Originally Posted by Left Hand Percherons
He doesn't look that bad from behind. I would of expected a more sunken in on the sides of his croup. Try the other "tests" and see how he responds to them.
I have never seen saddle sores on a driving horse like that. You will sometimes see them up on the neck from the collar but never on the back. As one area was sore they would just move the saddle back and start again. I can't fathom how that damage occurred with a wagon as there should be almost zero pressure on the saddle from it. It would of been broken but still.
I'm surprised the public allowed a horse in his condition to work on their roads (if that's what he did). Here, he would of been on the news 100# ago.
I think what happened with the sores on his spine was the surcingle part (which has a fuzzy pad, which is often wet or filthy) was first where it belonged, just behind his withers, but caused rubs from being wet or dirty, but as he lost weight it fell further and further down his spine until it was where you could see the dried sweat marks, half way down his back. Causing rubs along his top line the entire way :( The rubs from his breeching and breast collar seem to be superficial, just rubbed fur, not much damaged skin. But he has a few more spots on his face that are rubbed raw that I think if the hair grows back it will be white, from wearing a halter for so long.
I don't know why there wasn't more public awareness about his situation - to be honest he is
the only one out there that looks like this. So perhaps people didn't notice or care, in the harness much of his appearance looks less terrible too. You could barely see him under all the equipment. I know for a fact the local SPCA had been called on a regular basis on the carriage companies on the streets, but as so many people call so often over things that don't matter the SPCA usually comes and does a quick look over the ones at the stand and carries on. Sometimes they'll make a particular horse go home that day or say one needs something before they can work again, but things aren't checked or followed up. To be honest I think all the public out cry about carriage horses has done a great disservice to the horses that actually need the help - like crying wolf. Several years ago while I was working there the SPCA came and told me they got a call my horse had a broken leg they needed to check. The caller said the horse 'was holding up a hind leg like it hurt', he was resting, like any normal horse would. We got other complaints about the fact that they're abused by having nails in their feet with shoes in. While I'm not a huge fan of shoes, they are far from abuse, especially for a horse working on pavement.
If people had taken pictures and gathered up evidence to prove actual
neglect or abuse were happening before just whining about horses not belonging in the city maybe something could have been done. I keep waiting for the day the business is outlawed. But I did love the job, I got to bring the wonderful world of horses to a group of people who had never had the chance to experience it before. So many times I was told "I've never actually pat a horse before!" That made the job worth it for a while. But our hours being from 6pm-11pm on weekdays and 11am-10pm on weekends were taxing on all of us, horses and people. That and issues with the carriage companies fighting with each other. The owners of the companies all truly being in the business for money, not for the love of horses. All this added up to me just not being able to handle it anymore. I left with my offer to buy my horse on the table and every month I stopped by with a pocket full of peppermints to feed him and I reminded them I wanted and was willing to pay for him. Well finally they got an offer for several other carriage horses being sold to them, so they were willing to sell me my boy in exchange for money to replace him.
Sorry, that's my carriage company rant.
But I tried some other things, he had a hard time moving his hind end away, seemed to not be able to balance himself right away. Just my putting pressure on his hip - this was not an issue 2 year ago, but now he seems to hesitate, pull his legs under himself and then shift over and rebalance - it takes him some time. I called my vet, they'll be calling me back today or tomorrow with an appointment date, but also to talk about these sorts of things.
Thank you all so much for your help - I will definitely look into that hair sample EPSM thing!! Thank you all
As for today - he must have slept well! He has bedding all in his hair, he's also much cleaner, I groomed him as much as I could yesterday but a lot was caked and hurt him for me to brush, but I think the bedding helped clean a lot of that up :) He seems to be feeling well - when I took his blanket off this morning he didn't look quite as 'deflated' as he did on arrival, I think the water has helped him a lot - he's drank about 5 buckets (5 gallons each) as well as had several buckets of soaked hay cubes. But he has finally peed too which is good. So it looks like everything's going well :) I'm going to turn him out today and if that goes well I'm going to start some short walks around my driveway to get his body moving. I'll post pics when the farrier is done with him too, that should be some great before/afters o.o