9yro 36" Mini Mare in SoCal--COTH FOUND HER A HOME! Update in post #9!
Edited to add: Didn't realize the img tags are working now, so Firefly's pics are now up here--no need to click on a link to them anymore. now you can see her in all her cute glory.
Time has created complications in my life. Some have been unhappy, like my two back surgeries, but some have been wonderful, like my 2 1/2yro son ...and I just cannot keep my horses in the 100% self care facility I have them at now. Full time job, full time toddler, a sore back aging faster than my 35 years, and 100% self care are brutal. I am moving my Arab to full care board, and sadly need to find my registered division B mini "Gilliams Firefly" a new home. Her previous owner has right of first refusal, but she no longer lives on land and cannot take her back.
Firefly came to me as a rescue of sorts; she has a thyroid imbalance and severely foundered (while pregnant; she lost the foal) about 6 months before I got her. Her previous owner lived on acres of lush green pasture in Texas, but poor Firefly couldn't graze on it with her buddies because of her laminitis (something like 14-15 degree rotation of the coffin bone). I took her in, and she became a companion to my older Arabian mare and an ambassador to an after-school horse club I run. I have owned her for 4 1/2 years.
Firefly would NOT do well in public boarding around here. The "cute" factor means everyone wants to pet and indulge her, and I've seen minis at other stables become victims of frequent colic. A lot of facilities around here simply aren't equipped for a 36" tall horse (she can crawl under the fences at some places--and will, to get to something green), and they don't have the feed on hand suitable for her. Due to her medical history, Firely has a very specific diet: 2 1/2lbs timothy hay 2x/day, some soaked timothy pellets with her thyroid medication, and the occasional carrots or treats. Every boarding facility around here feeds alfalfa, which would be disastrous with her. She colicked once, in July 2007, on an unusually hot day. Per my vet's recommendation, she gets a daily supplement of ReStore with her soaked pellets, and she hasn't colicked since. She is up to date on her shots, has her feet done every 6 weeks by a highly respected area farrier, gets psyllium once a month, and has her teeth done by an equine dentist every year (she'll be due in December).
Firefly is quite dominant--not mean or nasty (she doesn't bite or kick), just pushy and disrespectful of space. A once a week lunging/reteaching lesson reminds her who is lead mare. I do NOT want her going to a home where she's going to be ruined, physically and behaviorally, because she's "cute"--and it would be easy to do. She's a smart girl, and knows how to work the "awwww" factor.
She can be aggressive toward horses (squealing, pinning ears, kicking out at the biggie horses that just HAVE to sniff her butt, chasing with teeth bared in turnout) as she asserts her dominance. With other minis/ponies, they can handle her and she'll find her place--but turned out with the wrong "biggie," she'll get herself killed. I have turned her out with my Arab, but only because the Arab is a complete wuss and submits to her.
She is not trained to drive. She lunges (both directions, and will change directions when cued), leads, loads, ties, has excellent ground manners, and will yield her hindquarters to you on the ground. She is practically FEARLESS...wish I could transplant her confidence into my Arab! Although--really loud noises like weed whackers have been known to freak her out, but really...she's ready to take on the fire breathing dragon rather than flee it.
I am not looking for money for Firefly--I'm looking for a good home, where her medical needs will be addressed (so simple!) and her personality understood. I wil send her with any of the leftover supplements (ReStore) and medication (right now, it's a thyroid powder; the vet usually likes her to have 2 synthroid pills a day) I have for her, plus whatever timothy pellets I have. I'll also include her halter, lead, grazing muzzle, fly mask, and other mini-sized items I come across.
She is an easy, inexpensive keeper. She eats about a bale, bale and a half of timothy a month, and is, as most ponies are, tough as nails...my little punker pony.
Oh Laura...she could come to NY and live with me! If you were only closer she could have a home here with me. I wish you the best of luck placing her and if I hear of anyone that I think would be a good fit, I will send them your way.
If you don't try...how will you ever know you can not do it?
I'm getting a little anxious...I've contacted about 20 people in the local mini community, plus some People Who Find People in the local horse community, and have no solid leads. There was one person who expressed interest, then strangely has backed off since I requested photos of their property...hmmm. (*Not* Emryss! That's a could be, maybe. )
I know these things take time, I just hate that Ana and I are moving out this weekend and leaving Firefly behind. What can I say, I'm a mom; worrying is what I do. Hopefully it won't be too long.
UPDATE: Firefly is moving into her WONDERFUL new home on Sunday--thanks to COTH!! I received a PM from someone working at the facility, and after many an email and phone call (and navigation of all of the appropriate protocol steps--it is an organization with a board of directors, so we needed to dance all the right dances)...we got the green light today! Whoopee!
I didn't want to say anything until it was official--but Firefly is moving to an absolutely fantastic home where she will be part of a psychotherapy program. It is formerly a live-in group home, now a service care center, for the neediest and most troubled of the children in the foster care system. These kids have serious issues with trust (being shuffled from foster home to group home, changing schools, behavioral issues and acting out, etc), and the equine program is a way to improve confidence and emotional coping skills. They had a mini, a rescue who had been starving and never had her feet done (they were totally slippered), for two years...and she died suddenly a few months ago. They've been on the look out for a replacement, and Firefly with her experience working with kids is perfect. The kids are often frightened by their four larger horses, so Firefly will be an excellent ambassador and introduction to the world of horses.
I've exchanged several lengthy emails and phone calls with the program director, gotten several photos of their clean, safe, and well kept facility, exchanged references, and fielded tons of questions from both sides--everything has really checked out beautifully. Firefly's medical concerns will be addressed and attended to, and I linked them to some sites that sell the supplements. I sent them tons of photos and even a few video clips, showing her lunging and in turn out.
It's funny--I have a degre in Social Work and interned in a group home, so I was familiar with a lot of what she was talking about.
I'm thrilled--this is absolutely the kind of program I would be running if it weren't for my day job. And Firefly I think is going to an even better home than she has now...she'll get the same amount of care as she's getting now, but with LOTS more of the attention she deserves. And the place is beautiful!
I'll post pictures and the name of the program Sunday, after she's moved...but I had to share now that it's official.
Thank you COTH for guiding my girl to such an awesome home!
Last edited by Lauruffian; Nov. 11, 2008 at 10:45 AM.
Reason: fixing typos