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Third Career Status: SUCCESS!

Posted by poloponyrescue. Comment (0).

Justa Smidgen – Born in New York, raced, polo, traveled cross country and now teaching little girls to ride in California!

This is what we do here, and it feels GREAT!

Justa Smidgen - Good at everything she does!

Justa Smidgen – Good at everything she does!

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If you have a polo pony who is ready to retire, e-mail us. Whether we take a horse into our program or not, we are always willing to assist you with screening homes, background checking, putting together a solid contract and other steps to help ensure your horse will not be in danger of anything more than too many carrots!

There is a school of thought that believes you should never name the people responsible for sending a horse to slaughter, for fear that they will find a way to send horses more discreetly to slaughter, and there will be no way to intervene.

There is another school of thought that believes you must name the people responsible for sending a horse to slaughter, so that those horse people who do not want their horses to go to slaughter can keep their horses safe from those people and also, refuse to do business with those people so that they suffer financial consequences for their actions.

We believe in the second approach.  Anyone who disputes the story posted here is welcome to post and tell their version of the story.  However, from everything that has gotten back to me, and believe me, I have heard this story from numerous people now, the story is extremely consistent, with the only disparity coming from whether or not one party knew what another party would do.

I am NOT a sandwich!

I’m NOT a sandwich!

The so-far-undisputed facts:

The owner of Tamara, the gray mare we bought at Mike’s Auction on March 8, 2014, outbidding the only other bidder, a kill buyer, for $250 absolutely did not know her mare was taken to the sale.  I am not going to name this person, she can name herself if she so chooses, because I am 100% convinced of the truth of her account of the story. She discovered her mare had been sold at auction when a friend of hers sent her the pictures of the mare at PPR a week later and her shock was completely genuine.

The nature of polo is such that people often play polo in locations very far from their actual homes.  The backstory on this mare is that she was in Indio, on pasture board.  The owner, who had gone home to her own country after the season, had authorized the pro player she employed, Victor Soto, to find the mare a good home as a broodmare or companion horse. She anticipated and had discussed with him that the mare would go to someone in the polo community, so she would know where the horse was and how she was doing.  She loved this mare. She had spent a lot of time working with her and feeding her carrots and convincing the mare that people were a good thing.  Since Tamara is an imported Argentine mare who was a fast, handy and highly valuable pro’s horse most of her life, she was a great candidate to at least try to breed.

(Weird small world coincidence:  Tamara came in from Kansas several homes ago with two other horses. She is the only one of the three I never rode while owned by that previous home, so I didn’t remember her.)

The mare was not an easy placement otherwise. She remained hot and quick on her feet – not a horse who could be a pee wee polo horse or a trail horse for an average rider.  She couldn’t retire to a lower level of polo because those people couldn’t ride her.  She was not unsound but she was 20 and had enough wear and tear that it was time she had an easier life. That easier life is what her owner wanted for her.

Here is the timeline as best we can piece it together:

Sometime on or prior to March 8, 2014, Tamara was given or sold by Victor Soto to Jose Garnica.  Garnica is a polo farrier who is well known as the “go to” guy if you want your horse to disappear.  He routinely runs horses to auction/slaughter.

On March 8, 2014, Garnica took this mare and the dapple gray gelding to Mike’s Auction in Mira Loma, California. Despite what other sources have reported, the dapple gray horse is indeed a polo pony and is not 17 hands tall.  We know, for sure, who he is. He flunked out of polo for rearing and we are still trying to learn his whole story.  He was purchased by Auction Horses Rescue.  They have been advised of his past behavioral history.

We purchased the mare for $250. The only other bidder was a well known kill buyer. We were outbid on the gelding.

On March 9, 2014, we picked up Tamara and posted a zillion photographs of her, documenting in a way that cannot be argued with that we had the horse in our possession. There are multiple witnesses and photographs showing the mare at the auction as well as showing that we picked up the mare at the auction yard.

On March 12, 2014, Victor informed the owner that he still had Tamara, but that someone was coming to look at her for a companion horse that coming weekend (March 15-16).

On March 15, 2014, the owner discovered we had Tamara and called me.  To say she was shocked was an understatement.

Throughout the past two weeks, this story has been pieced together from multiple sources in Indio – none of whom had a different story.

Now here is the sole disputed fact, to the best of our knowledge and information at this time:

Victor, when confronted, told the owner he did not know Jose ran horses to auction/kill.

The following graphic contains an editorial opinion about that statement.

piechart

It is up to the owner whether or not she will choose to take legal action.  We have mutually agreed the mare will stay with PPR for placement in a carefully screened home, on contract, and I have reviewed in detail the steps that have to be taken to ensure things like this don’t happen to the owner’s other horses.  A major part of our purpose here is to educate.  We understand that the main reason horses wind up in bad places is not because the owners wanted that to happen, but because the owners were (a) too trusting and (b) didn’t really understand the legal steps that must be taken to up the odds that a free/cheap horse will stay safe and sound in a new home.

Can anything guarantee a horse won’t be taken to an auction or sold directly to a kill buyer?  No. But a contract provides you with a basis to make an action like that an expensive mistake for someone, and that discourages it from happening, in the same way that hefty seat belt fines cause me to wear my seat belt no matter how unpleasant I find it.  Background checking a new home and doing your research can also greatly reduce your odds that you will give a horse to the wrong person.  You can’t ever guarantee someone won’t turn out to be a bad person, but you can reduce your odds by being smart – the same reason you background check your kid’s nanny or your elderly parent’s caretaker.

I understand that some people will read this who do not think horse slaughter is wrong.  Even if you don’t – do you respect the right of a horse owner to determine what is done with their property?  I hope so.  I don’t know how you can disagree that lying to owners and converting their property is 100% unacceptable.  Someone pocketed the money from the sale, sure as heck wasn’t the owner of the horse who thought she still owned the horse.  How do you defend that?  How do you give that person your business?

And I keep hearing stories from others about how they got cheated and defrauded in polo.  Horses sold by pros that the owners were never paid for.  Money given to pros to pay for expenses that was pocketed, leaving the bill intact and the owner on the hook.  Crippled horses drugged up and sold as sound to novice players who don’t know that they should vet check.  Why does this go on, with so few lawsuits or other consequences?

(I do understand that some people are afraid the person will take our their aggressions on the field and I know it happens but that’s a whole other blog about the need to bring in non-local umpires so that local pros aren’t having to call fouls on the clients who pay their bills.)

There are many, many people in polo that you can put your horses with that are trustworthy, honest and reputable. It’s a small world. It’s easy enough to find out who those people are.  It may cost you a little more to put horses with wonderful people.  It is your decision.

From my previous blog post:

“If you can prove you have been lied to, for heaven’s sake, stop patronizing the person who lied to you. The world is full of trainers of all disciplines. You don’t have to line the pockets of people who have no actual love for horses if you don’t want to.”

Your money. Your choice.  The most powerful tool you have in your possession to affect the lives of animals is your wallet.  Use it wisely.

Tamara in the auction pen on 3/8/14.

Tamara in the auction pen on 3/8/14.

The Farm

Posted by poloponyrescue. Comments (2).

When I was about five, we had a dog named Buffy. Buffy was a great dog – just your typical awesome, friendly yellow lab. But Buffy had a habit of eating just about anything. Tin cans, clothing, didn’t really matter, Buffy would eat it. This necessitated more than one vet visit.

One day, Buffy didn’t come back from the vet. My mom told me she had gone to live on a farm. Being a little sharper than your average five year old and already showing signs of the stubborn desire to get at the truth that I still suffer from today, I refused to let that drop. I wanted to know WHOSE farm, WHERE the farm was, WHEN we were going to visit the farm. And I was persistent. I didn’t actually let it drop for many years. I would bring up in arguments how no one would ever take me to the farm to see my dog. Finally, in the middle of a screaming match with my mom when I was around 13, I pointed out that there was no farm and that my dog had been killed and I had been lied to about it. And she confessed.

HA. I knew it! I had known at five that something was very wrong with the farm story.

Sure, I got suckered, and I’m sure my mom would argue I got suckered because she was trying to protect my feelings. In her defense, I was five. Now the question is, why are so many of you buying the exact same story even if you’re 20 or 30 or 40?

Here’s the scenario: You go out and you take lessons or you rent Buffy the horse for chukkers. You really like Buffy. Buffy gets carrots, you ask to use her all the time.  Then Buffy goes lame, you can’t use her for a while, but you still bring her treats every time you come.  Then you come out one day and…no Buffy. And, like my mom, your trainer or the club pro gives you the line about the farm.

“She was getting old, we sent her to live on a farm with some kids.”

“She went to pasture. She’s eating grass and enjoying the good life.”

“We donated her to a kids camp. She’s living on a farm.”

And if you try to get some details, like where Buffy the Horse is so that you can visit her, or if you say that gee, you wish you had known because you would have taken Buffy, then you might hear the runaround start. Suddenly Buffy is at a farm with people who don’t want visitors. We have to respect their privacy. And they’re not on Facebook. They don’t have the Internet. It’s really far away. Or the trainer says he will get you the name of the people, even though he gave Buffy away yesterday and it shouldn’t be that hard to remember – and then he hopes you’ll forget and not bring it up again and evades your questions when you do ask again.

You know, THE FARM. She went to go live on A FARM.

You know, THE FARM. She went to go live on A FARM.

C’mon folks – you’re not five anymore. If you’re getting the runaround, the odds are that Buffy is already in Mexico being sliced and diced. And that’s a fact. Every year, more school horses than you think – from polo clubs, from hunter jumper barns, from kids’ camp – go to slaughter. Every year, some of the proprietors of those establishments show up at the kill buyer’s place with a full load. It’s happening now. It’s happening here in Southern California, despite our alleged no-slaughter law (you know, the one that no one enforces, ever).

A few years ago, a bunch of trail string horses showed up at the local low-end auction, an auction at which virtually every old horse is on a one-way trip to Mexico. But thanks to the wonder of the Internet, their pictures got posted and some people recognized them and where they came from. They didn’t all get saved, but some did. It was pretty much a miracle. The horses were meant to disappear. The trail string was none too happy about the bashing they got on Facebook. Ironically, many of the riders would have bought the horses in the first place if they’d been reasonably priced, but the old, crippled horses had gone overnight from being for sale for $2000+ to selling at the auction for $100.   Why?  Why?  Why?  Because there are a lot of people in the horse business who don’t care about horses, and because customers don’t pay attention and keep them in business no matter what they do, that’s why.

Generally, if a horse is picked up by a dealer, there’s about a one-week window to save them. The trucks don’t leave until there is a full load collected. So when you see a horse that you ride and you like disappear, it’s really up to you. If the story sounds lame and you can’t go visit the horse and verify it is okay – take action. Any local rescue will tell you who the kill buyers are and if you can intercept a horse.  You can find out who to call who can check and see if a horse matching Buffy’s description is there. If you can prove you have been lied to, for heaven’s sake, stop patronizing the person who lied to you. The world is full of trainers of all disciplines. You don’t have to line the pockets of people who have no actual love for horses if you don’t want to.

Tomorrow morning I’m going to go look at an old lesson horse. I’m pretty sure a lot of people love him. And if all goes well, he’s going to be heading to a farm that really exists. A farm with a web site and a Facebook, a 501(c)3 charity sanctuary that posts regular pictures of their horses so that no one who ever loved them has to wonder how they are doing. I’m going to do my part to make sure that the only farm he goes to is a real one. Will you do as much for the horses who are teaching you (or your child) to ride or play polo? Think about it.

“I always thought someone should do something about that, then I realized I was someone” ~ Lily Tomlin

Shortcake, on a real farm, that really exists, that you can visit if you're in Eastern WA! Just email us for info.

Shortcake rehabbing, on a real farm, that really exists, that you can visit if you’re in Eastern WA! Just email us for info.

UPDATED: The old lesson horse is heading East – a former trainer stepped up for him! :-) Now that’s the kind of person you should take your business to.

It’s easier to adopt a child!

Posted by poloponyrescue. Comments (8).

Every rescuer has heard that line.  Lots of people balk at rescue applications, contracts and requirements.  I recently had a conversation with a friend who was shocked at how many rescues (ours included) have a strict adoption contract that includes cash penalties for major breaches.  I can understand the initial reaction of someone who hasn’t worked in rescue. Until you have, you tend to think that most homes are good, and that people who love animals will therefore take good care of those animals.

…and then you get involved in rescue, or you work for animal services, and you see the things that you see.  Things like (and all of these are real life examples):

- A former professional athlete with a horse whose founder had gone untreated until his coffin bones protruded through his soles. The owner believed the horse lied down so much because he was “lazy.”  He was euthanized.

- A wealthy Southern California couple whose 17 hand ex-racehorse was 300 pounds underweight and nearly dead.  He lived at their home and they looked at him every day.  He was rescued and recovered.

- A family who were to have been the retirement home for a high level dressage mare.  She and a yearling warmblood were found in their yard, skin and bones.  Plenty of hay on site that wasn’t put out for the horses because “they had grass.”  It was wintertime and the grass was eaten completely down.   They were eager to tell us how much they LOVED their horses.  The mare was euthanized, the yearling survived.

- An elegant show barn that adopted a lesson horse, failed to feed the horse as instructed and denied noticing the horse had dropped 200 pounds.  The horse was returned to the rescue and recovered.

- A wealthy man who was known as a “big name” at the racetrack who had starving horses at his home farm. Six had to be euthanized. He was sentenced to two years in prison.

ALL of these homes “looked good on paper.”  In reality, they were terrible situations in which horses died or almost died – not because of any intent to harm the horse, but because of a lack of knowledge or just plain carelessness.  In the last case, the man blamed the situation on workers at his farm – but the court held him responsible despite his excuses.

In short, there are a thousand things that can go wrong and bottom line, after we drop off the horse with you, we are all a little bit scared.

We are scared you won’t watch your kids and we will see him on Youtube being jumped over a picnic table…after we adopted him fully disclosing that he was arthritic and limited to flat work.

We are scared you will be taken in by some charismatic trainer who is abusive to your horse behind your back.

We are scared you won’t maintain the same level of cleanliness and horse care that we see on drop-off day.

We are scared you won’t notice a big, fat tendon and will continue to ride the horse on it.

We are scared you won’t notice your western saddle is sitting on the horse’s withers.

We are scared that, while we saw you ride and love you, you will let someone else ride the horse who has no judgment and will override or abuse the horse.   A friend had a rescue horse come back 200 pounds underweight and, for good measure, he had been taught to rear.

We are scared that you will simply move the horse, ignore our attempts to contact you, and we will not know if the horse is alive or dead.

We are scared that you will totally change the feeding program and then dump the horse when it has a corresponding change of behavior.

We are scared that you don’t know what mold looks like.

We are scared that you will let the kids feed to “teach them responsibility” and never check to see how much has been fed or if it has even been done.

We are scared that you will move to a property with barbed wire and figure it’s okay to turn the horses out because, hey, it’s a big field and what are the chances they’ll get hung up?   (A rescue friend just took in 2 horses, badly injured from barbed wire…one was dragging a useless hoof behind her.  A young mare whose life ended today because of fencing.  The other may pull through.)

We are scared that one day, we will be one of the rescues that has learned one of its adopted horses went to slaughter.  We are scared we will be that rescuer who has to spend the rest of their life beating themselves up for making the wrong decision.  These two horses were sold to a kill buyer by their adopter in Texas.  They could still be alive.  Right now, no one knows.

Rescuers make adoption decisions all the time based upon an application and one or two meetings. You might be the best home in the universe, but we don’t know that – and please don’t hold it against us if we try to verify that by talking to your references and checking you out.   We understand it seems invasive to agree to a criminal check but please put yourself in our shoes. We simply can’t take your word because the bad people lie just as convincingly as you tell the truth.

Rescuers understand that you don’t think it’s fair that you can’t have your old horse back after we pulled him out of a kill pen.  But we want a home for him where there is no risk of that happening.  We have an absolute duty to keep that horse safe to the best of our ability for the rest of his life.  This isn’t a shoe store where the goal is to move inventory along to make way for more.  The goal is to put horses into homes where they will never fail to receive proper care – ever – and will be euthanized by a vet or keel over from natural causes at a ripe old age.

Why do we ask for ID?  Because we personally know of people who have been banned from animal ownership by the courts who are on Facebook with fake names, trying to adopt animals from unsuspecting rescues.

So when you read our contract, or any rescue’s contract, bear in mind that if you are the good home you say you are, you will never be reminded you signed that contract.  You will tag us in your Facebook pics and show us how the horse is doing.  We might stop by once in a while, with notice. And if you’re awesome, we will sing your praises from the rooftops!  You will get plenty of credit for being awesome. If your circumstances change and you need to return the horse, we will take the horse back cheerfully and do our best to ensure that he finds a new home equally as awesome as you were.  But if you starve the horse, or you take him to an auction, we are going to sue you.  And we are going to tell the world about it.  You need to know that up front.  We have a life-long open door policy for returns and a zero tolerance policy for people who won’t use that open door policy to return a horse they cannot afford to keep or simply do not want anymore.

If it seems like adopting a child – well, it is.  We take the responsibility of making the right placement just as seriously.  If you don’t want to sign a contract, buy a horse.  If you like the idea of having lifetime “technical support” and knowing that the horse always has a safe haven to return to if your circumstances change, adopt from a reputable rescue.   The choice is yours!

This is Coda. He is 28.  Fat, sound and happy.  We are still hoping his perfect person will come along!

This is Coda. He is 28. Fat, sound and happy. We are still hoping his perfect person will come along!

In recent years, I have heard a lot of bad advice about how to handle a colic, and I haven’t heard it from 14 year olds in horse groups on Facebook, I’ve heard it from vets.  (Not my vets – they are awesome!)  Some of this bad advice includes:

›You don’t need to walk them. It’s okay to let them stand.

›It’s okay if they lie down as long as they aren’t rolling.

›You can feed them a mash after a colic.

And, okay, this one did come from some genius on a horse forum:

›A horse can die of exhaustion if you keep hand walking them.

That sound you hear is my head banging against the desk.  Now, I know the first question is, what gives you the right to contradict a vet?  Are you a vet?  My answer:  No, I am not, but I have never lost a colic.  In 30 years as a horse owner, I have never lost a single one, nor needed to do a surgery.  So if you are willing to consider that the best advice might be the advice that works, I am happy to tell you how to avoid colic the vast majority of the time, or resolve it without losing a horse when it does happen.  Clearly, if your horse has twisted a gut, this will not work.  However, you probably won’t ever see a twisted gut on one of your horses (I haven’t) if you follow the advice detailed here to the letter.

Focus on prevention and you will rarely need a cure

Colic prevention is made up of very simple, common sense things, that unfortunately simply do not happen in a LOT of barns – even high level, very expensive barns.

1.  Clean, fresh water should be in front of the horse all the time.  By “clean,” I mean that you dump it at least every other day and refill with fresh.  Daily if your horse is an alfalfa-soup-maker.  This includes the tubs in the turnout.  I know of high priced barns that don’t have water in the turnouts — this is dangerous.  Lug a bucket around and put water anywhere that you turn your horse out.  At events like polo games or horse shows, offer water frequently.  When hauling, stop every few hours and offer water.  It is so easy and prevents so many problems.  Every gulp of water lessens your chance of an impaction. If you ever find a dry bucket or a bucket with an inch or two left, the barn is not watering often enough.  And don’t even get me started about automatic waterers.

This kind of waterer is not your friend. Some horses won’t use them at all, and others simply don’t drink enough from them.  Float waterers are better but may not refill fast enough. Bottom line – buckets, reliably filled, are your best bet.

 

2.  Movement reduces the risk of colic.  A horse is biologically designed to graze, which involves eating while moving.  Your horse is not doing that when he’s eating in his stall; therefore, he is at a higher risk of an impaction.  So, one of the easiest things you can do to prevent colic is get the horse out of that stall and moving around after meals.  It’s true that you shouldn’t work a horse right after he eats grain, but hay doesn’t matter – he can leave his hay to go for a ride with no ill effects.  The incidence of colic is exponentially higher in stall kept than in pasture kept horses, so if pasture keeping is an option, choose it!  If it isn’t, make sure that exercise is a part of every day.  If the horses are getting a day off of work, they should at the very least be turned out on that day. Don’t board at places where you’re not allowed to come out and get your horse out one day of the week.  It’s just not worth the risk.

3.  Live in a sandy climate?  Psyllium is a must.  Even with mats, feeders and all kinds of devices to prevent it, horses will lip food off the floor. It’s just what horses to.  You can get two jugs of psyllium at Costco for $19. Feed a quarter cup in your horse’s food, well soaked, once a day for one week out of each month to help keep him sand free.  Sand in the intestinal tract causes impaction colic.  Here’s an article that explains how to test your horses for sand.

4.  Horses have to be slowly introduced to grass pasture if they’ve been stall kept. Don’t turn your horses out at a facility that throws them right out there or you’re likely to have a colic sooner or later (or laminitis which is arguably even worse, as it frequently causes permanent damage).  A pasture boarding facility should have some dirt pens where the horses can be kept and let out for short periods to graze to gradually accustom themselves to the grass.

5.  Worms can cause colic.  Right now there is plenty of debate over whether traditional rotational deworming should be replaced with fecal testing.  You can choose whichever method you prefer, but whatever you do, it needs to be something you do reliably and keep records of.  For some reason, in polo, I hear an awful lot of “um, I think so-and-so wormed her last July” when it’s February.   That’s not sufficient.  By the same token, if you suspect a horse hasn’t been dewormed for a long while, start small, with only a 500 pound dose of the dewormer and more to follow in two weeks. Avoid heavy duty dewormers like Quest until the horse has first had something milder.  If you think it’s been years since the horse has been dewormed, feed-through dewormer like Strongid C may be the safest choice for the first month.  Dead worms can themselves create an impaction, whereas live worms can damage the horse’s intestinal tract and internal organs.  So you want to kill them, but not all at once.

6.  Diet changes can cause colic.  If you’ve been at a barn that’s feeding alfalfa, don’t move your horse to a different barn that’s feeding timothy and switch him over instantly.  Bring some of his old hay and mix the two together, slowly increasing the amount of the new hay to effect a gradual change.  The same goes for grain. Don’t just throw a whole scoop of grain at a horse who hasn’t been getting any.  Start small, with no more than a quart once per day, and move up, but remember that the vast majority of any horse’s diet should be either grass, hay or hay pellets, not grain.  And no horse needs more than 2-3 treats a day.  I’ve seen people buy those 25 lb. bags of juice carrots and throw the whole thing out to a single horse or two. Shooting is quicker, if you are really trying to kill your horse.

When it does happen, catch it quick!

Horses are great about letting you know they are not feeling well if you are paying attention.  Some signs that a colic may be brewing include:

Lying down at odd times – i.e. you’re walking around feeding and the horse hasn’t gotten up

Not finishing meals or eating in a lackluster fashion when they usually dive right in

Decreased water consumption

Curling the lip upwards repeatedly

Looking around at the stomach

Kicking at flies – except, it’s December and there are no flies

Kicking at his belly, head hanging low, miserable appearance – this horse is sending out the message loud and clear that he is colicking. Image from zamzows.com.

 

Pawing repeatedly for no apparent reason

Standing with legs stretched out, “parked out” like a Saddlebred, except they’re not one.

Tail raising repeatedly, horse looks like they are trying to pass gas but can’t

Normally willing or even hot horse acting lazy/stubborn under saddle or acting sore: wringing tail, pinning ears, angry about leg pressure.  I had a horse who would not take one lead on Saturday evening, even though she was normally fine about leads and appeared totally sound.  Sunday morning, she had an impaction on that side.

Sweating or increased respiration when the horse is at rest and there’s no reason for it

Rolling repeatedly – not just once to scratch the back, like any horse will do

And of course – Lack of poop!  Less poop in the stall than you usually see in the morning.  Or poop that is small, hard and dry as opposed to how it usually looks. Yes, you should know how your horse’s poop looks!

Especially where you see several of these symptoms at once, it’s almost certain a colic is coming your way.  Now, there are two main types of colics: impaction and gas.  A gas colic can often be resolved by giving the horse a bit of Banamine and some light exercise (i.e. longeing or ponying at a trot for 5 minutes).  The horse passes gas as a result of the exercise and immediately becomes more comfortable.  That said, any do-it-yourself colic treatment should be left to experienced horse people and should be done with the knowledge that the safest thing to do is always to call the vet as quickly as possible when the horse exhibits any signs that make you concerned.

With any colic, start handwalking immediately and get the vet on the phone.  If you have the skills to take a respiration rate and heart rate, your vet will appreciate the information.  Do not let the horse lie down.  If the horse tries really hard to lie down and roll, you need to try just as hard to keep it on its feet.  Believe me, a whack on the butt with a whip is preferable to death, and I had to go that far once to get a horse up that was determined to roll.  She died – but not for eleven more years, at the age of 31.

When you think about it, keeping a colicking horse moving is just common sense.  If you were trying to get a lump of mud out of the inside of a hose, would you stand there looking at it, or would you jiggle it and try to shake it loose?   A moving horse is more likely to shake loose that clogged gut.  Handwalking, even for hours, is only going to “exhaust” the human being involved, so feel free to jump on a pony horse and make the process easier on yourself.

Your vet will come out and most likely will give your horse Banamine if you haven’t already (some vets get very annoyed if you do it yourself, because they want to see how painful the horse was prior to it – that’s something you have to work out with your own vet) and tube him with mineral oil.  The oil “greases up” the inside of the intestines and helps to clear the blockage.  After the oiling, and after any tranquilizer given to effectuate the oiling wears off, you can go back to handwalking.  Horses are good at showing us when they feel bad and equally quick to show us when they feel better.  When you see all the symptoms go away and the horse gets perkier again – ears moving around, maybe whinnying at friends, not trying to roll or look at his side when you stop walking – that’s when it’s usually safe to return the horse to his stall, after removing all feed and making sure either you or someone else is going to continue to check on him.

Obviously, if you or someone else didn’t catch the colic right away and the colic progressed further, particularly if the horse was down in his stall or rolling for an extended period of time, it will be harder to resolve.  Some vets will give IV fluids at your barn, which will help the horse to feel better, particularly if he is dehydrated. Some, at that point, will want you to haul the horse in to their clinic.  This is when you have to seriously consider how far you will go with treatment.  It is important to realize that there are no guarantees with colic surgery. Some vets will be fine with the alternative of giving IV fluids, pain meds and continuing to walk in the hopes that the horse will recover. I have done that several times with severe colics and it has worked.  Some vets will make you feel like a bad owner if you don’t authorize surgery, but remember that surgery is no guarantee either of survival, but it is a guarantee of having a large credit card bill to pay off if you don’t have major medical insurance on your horse.  I am talking about a regular impaction colic here, when I am talking about a colic that may clear without surgery.  If your veterinarian has determined that your horse has a twisted gut or enteroliths, that is pretty much a choice between surgery or euthanasia, although occasionally a twisted gut will un-twist on its own.  Bottom line, make the choice that works for you and your budget and make it fast enough that your horse does not suffer unnecessarily.

Nothing ever starved to death in 24 hours

My vet advocates that no food be given for 24 hours following a colic. She is correct. I know, I know, they are nickering and screaming and acting like they will die. They will not die.  Really.  The safest thing to do is let the entire system clear itself out after even a mild colic.   That means no food.  No hay, no mashes, no soaked food.  Nothing.  Just plenty of fresh, clean water.  Then start back with small feedings, ideally of soaked food, just like you’d do with an emaciated rescue horse.

Heads up for weird weather!

Weather that changes dramatically can often spark a rash of colics in an area.  Hot days, cold nights are a combination likely to affect equine digestive tracts.  So when you have that kind of weather, please take special care to keep an eye on your horses!  Bear in mind that many boarding barns have workers who know how to clean a stall but are otherwise not horse professionals. You may need to stop by yourself to check.  Sure it’s a pain in the butt, but it beats the alternative!

The Internet cannot solve your horse’s colic

Nothing is more frustrating to experienced horse people than the person who posts on Facebook detailing a bunch of the symptoms I listed above and asking what she should do – often after the symptoms have been going on for a day or two!  The answer is always the same:  CALL THE VET!  Articles like mine are written for informational purposes and to help you prevent a colic. When it has actually happened, there is no way to avoid incurring a vet bill.  The longer you wait to call, the larger that bill will be – or you will proceed straight to having to call the rendering service.  Don’t risk it.  Make the call, keep the horse up and walking, and you’ll also be on your way to having a great record of success with colic!

P.S.  By request of one of the wonderful vets that I use, I am adding the following advice:  “For the love of all things holy do NOT rectal your own horse.”   Because, again, common sense is not so common!

I’ve been meaning to write on this topic for a while, but the subject has hit close to home with the discovery of two polo bred, branded fillies at the local low-end “kill buyers and horse trippers” auction. There seems to be no dispute they were brought there by a polo person – even they admitted to it. The only dispute is which stallion sired them, one of whom had a crooked leg. Frankly, my dears, I don’t give a damn. Taking those fillies to that auction, despite the fact that they got lucky and were pulled by a rescue (we had someone on site too, but we do not bid against other rescues, only against the kill buyers, horse trippers, etc.), was not the right thing to do.

Now, I understand that much of the polo world is not all that techy and has not seen everything on the Internet. I just had a chat this past weekend with a well known, very successful pro player who did not know about horse tripping. Had never heard of such a thing. In an effort to educate those of you who may not be aware of this “sport,” horse tripping is an event which, although illegal in California and many other states, still takes place. It involves roping a horse around the front legs and causing him to flip/fall to the ground. Lightweight horses like yearlings, two year olds, Arabians, etc. are preferred as they are easier to trip and more likely to trip in spectacular fashion which is entertaining for the crowd. These little late yearling polo fillies would have been perfect.

Horse tripping goes on despite laws banning it in many states.

Okay! Now none of you can say you don’t know about it. (Feel free to share this).

This all brings up a bigger debate: What is responsible breeding? We don’t take the extremist position that all breeding is evil or that no animals should be bred. We’re totally in favor of responsible breeding of quality stock, but what IS responsible breeding? Everybody has an opinion. Nobody thinks they are a backyard breeder or “part of the problem.” So let’s discuss some elements of responsible breeding, and of course we welcome your comments and intelligent debate.

Breeding the best to the best, and that doesn’t mean just the winners

The whole point to breeding animals and not just letting them breed willy-nilly, leaving everybody to train and ride a mustang (yee-haw!) is that we can breed for the traits that are desirable and useful. In polo, that would mean straight legs, a compact build, sloping shoulder, strong hip, and of course a sensible yet competitive disposition. So, the first question to ask is whether the horse is really something we want to make more of? Is the horse sound and athletic? Does the horse have any major conformational flaws? Does the horse carry any genetic diseases? (This is a big deal. If you don’t know what HYPP or HERDA are, and if your stock aren’t tested, you should not even consider breeding a foal with an AQHA, APHA or ApHC parent.  This is just one example.) Learn what genetic illnesses affect your particular breed, test and make breeding decisions based upon the results of those tests. You are breeding to improve the breed and you can’t do that if you create a foal that is going to have seizures or have its skin separate and peel off its body. (No, I’m not exaggerating. Google the conditions I mentioned.)

Don’t breed to settle down a crazy mare, or because you have an unbroke stallion and don’t know what else to do with it. Breed two good, solid, sane performers to each other to make more good, solid, sane performers.

Understand how often things go wrong and have a plan for dealing with those events

Professional breeders know that all breeding is a crap shoot. Things may go just fine – or not. You may have a problem delivery that puts the mare in the hospital to the tune of thousands of dollars. You may have to choose between the life of the mare and the life of the foal. Squeamish about the idea of having to kill a stuck foal and remove it from the mare in pieces? Know that you don’t have a couple thousand dollars available for a vet bill?  You’re not ready to breed.

No one likes to think about this, but someone bred this foal expecting it would pop out just fine. It didn’t.  (Image from omegafields.com)

 

And what will you do when that crooked legged foal pops out, or a foal with windswept legs that needs surgery immediately, or a blind foal? I have no issue with euthanizing a foal that will never be able to be a performance horse – but your vet may. Make sure you have a vet who is on board before you need to know the answer to that. Or have a gun and know how to use it properly. If this paragraph is horrifying to you, ask yourself if it’s more right to let those problem foals survive and get passed around, eventually winding up on their way to a slaughterhouse or in some “sanctuary” straight out of an episode of Hoarders or Animal Cops. That is where they wind up, make no mistake. Which brings us to:

Realize that the fantasy of “someone with a farm” who will take and feed and love on crippled, unusable animals forever is just that

For every person like this that truly exists, there exist a hundred more of the following:

1. “Sanctuaries” that are overcrowded hell holes where food is scarce and vet/hoof care more scarce
2. People who would like to have a horse at home but know nothing about them, and will do things like not even recognize the horse is colicking (after they fed them the grass clippings out of the lawnmower, or 46 apples)
3. People who agree to take in a horse as a pet but then think it doesn’t look lame to them and start riding the living hell out of it.
4. Kill buyers who send the wife and kids out to acquire free horses to fill the next load to the slaughterhouse
5. Horse trippers, people who have sex with horses (I really wish I were making that up, but they exist – ask any animal control officer about the things they have seen), and other miscellaneous horrible homes for horses.

If you think you somehow have the wisdom/intuition to discern who is a “good home” by meeting them once, look back on your life and ask yourself how many times you were wrong about a romantic partner. Uh-huh.  I will resist the urge to post the “Mexican slaughterhouse” video, but suffice it to say no horse deserves that.  If you aren’t comfortable with euthanasia of a horse who isn’t genuinely ready for that, keep it and feed it yourself or pay for retirement boarding. We have a section of our web site that lists some excellent retirement facilities.

Even if you give a horse to a friend (and the usual situation is more like Susan’s hairdresser’s niece’s first grade teacher, who has a couple acres), if you don’t do a contract and check up on it, it’s likely to go somewhere bad or go hungry sooner or later. There’s a reason rescues have these scary, multi-page adoption contracts. They’re not directed at you, the good home. They’re directed at making damn sure we can legally get the horse back from the bad home, or ideally, scare the bad home/phony home away in the first place.  Kill buyers don’t sign adoption contracts.

You made it, you train it

Nothing is more frustrating to rescuers than “dispersal sales” aka Oh Crap, We Ran Out Of Money sales full of young stock that are as wild as mustangs off the range despite being deliberately bred in captivity. Two year olds that have never had a hoof trim. Three year olds that barely lead and definitely don’t want to get into a horse trailer. If you look at all of the potential good homes for a horse in the world, I bet less than 1% of them will take on a wild three year old. Not to mention that a horse who hasn’t been regularly dewormed as a baby can have so much parasite damage he may not live to see his next birthday. Foals are work – you have to get out there while they’re still small and manageable and teach them to pick up the feet, to tie, to be brushed all over, to clip. A yearling should load in the trailer, straight tie and cross tie, and be good for the farrier and vet. A two year old should know how to be ponied and be fine about wearing tack. A three year old should be lightly started under saddle. If you want to do a lot of ground work but delay actual riding til a later age, fine – as long as you’re doing all the ground work and the horse ground drives and is as broke as he can be without being actually ridden. If you aren’t up for doing all of this training and can’t afford someone else to do it, again, you’re not really in a position to breed horses. The idea that they will all sell as weanlings is pretty much a fantasy. Very few people want to buy a weanling. Most people want to buy something that is already at least green broke.

Want to breed? You have a lot of work to look forward to, and some of them will try their best to kick your head in. But you have to do it! (Image from hashknifehorses.com)

Finally, bottom line is that training = value = safety. How many Ferraris do you see at the auto salvage lot?  Uh-huh. Same goes for horses.  Take your young horse and make SURE it gets made into a solid playing polo pony (or whatever discipline you’ve bred for). That is the best way to keep that horse in a quality home for life, a home that can afford vet and farrier and feed.  It’s not so different than your kids…you want them to go to a good college and have multiple awesome job offers, right?  Educate your young horses and you’ll find they are similarly fought over by quality “employers.”

Take responsibility for your broodmares

Nothing makes the anti-breeding crowd angrier than the idea of a mare being used as just a baby machine and then discarded once the babies stop coming out. They have a valid point. We all know mares are not going to have babies forever. We can choose to quit breeding them and tune them back up under saddle and find them a riding job when they are still young enough to do it – 18, 20. Or we can keep them those last barren years of their lives and feed them and vet them and trim them and pet their noses. Or we can put them to sleep. But sending them to auction or giving them away with no follow up is not a fate that they deserve. Don’t do it. It makes breeders look bad and it makes the sport you breed for look bad.

While we’re at it – if it’s lame at the walk, it’s too lame to carry a foal. If it has DSLD, it should not carry a foal. If you don’t know what DSLD is, you don’t know enough to breed horses.

Do you know how to spot DSLD? A horse like this can hardly bear her own weight, much less the added weight of a foal.  (Image from Horse Plus Humane Society, which (correctly) euthanized this mare)

 

P.S. The same goes for old stallions. As most of you know, we had a stakes winner of $268k here this summer that sold at auction for $30. That is shameful and wrong no matter how you look at it.

Have an open door policy for the horses you have bred and brand them to make identification easier

Did you make it? Then be willing to take it back if, despite your best efforts, it winds up at an auction or at a shelter or at a rescue or seized by animal control. Take it back, take responsibility – either euthanize it or rehabilitate it. Or if it’s a thousand miles away from you when this happens and it is in the care of a responsible rescue who you can verify as a good one (Google is your friend, so are sites like Yelp and the Rip-Off Report), make a substantial donation. (That’s not $50, by the way). Make a donation to help that good rescue get that horse rehabbed and into a new home. You can write it off your taxes and it is the right thing to do.

I read a great article a while back in an AQHA magazine. The gist of it was that if we don’t police ourselves, someone else will. This is very true of breeding horses (or dogs, or anything else). If you don’t want people who know nothing about horses making laws that affect your right to breed quality horses, then police yourselves. Breed responsibly. Follow up on what you bred. Don’t breed genetically defective horses. Don’t dump your culls or your old broodmares at auction or give them away to be someone else’s problem or wind up as an opportunity for the extremist fringe to say “see, this is what breeders do! Ban all breeding!” Do the right thing – we all know what the right thing is. Sure it’s more expensive to do the right thing, and sometimes it is a pain in the butt to do the right thing, but the consequences of not doing the right thing – to the horses, to the industry and the horse sports that we love – are much worse.

Fabulous fall days at Polo Pony Rescue!

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Our first fundraiser was a wonderful success, raising almost $700 to help support our rescue.  A huge thanks to Bingo Boy, drag queen Roxy Wood and the awesome Jodi, not to mention our WONDERFUL volunteer Alexandra Gaines, who got us a pile of fabulous prizes including Prada and Versace sunglasses, DVD’s, books, Vera Wang toiletries and much more!  If you missed it, we’re going to do it all again next year.  If you want to try out bingo before then, head over to Bingo Boy’s web site and see which other worthy charities are waiting for your support!

Seriously just TOO much fun!

Now, for some updates on all of our horses!

Coda, the old Arabian who came from the same property as Millicent, started back to work under saddle and showed that at 27, he’s still got it. Coda is available for adoption now – just click on “forms and policies” on the upper left to find out how you can make this well-trained but still spunky and sound Arabian a part of your life.

Thank you Bridget for putting the first rides on Coda!

Thank you Bridget for putting the first rides on Coda!

Another available adoptable is China. We thought we had the perfect match for China, but they decided they wanted a younger horse, so she is still available. She is extremely well trained and just a sweetheart but not a beginner horse. No bad behavior, but sensitive and wants a rider with good hands and a quiet seat. China is an 18 year old Argentine Thoroughbred mare.

China with our volunteer Kailey.  Kailey is actually perfect for China but already has a Hanoverian, darn it!  :-)

China with our volunteer Kailey. China loves Kailey and is always perfect for her.

Next, we have Tolly who was free on Craigslist – as we all know, a dangerous place for a horse to be. She was advertised as an ex polo pony and that’s exactly what she was – an Argentine mare, 20 or 21 years old, who had been retired a few years earlier and given to a not-so-great rescue which then adopted her out in poor condition to a good home which recently ran low on funds due to serious health issues in the family. We got a ton of history on Tolly from people who had played her in the past, and from all reports, she is just a wonderful, well behaved horse and a great confidence builder. She has had her feet and teeth done and we are pretty confident she won’t be around here too long.

Tolly is adorable and requests food almost as loudly as Monty does!

Tolly is adorable and requests food almost as loudly as Monty does!

Tosca is our newest rehab horse. She was at a barn in the San Diego area, an ex-polo pony (apparently her name used to be Jilly, if that jogs anyone’s memory) who had recently been purchased by a new owner but had a wreck shortly thereafter when she tried to jump out of an arena she had been turned out in. She has two major issues: a severely underrun heel on one front hoof, and a case of fibrotic myopathy that is causing lameness on the hind right. Tosca was identified as a Thoroughbred mare named Captured Audience. She is sweet and has lovely manners. We are taking some time to let her feet grow out and will take it from there; however, we are open to a foster-to-adopt situation for her with the right person who is committed to her rehab (and sensible handling in the future so that she doesn’t have another wreck – never think that a panicked horse WON’T jump to try to get back to the other horses, you’d be amazed what they will do if they are sufficiently freaked out!)

How gorgeous is this mare?

Of course we can’t forget our retirees! Monty is heading up to Central Coast Polo this weekend to join Juesa on the beautiful pasture there. We had to take him off the adoptable list due to stumbling under saddle. It’s important to us that we don’t adopt out as rideable a horse that we feel truly has a problem that may make even light riding unsafe, so he will stay with us. The cost of maintaining our permanent retirees runs around $1100 per month, and right now we have just one $25 monthly sponsorship toward those costs. One of the best ways you can help us – and keep an old horse safe and fed – is by signing up for a monthly sponsorship. Check out the links below to make either a one-time donation or sign up for a monthly donation. Remember, all donations are fully tax-deductible!

If you don’t have or don’t like Paypal, checks may be mailed to: Polo Pony Rescue, 842 S. Citrus Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

One time donation – pick your amount!




Monthly subscription- will be deducted from your bank account every month until you tell Paypal to stop. These are VERY much appreciated! You can direct your sponsorship toward a particular horse if you like, or you can subscribe for a different amount – just let us know and we’ll help you get it set up.


Monthly Donations



 

Bingo Night Flyer JPG

Come on down and play bingo and help our wonderful horses! If you are in Southern California (or in need of a vacation), join us Tuesday, October 29th at 7 PM at Viva Cantina, 900 Riverside Drive in Burbank, CA (right by the entrance to the Los Angeles Equestrian Center).

This event is guaranteed to be a ton of fun. Early prize donations include massage sessions for your horse, and a personalized cut and style for you (for all of you horsey ladies who spend $$ on the horses and never on yourself). Much more to come. The event is open to all ages though there is some mild adult humor so I’d consider it appropriate for older teens and up.

Reserve your seats by clicking here!

A Tale of Three Rescues

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Animal rescue online always includes a lot of drama, and one of the primary complaints is “Why can’t you rescues work together?  Why do you bash each other?”  Well, the truth is, where there is a lot of bashing, there is usually a reason — a hoarder or very low end rescue that is just as bad as the people the horses are coming from, or a skilled con artist who is bilking donors of thousands and frustrating the heck out of the real rescues.

Still, I understand that it gets old.  So today I am going to tell the story of three rescues who did just what so many of you ask – worked together to get a lovely old mare to safety!

Nicki Branch, down in the San Diego area at Falcon Ridge Equine Rescue, posted on Facebook with regard to four horses whose owner had died, up in my neck of the woods.  I said that I’d be happy to go check them out and evaluate them.  You never quite know what you are getting into in these situations.  I talked to the daughter, not a horse person, who said the horses seemed really sad and she thought maybe they all needed to be put to sleep.  So, I was a little worried I was going to walk into a really horrifying situation.  I made an appointment to go out there and take a look.

Fortunately, it wasn’t a total nightmare.  Three of the four were underweight, but not terribly so.  They all needed hoof care desperately, however.

Those haven’t been done in years.

The horses had belonged to an elderly couple. They were all registered Arabians. The wife had died last fall, the father recently. The kids didn’t think the horses had been out of their pipe corrals in over five years. We were able to identify them as the following: Millacent, a 26 year old mare, Scimakota, a 27 year old gelding, Star up Front, a 19 year old stallion and LLA El Demon, a 21 year old stallion. (These situations, there is almost always a stallion. Why?  Why? Why????)  Star Up Front was Millacent’s son and had been with them his entire life.  They had never been able to pick up his hind feet.  Ever.

I made arrangements to have my farrier do their feet and was thrilled to hear they got Star up Front trimmed all the way around despite the many years of neglect. My farrier, Jorge Ordonez, is a rock star.  Even horses who are terrified of men are fine with him. He just gives off that nice vibe of being trustworthy and calm – and he’s super talented.

Next, we got busy networking these guys all over Facebook and some of the Arabian web sites.  Terry at Arabian Rescue Mission offered to take in Millacent.  Millacent needed immediate care.  Her feet had been done but she was thin (most likely bad teeth and a gut full of sand) and had a bad case of rain rot.  The only problem was, Terry was in New Jersey.

Millacent in the corral she had been in for five+ years.

Fortunately, a foster home stepped up – Carolyn, who was located just an hour and a half away in Oak Hills, California! We made arrangements and I headed out with my truck and trailer to take Millacent to her new home. When we brought her out to load her up, she danced around in excitement and it was obvious that, amazingly, she was totally sound despite having just had her feet done for the first time in forever. She got into the trailer with minimal encouragement and headed off to her new life!

...which included an AWESOME huge turnout!

…which included an AWESOME huge turnout!

Her foster mom has bathed her crusty back and it’s on the road to healing. She is sound as a dollar and trots around her big turnout in total joy. She has had a half-tube of Zimecterin and is getting psyllium and beet pulp to clean her out of sand. The rest of her life is looking great from here!

The reason you don’t hear all the stories of quality rescues working together is the same reason you don’t hear about all of the celebrities who don’t do drugs or get arrested. The happy endings don’t generate as much interest as the train wrecks, but it doesn’t mean they’re not out there. And for every crappy owner who starves and neglects a horse, there are a lot more of you out there who take fabulous care of your horses and would feed them before yourselves.

Now, anybody else need an Arabian? :) I think we may end up making a non-polo-pony exception and bringing Scimakota over here…he is just tooooo cute and keeps sucking up to us!

No, I’m not a polo pony, but I’m cute and I want a home, too!

I didn’t go to the last local auction because I was nursing a personal horse at home who had contracted pneumonia, but I watched the Facebook updates with great interest. Forgotten Horses Rescue, another good SoCal group, put up this photograph of an elderly Thoroughbred stallion. He screamed my name pretty loud.

Silver Ray at the auction on July 13, 2013

His tattoo was only partially legible, so he was not yet identified.  I was thrilled to see that a wonderful lady named April Smith purchased him for $30 and kept him safe.  After I talked to April, we discovered he had sold with his Jockey Club papers, and his name was Silver Ray.  A little research and we were both stunned to learn what April had found:  a multiple graded stakes winner of $268,532.  He was foaled in Kentucky on May 23, 1989 and hsold as a yearling for $80,000 and his record included winning the 1st Hoist The Flag Stakes in 1991, coming in 3rd in the El Camino Real Derby of 1992, 3rd in the Timebank Handicap and 3rd in the Blue Eyed Davy Stakes in 1991.   As a sire, he was disappointing; his top money earner was 1998 mare Carlinga, who topped out at only $54,330.  However, he stood at nice farms and received excellent care.  He was sold out of racing to dressage trainer Jesus Piris, who bred the beautifully-conformed stallion for dressage foals — a much better niche for him.  One look at his picture with Jesus shows the type of care he received with the Piris family.

Silver Ray and Jesus Piris, approximately 6 years ago

Silver Ray and Jesus Piris, approximately 6 years ago

Silver Ray’s dressage foals were stunning and sweet, just like him, and it should have been a happy ending except that the family decided to stop breeding horses, in response to the declining market and poor economy.  Unfortunately they did not believe an older stallion should be gelded, so they sold Silver Ray to another breeding farm owned by Jose de la Torre in Redlands.  We do not know exactly what happened after that, although we did determine that Silver Ray’s last registered foal, an AQHA filly, was born in 2011 and bred by de la Torre.  We only know that Silver Ray showed up at the auction emaciated and neglected and with no reserve price, last Saturday.  After April had him a few days, she realized that while he was a VERY good stallion, he was still a stallion and she did not have a stallion-appropriate facility to house him, so we decided he should come to Polo Pony Rescue until a permanent placement was found.

Silver Ray is a sweetheart of a stallion.  Our vet looked at him the day after he arrived, on Thursday, and floated the teeth he has left – which is not many.  He has no top front teeth due to having cribbed them off, but he no longer cribs because someone did a cribbing surgery on him.  I am fairly sure it was de la Torre since he now has a permanent lump on his neck that was not there before.  He has been dewormed with Strongid, and will get a PowerPack when he is stronger.  Per our vet, he can eat orchard grass hay, alfalfa leaves but no stalks, and soaked hay pellets.  We have him on the “all you can eat” buffet – every time we see him, he gets more food.  In the morning, he has a flake of orchard grass and a pan with 2 scoops of soaked alfalfa pellets.  At noon he gets more orchard grass.  At night he gets more orchard grass plus a pan with a soaked mix of alfalfa pellets, rice bran, a bit of triple crown senior, electrolytes, probios, BL pellets and flax seed oil to shine him back up.  He also loves tiny bits of carrot, so I am going to bring a potato peeler to the barn so that he can get carrot shavings in his feed.

Do you have treats? I love treats!

We are hoping to get Silver Ray into one of the reputable Thoroughbred sanctuaries where he can live out his remaining days with the excellent care he ABSOLUTELY has earned and deserves.  In the meantime, he will be here at PPR talking to the mares all day (he is in love with my 25 y.o. mare and doesn’t understand why I’m a meanie and won’t put them out together), and he LOVES visitors so feel free to e-mail us if you’d like to meet him!  And of course, if you’d like to help feed him and cover his vet bills, our Paypal is donate@poloponyrescue.com or just click on “How to Help” on the left. Donations are GREATLY appreciated.

Also, we will be at the Thoroughbred Classic Horse Show this coming weekend in San Juan Capistrano. Please stop by to cheer on Bridal Chatter in the training level dressage, Poke Along in the intro dressage and Kellis Nevada in Sunday’s games!