For your reading pleasure, you get two horsie updates this week! This update is special because it features a very deserving horse.
This poor guy was left, starving and covered in flies, by animal control. Instead of seizing him, they called us to try to find him a home. We had several people who offered to help, but they were several hundreds of miles away- in different states! We were very fortunate to have a very wonderful group of individuals in our own neighborhood, Trabuco Canyon, who all got together to help him.
Lori and traveled to El Centro this Saturday. If you don’t know where El Centro is, essentially, right before you get to Mexico, turn left and drive some more.
There were no houses around- just a group of trees and a single dwelling amidst rocks and dirt. As we pulled up on the dirt road that paralleled the freeway, we saw the horse, staring at us as he nibbled a bale of moldy hay. Both Lori and I let out a gasp as we realized that this guy was much, much worse than we had feared.
“I don’t think we’ll be getting any pictures,” Lori said. I nodded- I just wanted to get the horse and get out of there as soon as possible. And we hadn’t even gotten out of the truck.
He looked like someone had stretched a hide over a skeleton, but it looked like his back was literally moving due to the literally thousands of flies that were crawling all along his back. Black flies were swarming around the horse flies that were attached to him, and he had flies crawling on his eyeballs- he didn’t even try to swat them away. He just stood there and watched us.
We signed the paperwork on a broken dryer that was sitting in the middle of the yard, and I walked into the paddock to put our halter on the horse- I had driven in tennis shoes and forgot to change into my boots, and dried cow and goat and horse manure covered them. I didn’t care- all I could see was this poor horse who was standing there, looking at me. He didn’t move as I put on the halter, just kind of put his head down when I told him I was sorry I was so late.
We walked out to the trailer, and the flies followed him out. I pulled him to the side of the trailer where I tried to put some fly spray on him- just to make myself feel better in some small way. The flies were barely affected. We noticed as he was out of the manure-ridden paddock that his feet were horrifically overgrown. Lori did end up taking some pictures, although there is no way that they can show how sad and decrepit this guy felt.
He walked right into the trailer and began to eat the little bit of hay we had in the trailer for him. As quickly as we could, we closed up the trailer and headed home.
We got to Trabuco Canyon about four hours and many stops later. The people who had gotten together to take care of the horse were all there, with tears, even, when they saw what he looked like. In less than an hour, he had a stall with shavings, pellets, a fly mask and sheet, and had the worst foot trimmed. They decided to call him Whiskey, the name that he came with. He gets fed several times a day now. I went up both yesterday and today to say hi, and instead of a horse with a dull look and lowered head, he greeted me with ears up and a whinny. I don’t know if it’s a direct translation of a “Thank you,” but I’m going to take it as such.
I’ve attached pictures of this guy, and we will keep tabs on him. He has a lot of people who love him out there, and I know he will be well taken care of.