Monday, March 24, 2014

Introducing Essa!

It started off as helping a friend in a pinch and grew from there. My husband saw this 10-year-old Thorougbred mare, just surfing ads for no particular reason. We're perfectly comfy with the two we have at home and our daughter's horse, who is boarded for training. Turns out he knows the owner.  She was losing her chores-for-board arrangement and had to sell. The ad pictures didn't look too bad, so we offered to bring Essa home for a couple of weeks to clean her up and help with selling her. 

The horse we picked up on Thursday wasn't quite the one in the pictures, and we were told she'd had a hard winter. She has no neck, and after initial reluctance she loaded on the trailer for a fistful of hay. She settled in one of our empty stalls and attacked the hay like it was her last meal. Well, we've had a Welsh X pony so that's not so strange...

Friday morning I took off her blankets to put on a rainsheet. I just about cried.

Clearly this was not a two-week fix. I told the owner she just wasn't saleable as-is, and we'd like to keep her through April and see how she does.

I body-scored her at 2, thankfully closer to a 3 than a 1. With a little research I learned about refeeding syndrome. OK, even more of a project. So I took away her hay - that was tough to do - and set her on small frequent feeds through the weekend, following this article-

I even took hay out at 3:00am to keep her on track.

She already seemed brighter on Sunday!

We discussed all of this with the owner - it'll be much longer than April to get Essa back on track. I will have the vet out in a week or two - our other horses are due for shots/floating/etc. anyway - and if there's nothing critical wrong with her, we've offered to buy her. Not at all what I had in mind 4 days ago, but if Essa is sane and sound I think it's her best chance.

The current owner bought Essa when she was underweight, hoping to help her out. She made some progress but it was lost over the winter.  She had some bad advice/enabling when she got her, realizes it was too much to take on, and is very grateful for our help.

Essa raced through 2010, and I think that being fit though most of her life must be helping, even in this sorry state. I'm hoping that she will keep her sweet nature once she's in better shape.

Her pedigree:

I really hope to keep this blog current. I just want to keep track of everything! I was lucky enough to find a couple of "prime" pictures of her. 

At Fort Erie Racetrack in July 2010.

Her "grad picture" from Second Start Thoroughbreds - Fall 2011

March 21, 2014

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