Never Donate Your Horse...

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Never Donate Your Horse...

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    10-01-2012, 08:50 PM
Never Donate Your Horse...

I had been riding this horse named Barney from June thru August. He is a 9yo TB and is partially blind in his left eye (though you would never know). I was riding him for his owner because she didn't have enough time to ride both of her horses and her daughter lost interest (I have no idea how people lose interest in horses.....). He was quite overweight, so I got him back in shape. He got fit and we would jump 3ft+ courses and do awesome dressage. Since he was her daughters horse and her daughter didn't want him, Barney's owner donated him to a local college. She got a $5000 tax break/refund/whatever it's called, and they got an awesome school horse. He was on a 30 day trial and in just 20 days, he had gas colic and lost so much weight and muscle. He was just turned out in a sand paddock with no grass. They sent him back after 3 weeks because he coliced.

He looks like a skeleton. You can see all of his ribs and the top of his ribcage and hips are sticking out. He lost all of his muscle so his back is sunken in, and even his face bones stick out. I rode him for 20 minutes just to see what he remembered, even though I really didn't want to- he just looked too sad. He doesn't bend, flex or really respond to anything. Walking in from his field, he was afraid of everything- even me, and was terrified of walking into the barn. He was unresponsive to my leg and any aids I used while riding. He used to be cuddly and now he just has a dull look in his eye and puts his ears back when you brush him.

I'm so upset because I would've bought this horse if my dad hadn't lost his job. He looks so different and isn't the same horse. While his owner was dissapointed that they didn't want him, I'm glad he came back if this is how they would've treated him. I can't believe how much has changed in just 3 weeks :'(
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    10-01-2012, 08:54 PM
It's hard to believe so much drastic change happened in just 20 days. They would have had to starve him entirely for that much weight loss that fast.

Are you sure there are not other health issues going on with him?
GhostwindAppaloosa likes this.
    10-01-2012, 09:04 PM
I'm sure- no worms or anything like that. He was fit when he went to them beacuse of the work I'd been doing with them. He isn't a super easy keeper, but he isn't impossible. His owner thinks he was ridden everyday by beginners who probably had heavy hands and stuff like that to make him numb to everything when I ride him. Also, after he coliced, they cut back his food so much. He is used to having grass all day everyday and I think it was a hard transition from grass and grain to grain and sand. I'll take pictures when I go tomorrow, so you can see the difference.
    10-01-2012, 11:55 PM
Super Moderator
I would really think that he could have a lot of sand in his gut and that is making him so miserable that he cannot do much. Why don't you see if the owner's Vet will try to clear out any sand?

Then, I would give him Vitamins with B-Complex and Liver & Iron on the top of the list. You can very cheaply give the injectable B and Iron by just squirting in the horse's mouth. DO NOT inject it. It is cheap and can be bought from any livestock supply store or catalog. It will get him back on his feet in no time at all.
    10-02-2012, 01:26 AM
So sad and it happens a lot I have heard of horses being sent for training for a month and come back a pile of bones scared to death
    10-02-2012, 07:22 AM
Thank you Cherie. I had thought that maybe the colic had to do with all of the sand, even if he was eating hay and nibbled some sand too. I will talk to his owner about the vet and those vitamins. Unfortunatly his owner's husband doesn't have a job at the moment, so I'm not sure how large her emergency fund is at the moment.

Sheenaschlytter- The sad thing is, other people at the barn (who don't like Barney's owner very much) had said to me that they had heard bad things about this college and most colleges in the area. My mom asked them and me not to say anything to Barney's owner because this was really good for her. We also didn't really believe them because they didn't really like Barney's owner...
    10-02-2012, 08:02 AM
I wouldn't say never donate. The TAFE I attended a couple years ago had a few horses that were on free lease, which is basically a donation. One of them was a beautiful horse/pony who had been rather neglected by his owners. They were more than happy to let the TAFE use him, and their only request was that they didn't cut his mane (I understand why - this horse was a fleabitten grey and had the most beautiful wavy white mane). Eventually they did give it a trim, because the owners weren't keeping their end of the bargain of taking the horse back during holidays. This horse was almost too well taken care of (aka he was a wee bit chubby. His feet were always kept trimmed, he received any veterinary treatment necessary, and he was ridden most weekdays by the more advanced students.

What happened to the horse in the OP's story is horrible though. Keeping him in a sand paddock was the worst decision on the college's behalf. I wouldn't be surprised if the horse has sand colic; it can cause very rapid weight loss.

Here's hoping the horse picks up and, with any luck, you will come into some money and buy him.
    10-02-2012, 08:39 AM
Super Moderator
The Vitamins are really cheap if you buy them from a catalog or a farm supply store like TSC or Atwoods'. A Vet is going to recommend giving them IV by HIM at a cost of about 20 to 40 X the cost of giving Vitamins labeled for livestock but giving them orally. They are NOT a prescription drug.

You can also buy OTC products to help get sand out of a horse's gut.
    10-02-2012, 03:29 PM
I think smart pak might have some stuff for the sand…
It's rained for the past 36 gourde so I might not be able to get a picture today if its pouring when I go out. I'll see what I can do though
    10-02-2012, 03:38 PM
Don't bother with something from SmarkPak for sand. Buy generic powdered Metamucil and start him on that. It's the exact same thing as all that high dollar 'equine sand clear' stuff.

The active ingredient in ALL of it is psyllium fiber. No sense paying out the nose for something you can get a heck of a lot cheaper at Wally World.
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