Rescuing an Arabian Mare need some advice - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 05-21-2010, 05:35 PM Thread Starter
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Question Rescuing an Arabian Mare need some advice

A friend of mine regularly buys sick and injured horses from auctions where they will otherwise go for meat and turns them out in a huge pasture, he will give them penicillin and put wound spray on sores but other then that he lets nature do it's thing and when the horse gets back into shape he checks to see what training they have and tries to sell the privately or at auctions where they have a better chance of going to a good home.
While looking around for a riding horse for another friend I stopped by his farm to see if he had anything available that would be safe for a beginner. The only horse he had old enough to ride was a starved 10 year old flea bitten grey Arabian mare. Me and my husband have been looking for a while for a horse to rescue and keep as a pleasure riding horse and so I went to take a look at her...and I fell in love... She is about 50 pound or more underweight, 14.2 h or so high, as dirty as a horse can get with clumps of hair that she is shedding out and might have been bred by my friends stallion sometime in the last month. She has a sore on her leg 2 inches by 2 inches square where she skinned herself while at the auction for 2 days and her back legs are black with filth.
But I've gone to visit her only 3 times and never brought her treats and she already lets me walk right up and hug her. When my horse-clueless hubby went to pick her feet she picked them up for him. She is trained to stand on command and was sold at the auction as trained to ride and was fine with me laying over her back and sitting sidesaddle on her while my husband stood by her head.
When we get her she is going to a friends and being turned out in their pasture 24/7. She has already been slowly gotten use to eating grass and the pasture is eaten down some so she isn't going on an empty belly into a rich grass field. The wound on her leg is a bit infected but I'm planning on scrubbing it with soap and water and iodine mixed together, there is no swelling around the wound and she holds her weight on the leg fine.
Her feet are overgrown but not the worst I've seen by a long shot.
When I ask her to trot in hand she raises her tail a bit :)
I think I have most of the bases covered....
She was de-wormed when he brought her home and I will be de-worming her again on Saturday unless he does it before that.
If she is bred it was not until after she was on good food for a few weeks and I'm wondering if that would have increased the chances of her settling.
We think she just had a foal weaned from her as her udder is uneven. One teat is quite a bit larger like when a foal favors one size and the udder dries up and one teat is always bigger.
I bought a bag of mixed grain that has corn oil added. It is 6 % fat and 14 % protein. Will that be alright to feed her?
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post #2 of 15 Old 05-21-2010, 06:05 PM
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Make sure you build yourself up an army of professionals--a good farrier, an emergency vet, a regular vet, and a trainer or two. Make sure the vet has at least seen her before you bring her home to evaluate if she may have any lingering and possibly long term health problems, especially that leg. If its infected, it could spread through her body and create even more problems, and eventually kill her. A simple round of prescribed antibiotics would keep that from happening.

I would not recommend feeding a rescue horse "grain" or any other hard feed. Forage is your friend! Buy bales of hay in addition to the pasture she will be on, since horses are natural grass eaters, thats the best way to put on weight in the initial stages of rehab.Horses weight can fluctuate 50 pounds daily, so she probably needs 200 pounds or more put onto her (If you want reference pics, look at my guy! He needs about 200 put on him, possibly a little less). Once you start putting her into work then you can look into what kind of hard feed, if any, she may need and I would stay away from what you have, it sounds like it could be sweet feed.

I would also not recommend double deworming. It really is a waste of your money.

Keep in mind that her sweet personality could be starved--once she gets weight on her she might turn into a monster. This is where the trainers come in. They can help you correct any problems before they get really ugly.

Did I see that you're going to breed her a few weeks after you get her and she puts weight on? No. Pleaspleaseplease do not breed her until she is all cleared by the vet to be bred, and then with a proven stallion, and not just because you want a baby running around /end rant.

Other than that, congrats on the new addition!

Last edited by justsambam08; 05-21-2010 at 06:08 PM.
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post #3 of 15 Old 05-21-2010, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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We don't plan to breed her anytime soon but she was running with a stallion for a few weeks and I'm just wondering if the fact she had gone from no food to as much as she could possibly want would have effected her hormone levels and made it more likely she would have gotten pregnant if the stallion did breed her.

I have a good farrier lined up and a friend of mine is a vet and for a horse is willing to come out anytime day or night.

I don't think I'll need a trainer :) I am an amateur trainer. I have trained a bunch of horses to lead and worked with breeding Thoroughbred Stallions so I've handled mean horses a lot bigger then her. If I am out of my league I know a few good trainers that all work at the same barn and I could always send her there for a while if she gets to be too much for me to handle. The way she acts though makes me think she really is a good horse though. When my hubby went to pick out her feet she was picking up the next foot and holding it up for him to grab before he could even step over to it.
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post #4 of 15 Old 05-21-2010, 06:43 PM Thread Starter
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I'm thinking she needs to put 200 or so on...she is a lot smaller then your horse. I know she needs mostly grass and hay but I thought sweat feed will help put weight on her too.
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post #5 of 15 Old 05-21-2010, 07:32 PM
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Horses that were previously underweight will start to act livelier when they are properly fed, so that's normal. I can't tell how underweight your horse is, but I've seen quite a few horses that acted like angels when they were skinny and then turned into little trouble makers when they were healthy again. Frankly, when they are very thin they don't have the energy to waste on acting up and having an attitude, so it comes back when they are the proper weight. Even 'normal' horses may act more energetic initially when they are healthy again, as their body is adjusting. If ample forage (grass and hay) are not enough to put weight on her, then you can slowly introduce something like beet pulp or rice bran. I discourage sweet feed and grain as it can be hard on their stomachs. Beet pulp and/or rice bran will help with weight gain without the drawbacks of sweet feed or grain. Sweet feed is pretty much like junk food, it's a lot of sugar that they can't easily digest and increases their risk for colic.

"The trouble with the world is that the stupid are certain and the intelligent are full of doubt"
-Bertrand Russel

Last edited by roro; 05-21-2010 at 07:35 PM.
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post #6 of 15 Old 05-21-2010, 11:52 PM Thread Starter
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One thing that i have to say is that I think there is a difference between a complacent/quiet horse and a sweet horse.
Complacent=letting you pick up the feet, letting you catch her, letting you pet her
Sweet=lifting the foot of the ground for you, ears prick forwards when she sees or hears you and stands till you get to her or comes to you (she doesn't come but she no longer trots away either, and yesterday she came part of the way) and she isn't just allowing us to pet her she is coming to us and rubbing against us and nudging us to get us to pet her (not nudging for treats cause we only once brought treats and she didn't like them and wouldn't eat any)

I'm not saying she won't turn into a firecracker once she is full of food but I have always liked my animal fat and spunky and have trained a 3 year old to ride walk and trot and have worked with off the track thoroughbreds retraining them to be riding horses so i'm hoping I'l be able to handle her, if not then I'll get help.

If she isn't pregnant, Phew! But if she is it is a proven stallion. A registered paint who works all year round breeding mare in our area. Great temperament, can be ridden by kids and in parades and shows and is around 15 hands or maybe a inch shorter or taller so just the right size to breed with her. He would be our choice if we ever decide to breed her and if she is bred we will keep the baby and train it. I've trained babies before.
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post #7 of 15 Old 05-22-2010, 11:16 PM Thread Starter
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So she is putting on weight like crazy! We officially bought her today and moved her to the farm we are gonna board her at. She settled in beautifully. Wasn't bothered by anything. They have a 4-wheeler and ride it constantly so I told them to ride it around her field to see if it bothered her. She ignored it until they parked it beside her and started revving the engine then she put her head up from her grass and walked over to put her head over the fence and sniff at it and say hi to the person riding it. She walks in hand and does a lovely show trot in hand for anyone who asks. She met a goat today and was just curious not scarred. After letting her settle for a few horse I just HAD to sit on her so someone held her and I climbed the fence and slid onto her back and planned to just sit there. They walked her a few feet and I used a lead rope knotted as reigns to steer and stop her while someone walked at her head. She was perfect and I have had a gut feeling about this horse since I saw her so I turned her away form them and trotted her off across the field. She was perfect. Her feet are a bit long so she tripped once or twice so I just walked her around she was SO good.
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post #8 of 15 Old 05-25-2010, 01:19 PM Thread Starter
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These are the only pictures that we took that actually show how much weight she still needs to gain. in the other pictures she didn't look nearly as skinny. Apparently the cameras add closer to 100 pounds for horses like they add 10 pounds for us
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post #9 of 15 Old 05-25-2010, 01:33 PM
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Wow, I must say, that if this is a weight gain, then she must have been seriously underweight to begin with. I recently got an older arab that was skinny and covered in rain rot. After about a month he was pretty close to normal, but I don't think he was as underweight as your girl. As far as what to expect when she gets more energy, it is true that she could show a different spirit, but with my boy the only difference was that he actually fought with my mare over their food, instead of just letting her boss him around. He also is running and everything more often.

Since she is getting a much richer diet now, the farrier is your best friend. Not only do hooves grow with the grass, but also with increase in grain and weight gain. She will need trimmings around every 6 weeks for sure.
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post #10 of 15 Old 05-25-2010, 01:34 PM
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You want to know something funny: my arab boy is named Indy too!
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