Hanaeleh rescued Austin about four months ago. When he came in, his feet looked terrible, he was thin, and he had terrible bacterial infections in his hooves and legs. The good news that he is definitely improving! He has not only started to gain weight, but is beginning to put back on the muscle that he lost by not being exercised regularly for so long. He not only gets his hay in the morning and evening, but also a full hay net every night as well! He enjoys his grain and rice bran mash every evening, and a few weeks ago we gave him a toy filled with hay pellets, and he enjoys pushing that around, so he is constantly occupied while in his stall. We also make sure that he gets out and is exercised in the round pen, and about once a week he is turned out in the arena with his best friend, Aurora. Austin enjoys his grooming sessions with our volunteers, and is much happier overall.
Austin has been able to be worked more in the round pen more recently, and has been able to trot more, although he gets tired very easily. That will improve as he continues to build more muscle tone. Unfortunately, his feet were infected and basically rotten because he was standing in muck and filth for so long. We have had his feet trimmed several times now, and each time we have been able to cut out more of the infected area of the hoof; we believe that we were able to cut out all of the diseased hoof, and everything that has been growing out since we took him in has been healthy and strong.
When he came to Hanaeleh, Austin had a terrible fungal infection across both of his back legs. We were able to get the fungus cleared up, but he has scarring across both back legs from the severity of the infection. There is nothing we can do about those scars; they do not bother him but do serve as a physical reminder of the neglect he suffered before he came to Hanaeleh.
Overall, we have seen a large improvement in Austin’s behavior since he came to Hanaeleh as well. He still will pin his ears when someone walks up, especially with food, but then will put his ears forward, especially if he recognizes us. We had the vet confirm that he is completely blind in his left eye, but he does not seem to be spooky on that side at all. We do walk him on the right side instead of the left, however, so he is more comfortable being led around, but overall he seems very content and as happy as he can be.
Our next steps for Austin are going to start ground driving him around the arena. We may or may not end up hooking him up to a cart, but it will help build up his muscle tone and will also stimulate his brain a bit. We are OK if he can never be ridden or driven; the goal is just to help him be as healthy and happy as he can be.
Thank you to ALL who have helped us with Austin, especially our angel donor who gave so generously when we first rescued Austin. We are 100% volunteer-run and we cannot do this without YOU.
Thank you to everyone who helped pay for his farrier and vet costs, as well as all of the extra food he requires to gain his weight and muscle back. We also thank all of the volunteers for caring for him, and lavishing him with love and attention.
Austin has a special angel, Amanda, who has given him a new halter, fly wraps and fly sheet, and lots and lots of treats! He also has another angel, Linda, who comes once or twice a week and gives him carrots! Thank you to everyone who helps us take care of horses like Austin! We are very grateful.