It’s been a while since we’ve done an update on Stetson. Stetson is a 26 year-old gelding who was a lesson horse before he was diagnosed with neurological issues. Although he spent his life working for humans and making them money, his future was very uncertain. We tried to find him a home as a companion horse, but he and the other horse did not get along, and he would get very upset when left by himself. We decided that Stetson would be happiest at Hanaeleh, where he could be surrounded by multiple horses.
Stetson has been doing well, although we are still constantly working to get weight on him. He cannot eat any alfalfa, sugar (molasses), and is very picky- he won’t eat beet pulp or rice bran- all of which we use to try to get weight on him. He often won’t eat his grain, although he does seem to eat his timothy pellets everyday. We keep trying different combinations, and are hopeful we will be able to find something that will eventually interest him.
Part of the reason Stetson’s appetite is poor is because he is on Prescend as he was diagnosed with Cushings. This past year we had his blood retested to determine his cortizol levels, and found that they were too high, so we had to increase his dosage. We will retest him again next month to make sure that his current dosage is working.
Stetson also had a difficult year as he lost his very good friend and stallmate, Aurora. They were very close, and we were concerned that he would become depressed without her. We moved Onyx next to him, and that first day things were pretty bumpy- he kept trying to bite her and kicked at her- there are still two impressions in the wood of his stall when he cow-kicked at the stall.
The next day, however, they were besties, and they couldn’t be separated without going insane- thankfully, that has lessened, and although they will call for one another when the other leaves, they are fine. If Stetson is eating when Onyx is taken out of her stall, he’ll take a bite of pellets, turn around in his stall and call a few times as he chews, then he’ll take a drink of water, then turn around and take another bite of pellets- and so on, and so forth. He’ll do this for as long as Onyx is gone, or until we take him out.
Stetson’s favorite volunteer is Lino, who works with him every Saturday, although he also works in our EAC program. He’s a very steady boy and knows his job, and continues to help humans, even in his retirement.