Earlier in the week I made a trip south with a gal named Roxanne and my good buddy Steve. We were going to pick up a mustang that Steve and I had visited a couple months ago; the family was realizing they didn’t have the time or skill needed to make him a productive member of equine society.
Don’t you love that line? A productive member of equine society. I like it. That’s why I use it.
Anyway. He’s tall. He’s really thin. And he couldn’t be caught. Steve and I managed to get a halter on him during our first visit, hoping the horse’s young owner would then be able to work with him. She didn’t. Or couldn’t. Perhaps a bit of both. Either way, he’d not been handled since that day, so we were really no further ahead. Roxanne had loaned us the use of her truck and trailer, we got a lead rope on the gelding and prayed for the best.
Sometimes a horse will get a little silly when they’re led outside of their fenced pasture for the first time in months. Certainly a horse who hasn’t been handled at all in who knows how long has that potential. But this boy followed Steve willingly to the trailer, took a look at what was being offered, and stepped right in.
His owner’s jaw dropped to her feet. Before she could say anything, she had to pick it up out of the mud. “It took us two hours to get him into the trailer to bring him here!” I don’t know why he decided to just climb in for us, but we were all very happy that we didn’t have a struggle.
So now he’s here. Tall, skinny, and super shaggy. I was concerned about how thin he was, so I collected a fecal sample. Yes, that’s what you’re thinking. Poop. I picked up horse poop and put it in a sandwich bag and brought it to the lab for analysis. Our boy, they say, has worms. That wasn’t a big surprise, really. How many was the shocker. His stongyles count was 116! Not sure what that means? Well, Firecracker had a check run on her poop as well. Her count was 4. The gelding was harboring 29 times the parasite load than FC was.
Stongyles are commonly referred to as blood worms. They feed on the inside of the horse, normally the large intestine, draining it’s blood until there’s no blood left to drain. Untreated, they can cause severe anemia and death.
He doesn’t even look like a horse; he looks like some prehistoric mammoth!
Needless to say, a good deworming program is in the works. In the meantime, as I was letting folks in the horse world know about him, I got a call from someone who wants to come see him tomorrow. She’s horse savvy, knowledgeable in regards to rescue horses, and will be boarding him for a friend who’s recovering from cancer. Their plan is for him to be her buddy/therapy when she needs to get away from every day stress. How cool would that job be for him? To be loved on like that, while he himself is recuperating?
So say a little prayer tonight, won’t you? That this boy will find a perfect home, and that the friend recovering will find the perfect therapy partner.