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HelenBoBellen 04-27-2009 08:17 AM

Tilly's Story
Tilly is my brown 15.2hh TB mare. I got her from a riding school in November last year. This is her story...

When the riding school asked if they could turn out a horse in our paddock to put on a bit of weight, of course, our answer was yes. She was dropped off in the paddock late one afternoon, after the boys had been fed, so I didn't see her condition until I went out the next day.

She was a mess. She would have been one of the worst looking horses I've ever seen. She was skinny to the extreme - almost every bone in her body was visible. She had rainscald which had been allowed to develop so far that it caused her to lose almost every hair on her body, including her ears. The only part of her with any hair was a small part under her mane. And (not pleasant, I know!) she was so undernourished and underweight that you could fit your fist underneath her tail where her bottom SHOULD have been.
Tilly when we first began treating her.

Then began the process of getting her away from the riding school. In the end, we got her through the RSPCA, and were finally able to treat her ailments. To begin with, she was scrubbed with a water-iodine solution twice a day to kill the bacteria that had caused her hair loss. She also suffered from sunburn, as we were unable to rug her to protect her against the sun because of the presence of the bacteria.

She also developed an eye ulcer because she was so undernourished. Eventually, this also cleared up, but it took a long time. Her teeth were in terrible shape, so much so that it is hard to tell her age. She's branded, so we know she is either 13 or 23, but the top part of her brand went missing when her hair did. Her teeth look older than a 13 year old, but she has come along so well that it is hard to think of her as being over 20. 2 vets have said she's 13, but another said 23. You just can't tell.
Tilly Christmas Eve, about a month after we got her.

The first time I took her out, she was so excited! I only took her for a swim down in the creek, but she really did enjoy it.:-) My poor bottom, though - her spine bruised my tail bone for a few weeks afterwards!

Til is now looking much better - it's taken a while, but the improvement after a few months has been great! She's such a loving animal, absolutely LOVES hugs and is a joy to ride and be around - the only thing we've found her to be scared of is the miniature ponies just down the road!
Tilly January 2009, looking happy and healthier

We are still having ongoing problems with her feet. When we got her, her feet had been cut back so short that they still need to be longer, even 5 months later. Amazingly (she's a tough little thing!) she never pulled up lame - she was tender on the harder ground, but showed no signs of lameness on soft ground.
Tilly about a month ago (March 2009)

This is Tilly's story. It's an ongoing one, and one that will hopefully bring so much more happiness.

mysandi 04-27-2009 09:17 AM

How sad that she was allowed to become so thin but you've done wonders with her!

reining girl 04-27-2009 01:30 PM

wow, that is awful, but you have done an amazing job, she looks awsome!!!!!

sandy2u1 04-27-2009 03:50 PM

I'm so glad that you were able to get that horse. she looked so pitiful. They should have shut that riding school down! She looks great now though!!! Doesn't even look like the same horse.

HelenBoBellen 04-27-2009 06:16 PM

Her Age...
Thanks guys! It was a joy working with her - as I said, she's a loving, friendly animal, but is an absolute terror at breaking into the shed when our backs are turned!

Just wondered whether you would say she's 13 or 23, keeping in mind that we know she is one of these, and that she's come such a long way in a relatively short period of time?
Same horse, 4 months TLC

kchfuller 06-02-2009 06:44 PM

i am so glad that you opened your pasture!

GypsyTally921 06-02-2009 06:57 PM

Any gray hairs around her eyes or muzzle? If so I'd for 23. If not, I'd go for 13.

Pinto Pony 06-04-2009 10:05 PM

You deserve a medal! She looks like a totally different horse :D

As for her age, maybe ask the horse dentist or vet if they have a clue next time they see her. Sometimes neglect can prematurely age an animal making it hard to guess the age.

Nutty Saddler 06-05-2009 11:05 AM

13 or 23

Horses teeth have what is called a Galvayne's groove which appears at ten years of age on the upper corner incisor tooth , and starts to dissapear at around 20 .

It should be relatively easy to guestimate the horses age by this.

If you are unsure , post a pic

Maynme 06-05-2009 12:55 PM

Wow, that was a really sad story. I am so happy you saved her. God bless you!!!

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