Hanaeleh is a small rescue, and as a 100% volunteer rescue with a minimal budget, we do our best to help horses in our area as well as those across Southern California. We work to ensure that our neighborhood horses are safe and in good condition, mostly by being available to help those who are finding homes for their horses.
Because we are a very small rescue, we have to adopt out a horse before we are able to take another one in. This is due not only to space, but also to our limited budget.
When there is a horse in our neighborhood who is in danger, however, we do work to try to help that horse and/or take ownership if necessary.
Such was the case of Austin, a 17 year-old Quarter horse who was dumped on our neighbor’s property by a seemingly well-meaning individual, who wanted to do well by his horse, but who neglected him for two years.
- For two years, Austin sat in a stall.
- For two years, Austin was not vaccinated or otherwise cared for by a vet.
- For two years, Austin was alone.
Austin had some well-meaning neighbors who came by a few months ago and gave him some carrots and treats. But they did not take him out on walks or exercise him.
Austin’s farrier stopped coming out because he wasn’t getting paid.
The people who were boarding Austin were not getting paid, either, and Austin’s stall and water were filthy.
Although we did not have the room for another horse, we offered to help, because really, there was no one else – nowhere left for him to go.
- The people who fed him carrots said they couldn’t take him.
- The people who were boarding him said they couldn’t take him.
- The owner couldn’t be reached.
To help us with costs to rehab poor Austin, click >>>HERE<<<
Something had to be done for this guy.
We had offered to help place Austin or even take him for a few months, but we never heard back. The people boarding Austin were finally able to get in touch with his owner and passed along paperwork that we had given them months prior, relinquishing ownership.
This past week, Austin’s owner finally called and said he would give up ownership.
We brought Austin to Hanaeleh the next day.
As we walked to his stall, Austin walked right up, as if to say, “Get me the heck out of here.” He was incredibly affectionate towards us, and had no qualms in leaving the only place he had known for two years.
As we walked up to the property, crossing over the driveway onto our property, Erin, one our volunteers who came down to walk Austin up with us, said, “He’s now in a land called Hanaeleh.” And it was just so; he went from a place of neglect and isolation to a different place, one with people who will love him, feed him and care for him.
First we turned Austin out in the round pen – the first turnout he’s had in two years.
Usually we would put him in quarantine for 30 days, but since we know he has been completely isolated for the past several months, there was no fear of strangles.
Austin seemed a bit dazed at first, but then proceeded to say hello to Tamahome (and tried to say hello to Sapphire, but Tamahome was having none of it).
Austin and Tamahome seemed to be pretty friendly, however, and happy grunting greetings were had for several minutes until Austin decided to explore the rest of the small arena. He said hello to Ruby, and gave a nod to Brutus, who had an unquenchable desire to greet Austin; he was quite ecstatic about our new guy, and only settled down once we moved Austin to his stall. Austin trotted around the round pen for a few minutes on his own (the first trotting he’s done in two years) until we decided he had enough excitement, and we took him to his stall.
Austin arrives at his new stall.
We settled him into the stall next to Tamahome and Sapphire, where Tamahome is trying to show him the value of sharing his dinner by sticking his head all the way through the pipes. Austin seems pretty good natured, however, and although he is thin, he is not food aggressive at all.
Although Austin is not the typical skin and bones type of emaciation we see in many neglect cases, he still needs about 200-300 pounds to be back to his regular weight. We have him on a mix of grass and alfalfa hay to help him on his way.
We also introduced some grain to his diet, but it will take several weeks until we introduce much more; again, his system has been functioning on just alfalfa, and we don’t want to shock his kidneys with too rich a diet. Right now he’s on a scoop of grain without molasses, electrolytes, a joint supplement and a basic vitamin. He’ll stay on that through the end of the month, when we will reassess his diet.
We’re very thankful that our farrier, Josh Riley, was able to come out the following day to trim Austin’s feet. We are not certain when they were done last; even the owner didn’t know when, as he wasn’t even sure when he had last paid the farrier.
As we suspected, although Austin’s feet are not as terrible as they could be, there are pockets of seedy-toe that are literally eating away and rotting his hoof. Josh cut out as much of the dead and diseased hoof as he could, but it will take at least two or three trims before Austin’s feet are normal.
Understandably, Austin is not sound at this point, but he seems comfortable in his stall with shavings, and as his feet grow out with healthy tissue, he should be able to be worked more. The owner told us that when Austin was originally brought over to the boarder’s house, he was sound, so we hope that proper care and nutrition will be able to return him to normal.
Austin will get his first set of vaccinations on Thursday 7/6/16, and we will schedule his second set in a few months; while we do vaccinate all of our horses, we don’t want to overwhelm his system. There is a lot that his body is dealing with right now, and it is better to take it slowly, especially with an older horse.
We were told by the owner, and the boarder, that Austin has some vision problems in his left eye. This issue does not seem to make him ornately spooky, but that is the reason his owner said he stopped riding him and left him at the boarder’s.
This is so terribly sad, as horses who have vision problems can still be ridden and can be useful, loving animals.
Austin seems so sweet and well-behaved that we are at a loss as to why his owner didn’t at least try to keep Austin, or find him a home with someone who could. There are any number of devices to help horses who have slight vision problems to help prevent them from spooking, and it is not uncommon to see horses with vision problems in both the arena and on trail.
It is awful to accept, but the truth is that Austin was dumped and neglected by all because he has some vision problems. He was sound, he did his job, he was reliable, he has a good mind – none of those mattered in the end.
Because he had some trouble seeing, he was tossed aside and replaced.
Unfortunately, Austin’s rehab will require time and donations. We are hoping that there is an angel out there who will be able to sponsor Austin through his rehabilitation.
It costs a little over $300 a month to keep a horse at Hanaeleh – it will require a bit more for Austin because of his medical and farrier care as well as more food than usual to help him gain weight and muscle back.
Are you that angel? Please help us help Austin, please donate today >>>HERE<<<.
We appreciate any amount that we can use to help Austin get back to being a healthy, happy horse again.
In the meantime, we will continue to post about Austin’s progress with our loving, caring volunteers.
Here’s Austin’s first carrots, given to him by volunteer Tony, who loves Austin already! (PS: Austin is his Hanaeleh name. We like to change each horse’s name to give them a fresh start to a new loving, food-filled safe place. Austin’s former name was Harley and this video was taken before we renamed him).