Ok so I will try to make this short and sweet. I have never owned a horse. In NYC there aren't many horses around aside from Carriage horses and Police horses. I moved to rural Maine about 2 years ago, and even then, never dreamed of buying/adopting/fostering a horse. Actually, I thought that I was afraid of horses. But that is neither here nor there. A few days ago I read an article about a group of giant draft horses that were surrendered to MSPCA and they gave a link to petfinder. Petfinder... darn them. So I click the link and of course I found none of these giant horses, so I searched for draft horses think I'd find them just so I could see just how big "giant" was.
None of those horses have listings on petfinder yet as they are still being vetted. Lucky me. BUT I saw a posting for a 30 year old belgian draft mare who was surrendered when she was no longer useful on her working farm. She was a work horse her entire life, plowing, hay, lumber, but when she started getting arthritis in her hind legs she wasn't pulling her weight and her owner gave the rescue the choice of take her, or she will go to a horse auction for slaughter. Don't even get me started on how sad that makes me.
Anyway, I saw how sad and empty this horse looked. I know nothing about horses, but I think she is missing her purpose in life. She is in a pasture pen ALL day long with limited interaction as her foster has other animals to attend to. Needless to say I knew I needed to find a way to make this work. I don't have the space/barn at home to house her here. I have found a local facility about 5 miles away from home that is willing to board here despite her age. She would have her own 12x12 stall in a heated barn on a padded floor with a 120x100 pasture right at the door. There are no other horses in that barn at this time, so she would be all by herself.
The rescue has been open and honest about her arthritis, and has told me she requires bute before each farrier service. I also plan on talking to the vet when he comes out for the first visit (if I am approved) to see if starting her on some supplements would help any. They have told me that she could have a year, or maybe 5 if I am extremely lucky. I basically just want to give her a comfortable spot to spend her retirement (i have no plans on riding her) where she can get lots of love, and get a little spoiled.
Is there anyone out there that can give me some ideas on what I can look forward to with a 30 year old horse? I know I need to have the vet check her teeth, see when the last time they were floated was, to check her for cushings, and check the condition of hooves. Do horses have hooves, or feet? I guess I need
to do some more googling...
Anyway, any info or help that you guys can provide is greatly appreciated!