a) I wasn't ready to kill the person responsible,
b) wasn't hating humanity in general and
c) hoping I'd have the remaining Minis here by now.
But today seems like a good day. It's a long story and I'm not going to go into it to much until after the rest of the horses are safely away from their situation.
I've sold a number of Minis over the years, and like to think I've been pretty picky about where they go and how they're cared for. But every now and then we get one back that is in need of care of some sort or another. It goes with the territory and I'd rather be responsible for what I put out there and have people ask for help or return them to me so they can be cared for.
As many of you know, I've been slowly reducing my herd this past year, as I'm in the midst of a divorce (amicable but still stressful), and I'll likely be moving in a few years, so figured I'd start downsizing now, instead of a mad rush later. I have a friend or someone I thought was a friend, we'll call her "This Person", that has bought a number of Minis from me over the years.
This Person is going through some financial/personal difficulties, and was moving her horses here (long story that I won't get into), but before I met her to get the first four, she told me the horses were 'thin' and in need of a trim. So, I assumed I'd get some thin horses with long toes. I've dealt with that. Heck Tomas (bless my farrier's heart for the wonderful work he does), has had to deal with two foundered mares we took back in May and some of my Minis that view the farrier as an evil being. When I went to meet This Person, and she opened her trailer, I about died. The smell was overwhelming (four Minis with thrush), along with seeing dull eyed, skinny horses on a body scale of 1-10, they were in the 1-3 range.
Fortunately my friend and fellow Mini breeder/lover, Holly Bradshaw, was with me, so we quickly loaded the four into my trailer and then had a bitch-session on the ride home about the many levels of hell This Person should descend to. Believe me we were quite creative!
We took photos of the horses when we got home and two days later when they had there first trim.
The one that shocked me the most was Celena. People that have been out to the ranch over the years, likely remember Celena (Las Doradas Celena) she is a 30.5" Mini that always tipped the scale at 350 lbs - yes a chunk - with a 4" layer of fat on her belly. We've had wonderful foals from her over the years, and I still have one daughter (Val) here. She's always been one of my special mares as she's a half sibling to ET (my original Mini) as well as being related to so many of our herd.
When she went to live with This Person, I assumed it was to a good home. Someone that has 30+ years of experience with horses and other Minis. An animal lover (I'm thinking horder at this point), but seemed to genuinely care for her horses. Little did I know this person, either doesn't or can't take care of a Mini or even provide the most basic care as feeding and hoof trimming.
This is Celena in 2004 (I mistakenly tagged it as 2007 that was her weight date sorry) and the photo below it is from Thursday, November 18, 2010. She was literally unrecognizable to me and my daughter. She weighed 350 lbs +/- in 2007 at UC Davis.
This is Lily from This Person. Leggs her half sibling is in the same condition and they're almost twins in color.
Lily a yearling that was supposedly trimmed in June 2010, so six months of growth? I think not. She was trimmed two days later, but is on a few months recovery as she has no frog in her hooves and is learning to walk again. I'm surprised the poor things have survived. They're as thin as Celena above, but have a thicker winter coat so the bones are not as evident.
. Bre the last one of this group. She has some nasty wounds on her hips, is very overgrown hoof but is in better condition, if you can say that then the other three. She's thin to skinny, not a bag of bones. Holly was good enough to remove the matted manure from her mane and gave all the horses a thorough check. We're glad they didn't have lice.
I've taken horses in over the years and have dealt with neglect, but generally it's over-indulgence and founder from over-feeding. I've had a few thin to skinny horses before, but never in 11 years have I had any in this deplorable of condition. And we have eleven more coming. To say it frightens me is to put it mildly. I can't envision a time I'd ever let my horses get to this point and told This Person that.
Why she didn't call or ask for help, I will never understand. Especially when I see her and she's not missing meals and has regular manicures. I guess you sometimes never really know what is going on with some people.
So, I've been hating humanity that can do this to these Minis, but today is Thanksgiving, and I have to be thankful these four are getting care. I have to be thankful that my Minis that I stress over not getting every perfect bit of care I want to give them are at least fat, shiny, trimmed and healthy. Yes I have some rasta-manes, but they're shiny-eyed, shiny coated and happy. I'm Thankful that these four - Celena, Bre and the two yearlings at least are getting proper care after continued neglect for at least the past year. I'm also thankful for the offers of help we've received already.
The care will happen regardless. I have corners I can cut in my own life (always leave some bump room - lol), but what I'd really love is any help with pet homes. It won't be for 2-3 months, but the yearlings are pet quality, as there legs will never be 100% straight, and they both have mild underbites (gelding their dad when he gets here!). They're both very sweet, docile and I think will shed out to be pretty buckskins. But, I won't waste the money to register them - as I really want PET homes with no breeding going on.
The horses This Person bought from me are still in my name with the registry, and the remaining horses will have to be evaluated. I will be contacting the breeders she purchased them from if I can get that information too.I'm not going to share details on the person responsible, as my goal is to get the Minis (11 more) out of her care. I've basically given her a deadline and if she doesn't comply, then the authorities will be called.
Anyway, I'll post photos as they improve and look forward to getting the rest some proper care in the coming weeks.
Wish everyone a very Happy Thanksgiving and please count your blessings and be thankful.