Hershey is a bay 25 year-old Appendix (Quarter horse/Thoroughbred cross) who we rescued over a decade ago. He had been a show jumper, but his owner was unable to keep him due to financial issues. We found a wonderful woman named Sara who adopted him and they seemed to be a match made in heaven! Unfortunately, after about a year, Hershey started to come up lame and he was diagnosed with navicular. Although horses with navicular can still be ridden for shorter distances, they should no longer be jumped or worked very hard. Sara decided that it would be best to retire Hershey to live out the rest of his life eating hay and just relaxing.
Unfortunately, we were contacted by Sara a few months ago. She was experiencing severe medical issues and was having difficulty paying for Hershey’s board at the retirement facility. Although she wanted to continue to care for Hershey, she just was no longer able to do so. Hanaeleh will ALWAYS take back every single horse we adopt out because we understand that things like this happen- horses can be put into a precarious situation due to no fault of their own, but just because life issues occur. A temporary loss of a job, divorce, or medical issues can quickly change a person’s ability to care for their horse. We told Sara we would of course take him back, and she was willing to pay for a hauler to transport him down so we didn’t have to go up to central California to go get him. I talked with the woman who ran the retirement facility, and let me know that he is due for all of his vaccinations and the farrier. She sent him down with a halter with his name on it, but told me that I would need to bring my own lead rope because she didn’t have any extras. Luckily we have a few extra ropes, so I made sure to pull out a lead rope the following day.
This past Satuday, Hershey came back to Hanaeleh! The hauler was supposed to be there around 2pm, but he called me around 2:3opm and told me that the traffic was very bad, so he would be there closer to 4:30-5pm. I spent the time doing odd little jobs around the ranch that I never seem to get to, and even then I could have spent several more hours puttering around. A little after 4pm the hauler called me and told me he would be there soon, but was concerned that he would not have a large enough area to turn around on the street. I told him to stop in front of what we call the “Taco Bell” house because- well, it kind of looks like a Taco Bell. My apologies to the architect, but once that’s pointed out to you, well- you just can’t unsee it. There is a large area that he could turn around, and he pulled up just as soon as I got there- just me and my lead rope.
The hauler said that Hershey transported very well, and made sure to let me know that Hershey got several breaks during his trailer ride. Indeed, Hershey seemed very calm, and he got off the trailer without any issues. The woman who ran the retirement facility had sent about a 1/4 of a bag of alfalfa pellets with him, so I picked up the bag and we walked up the street and up the hill to Hanaeleh. I admit I had to stop a few times to move the bag between my right and left arm, but Hershey was very calm and interested in his environment, and didn’t seem to be bothered by the fact that I needed to rest a few times. I tried to take a few pictures of him while walking him, but he kept turning his head everytime I put the phone up, so I couldn’t get a good shot. We finally made it up the hill to Hanaeleh, where I put him in the quarantine stall. I had put a flake of alfalfa in the feeder before I went down to get him, and he was very happy to see that, and after dipping his head into the water, began munching on the hay. I gave him a scoop of his alfalfa pellets, which, after lugging them up the hill, felt about 4,000 pounds. He seemed torn- pellets or hay? He finally decided to turn back to the hay, although both were gone by the following morning.
Hershey seemed very calm this morning when we came out, and was very happy to see his morning hay and pellets. When we pulled Devon out this morning and Popcorn began calling for him, Hershey began calling out as well, so we had a bit of a chorus of horse neighs for a while. Thankfully Hershey has a very lyrical neigh, so it was rather nice to hear. We turned him out in the round pen, where he proceeded to spend most of the time bothering Tamahome over the bars and flirting with Sapphire (which, in turn, bothered Tamahome). Overall, however, he seems to be very calm and is acclimating rather well.
We look forward to getting to know Hershey again, and working with him. We are very thankful for Sara for taking care of our boy for so long, and we hope that she is able to overcome her medical issues, which many of us know first-hand can be so overwhelming.
At this point, we need to get Hershey’s vaccines caught up, he needs his feet done, and when the vet comes out, we will determine whether he will need to get his teeth floated. If you are able to sponsor this beautiful boy, please go to our Sponsor a Horse page. Any amount is welcome, and will go to help us take care of this sweet boy!