It seems like only yesterday that we brought Ulysses home from the Riverside Animal Shelter. Can you believe that this June will be Ulysses’ 10th anniversary of being rescued? He is truly a miracle horse.
Ulysses had been horribly abused by Charros, only to be dumped in the Riverside CA riverbed, then picked up by Animal Control, only to be slated to be put down the following day. We weren’t even at the shelter to pick him up- we were there to pick up a 16 year-old Thoroughbred (who oddly enough ended up being a 26 year-old Arabian when we got there). It was just kismet that we were in the right place in the right time to be able to take him.
When we got Ulysses to Hanaeleh, we weren’t even certain we would be able to keep him, as it was apparent that he was severely neurological. He cannot be trimmed by a farrier as he can’t stand on three feet, so we turn him out in the arena to wear his feet down. The vet just said to love him for the time we are able to keep him, and when the time comes that we cannot keep him healthy, we will have to make that difficult decision.
It’s been almost 10 years of just that “one day at a time” philosophy. Ulysses has truly beaten the odds!
We turn Ulysses out everyday to keep his feet trimmed. We give him healthy food and supplements to help with his neurological issues. And, we give him a lot of love! When he is having a good day, he will stand and enjoy his grooming session for as long as we will brush him. If he’s having a not-so-good day, he will let us know by moving around, and we will put him back in the stall. His previous abuse, compounded by his neurological issues, means that we really can’t discipline him, so our goal is just to manage his needs and keep him safe and happy. So far, so good!
Ulysses otherwise is healthy and loves running around in the arena. He also really loves his food, so he gets several meals throughout the day! We cannot tie him because he gets scared, so when we groom him, he has one volunteer holding his lead line and a bucket of pellets that he will eat while he gets groomed (this volunteer, whoever it is, always gets completely soaked with half-eaten pellets as Ulysses gobbles as many pellets as he can). It’s not a pretty job, but someone has to do it!