Haven and Cullen have been at Hanaeleh for almost a week now, and they are settling in nicely. Haven is doing much better than Cullen, because she was originally in a little better shape- being a mare, she was probably a little pushy, and most likely pushed Cullen off of any food as they were both being systematically starved for a very long time.
Both horses, however, had terrible hooves that had not been trimmed in a very long time. Haven’s right hoof had grown straight up and down, whereas her left foot had underslung heels, so it was like she was walking in one high heel and one shoe with the heel cut off. It must have been very uncomfortable for her. Cullen’s hooves were overgrown and splayed out, making it difficult for him to even walk normally.
After the horses had their feet done, it was like night and day for them. Haven began testing out her hooves by walking around her stall- she looked more comfortable than she has in a week! Cullen moved around a little, but was more interested in trying to look adorable and get us to feed him some more!
We have both horses on Equiiox, and while they are so much more comfortable with having their feet done, the changes in how they are now walking will cause them some discomfort for a short time until they are used to walking normally again. They pain medication provides them some relief. We will reevaluate if they horses need to stay on it in the future, but for now, our primary goal is to ensure that they are pain-free as they continue to heal.
One of the most notable things about both of these horses is that they are the sweetest things! Even our farrier noted how very sweet and kind they were- Haven had difficulty with one of her feet, but she tried very hard to keep it up for him as he was trimming it. Neither horses gave him any problem at all. Over the past week, we have not seen either of them do so much as flick an ear back, much less try anything else angry- not one threatening kick, tail swish- nothing. They are just so happy that we are there, feeding them, brushing them, and just hanging out with them.
Both horses are getting a lot of people-time- they have their foster mom and her daughter, and one of our volunteers, Leslie, goes out almost every day for several hours and hangs out with them and helps to care for them. Both horses have a brighter personality and are interested in what is going on around them, which is great.
Haven is doing so well that we have increased her pellet intake, which will help her gain weight and build muscle. Cullen, however, is still in a precarious position. We have to be very careful about feeding him too much too quickly as his body still is so thin that he cannot process food normally. The good thing, however, is that he is interested in food, and is continuing to pass manure normally, so in about a week as long as things continue, we can slowly increase his food intake a little. He is still too thin to have his teeth done, but both horses are on several feedings of watered-down pellets, so that isn’t too much of an issue.
We will continue to post weekly updates on these two- thank you to everyone who has helped to donate towards their care, and, of course, to Debbie, her daughter, and to Leslie, who are all doing the hard work of caring for these two! If it weren’t for everyone coming together and working to help these two, they would not be alive right now. Thank you to everyone for helping to give these two very sweet horses a second chance!