to be groomed regularly. Daily if you can help it, never less than once a week. Babe is suffering from rain rot because she wasn’t properly groomed regularly. And that’s not even getting to how bad her hooves are, even though I didn’t get a close look at them, I could tell that they were bad. That was a result of a lack of being regularly picked out, and not being tended by a farrier for an extended period of time.
So in all, Babe spent the winter in a pasture, may or may not have had shelter (I wasn’t told if she did or didn’t) and wasn’t properly groomed for that entire time. As a result, she’s emaciated and she’s covered in sores.
And she suffered all this while nursing a foal. The yearling isn’t at our ranch, I heard that it was healthy and sent to a place where it can be properly cared for.
I’ll be sure to update you on Babe’s progress, and post pictures of her soon. I’m told that she’s getting better and making progress towards a recovery, but since it’s only been two weeks, the healing isn’t really showing yet.
Moral of Babe’s Story: Know what you’re doing when you buy a horse, because five months is all it took to get her in the shape she’s currently in.