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Horse sent to Mill Creek farm Retirement not doing well!

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  • Has anyone been out to MC this week? Still hoping something good comes of all of this.

    Comment


    • Me too. The thread-killing potential aspect of moderation aside, I hope the no news means good news.
      Jeanie
      RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.

      Comment


      • Originally posted by sdlbredfan View Post
        Me too. The thread-killing potential aspect of moderation aside, I hope the no news means good news.
        Me three, but, unfortunately, I'm not real optimistic at this point.
        Equus Keepus Brokus

        Comment


        • The ball can't be dropped here. Max was monitored and has regained weight maybe because he had an advocate (Thanks to COTHers, many advocates). I visited the farm and these are my concerns:

          Not enough shade and shelter in some pastures. These are old horses that are exposed to extreme heat and rain. Some do not have adequate trees/hedges as windbreaks and shade and they do not have three-sided run-in shelters. The small pole and roof structures often provide little shade, especially for multiple horses/donkeys, when sun is direct and no protection from driving rain. Money needs to be raised (Boy Scouts often do this) to buy and build three sided shelters -- crucial for all horses living out 24/7, 365 days a year, and especially the elderly.

          Horses nowadays are often outliving their teeth. Those with chewing problems could live together so they can easily be fed mush on a regular basis.

          Many/most elderly horses do suffer sway backs, muscle atrophy (often severe) and get much hairier than younger horses (how nature provides!) This is normal. It's important for everyone to know the difference between extremely aged and abnormal weight loss. Let experts decide.

          People who have devoted their lives and money to providing homes to unwanted and abused horses should be helped not vilified. No matter what your opinion is regarding an elderly horse's quality of life, it is just an opinion. Heaven knows, we horse lovers have a million of them!
          Last edited by BlueLodge; Nov. 17, 2013, 07:35 PM.
          Steady on!

          Comment


          • Ah, another house guest. Funny, the new posters never see anything wrong. I wonder why that is?

            Shelters are on the list of things that need to be fixed, but below a lot of other obvious needs.

            Here's a question. Why keep taking more horses, when they need shelters and probably some stall space for injuries? Why not say, well, we're full, we can't afford to take anymore right now?

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              I do agree about the shelters. They do not provide enough protection.

              I do not agree about the condition of some of the residents. Extremely aged is not an excuse for being emaciated. If they are either through dentition or metabolism or general health not able to continue to thrive..there are kinder ends then slow starvation.

              Frankly I think through medical advancements in the equine field we all pretty much know that old is not an excuse for thin.

              I agree that MC should be helped if they are willing to receive the help and advice.
              "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

              Comment


              • Triage is not a bad word and one that the MC board needs to look up. From Merriam-Webster:

                2
                : the assigning of priority order to projects on the basis of where funds and other resources can be best used, are most needed, or are most likely to achieve success
                triage transitive verb

                If I had the management of a retirement home of that nature I'd HAVE to make need based decisions regarding what is the minimum level of care and how many horses we could keep at said minimum level of care.

                Saving more is laudable but aged horses' health is not a static thing, it gets worse just as a fact of their age, and if the method is to not respond to declining health (ability to chew, ability to digest, metabolic issues etc etc) by making changes, but just let them "fade away", why not make it quick?
                I'm not sure if fading away is painful, but if it is then that's not humane. We have the power over animals and need to use it the best way we are able.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                Incredible Invisible

                Comment


                • What does a genuinely old horse look like?

                  http://www.horsecarecourses.com/hors...est-horse.html

                  http://jg.photoshelter.com/image/I0000xoP8JEA35tU

                  http://www.dreamstime.com/royalty-fr...d-image9435375
                  Steady on!

                  Comment

                  • Original Poster

                    Originally posted by BlueLodge
                    What does a genuinely old horse look like?

                    http://www.horsecarecourses.com/hors...est-horse.html
                    I bet in 1760 OLD horses did look like that.

                    Thankfully today is 2013 and we have had advancements.

                    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...man-years.html

                    I'll even go one further and put my own up for critic. The Bay mare is in her 20's and the pony is Max's age 31.

                    https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.n...84652351_o.jpg
                    "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

                    Comment


                    • The importance of providing good three-sided shelters to horses can't be overstated. Shelter from the elements is essential to conserving energy and preventing weight/electrolyte loss.
                      Steady on!

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        In agreement about the shelters.
                        "I would not beleive her if her tongue came notorized"

                        Comment


                        • Originally posted by BlueLodge View Post
                          The importance of providing good three-sided shelters to horses can't be overstated. Shelter from the elements is essential to conserving energy and preventing weight/electrolyte loss.
                          I agree, but the lack of shelters is not the only problem.

                          I've posted my 30 something boarder's photo before. He's in good weight, but it takes a lot of extra work to keep him that way. Old horses do not have to be skinny. I'll go one further, they should not be skinny.

                          Comment


                          • There is a difference between hard and easy keepers and age magnifies it. As with people, there can be a geriatric decrepit with health issues and a senior athlete running half-marathons and they can both be the same age.

                            An expert needs to determine whether the decrepit horses at Mill Creek are geriatric or underfed. That way, either action can be taken or worried minds can be put to rest.

                            Either way, all horses need shelter from the elements.
                            Last edited by BlueLodge; Nov. 18, 2013, 10:13 AM.
                            Steady on!

                            Comment


                            • Originally posted by BlueLodge View Post
                              There is a difference between hard and easy keepers and age magnifies it. As with people, there can be a geriatric decrepit with health issues and a senior athlete running half-marathons and they can both be the same age.

                              An expert needs to determine whether the decrepit horses at Mill Creek are geriatric or underfed. That way, either action can be taken or worried minds can be put to rest.

                              Either way, all horses need shelter from the blazing sun.
                              I'm an expert on feeding older equines, so are many of us on this forum. Old does not have to equal skinny or emaciated. If it does, someone is doing something wrong.

                              If there is an underlying condition that prevents the horse from gaining weight and it remains emaciated it should be put down. This is not rocket science, some of us take care of oldies for a living, there are other senior sanctuaries who are able to do it successfully.

                              Blue Lodge, give the folks at Traveller's Rest Equine Elders a call, email or facebook message them. They really know their senior care. The only emaciated oldies you'll see at their sanctuary are the new ones.

                              Here's a rescue I was involved with. Notice Mona's before and after photos. BTW, she's still going strong, 4 years later and still in good weight.

                              http://www.equineelders.org/mona

                              By the way, I spoke to an equine sanctuary that is well run and posed this question:

                              I have a couple of questions, if you have the time. I've been alerted to a possible situation in Florida. It's a retirement farm, beautiful facilities, fences and pastures. The easy keepers seem to be thriving, but not the harder keepers or the senior with fewer teeth. When I say not thriving, it's pretty bad.

                              They claim to have two full time people who do all the feeding and farm maintenance for 140 horses, all on field board.
                              Is this even possible?


                              Their response:

                              Hm. I'd say it depends on what they mean by "feeding." If they are just throwing feed in buckets hung on the fence or just putting out hay, that might be possible, especially if they only feed once a day, for instance.

                              However.........I can't see how there is any way to feed the elders **properly** in that kind of situation. If I have to feed by myself, it takes me an hour and a half to get everybody (18 horses right now) in so they all get the time they need to eat portions appropriate to their needs, let them eat, then turn them all back out. Then multiple that by 2 to 4 times a day depending on needs.

                              With two people, feeding still takes about 45-60 minutes, allowing for the slower eaters to finish. Say, 20 minutes to get all the feed passed out in individual stalls or pens, then turning out as each horse finishes.

                              Then there is picking out sheds, cleaning up paddocks, putting out hay, cleaning and filling water tanks, rebedding sheds or stalls, etc etc. That takes two people until just after lunch for just 18 seniors.

                              Add farrier visits, vet visits, worming, dentals, grooming, medicating, blanketing if needed --

                              So bottom line is two people might be able to provide some feed to 140 horses) again, you'd have to define what they mean by "feeding,) but I can't see how they would be feeding to seniors' needs or how they'd be handling all the other care those seniors would need.

                              In my state now, the law goes farther than only saying you have tp provide feed. Now it says you have to provide feed to prevent emaciation. So if a horse is standing there with a BSC of 1 or 2, an owner can't get away with saying "But I feed him a coffee can of grain every day." He has to provide appropriate amounts of an appropriate feed to comply with the law.

                              Sorry to go on so long -- this reminds me of a case near here a few years ago, although it involved very young horses, rather than very old. Same thing, though, in the long run -- no consideration of age-appropriate management.

                              Comment


                              • Laura you asked a question without giving them all the facts. You don't know what is really going on there and MC Caretaker did say they have more volunteers there to help oit. So it's not just 2 full time people there. So basically what they responded is irrelevant.

                                Comment


                                • Originally posted by BlueLodge View Post
                                  There is a difference between hard and easy keepers and age magnifies it.
                                  If the aged horse is such a hard keeper that no amount of feed and supplements are helping the horse keep its weight (after determining that there is not something else causing the issue, clearly) then it is time to make the tough decision and put the horse out of its misery, prior to it starving to death.

                                  Comment


                                  • Originally posted by spotted draft x filly View Post
                                    Laura you asked a question without giving them all the facts. You don't know what is really going on there and MC Caretaker did say they have more volunteers there to help oit. So it's not just 2 full time people there. So basically what they responded is irrelevant.
                                    How many people should it take to care for 130-140 older horses who live out on a very large acreage such that they are not all in sight someone at all times?
                                    How many of those people should have a working knowledge of horses, and how many should have a more in-depth knowledge of horses and geriatrics specifically and how many is it ok to have there helping out who know nada?
                                    Yo/Yousolong April 23rd, 1985- April 15th, 2014

                                    http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/...m-a-sanctuary/

                                    Comment


                                    • Originally posted by spotted draft x filly View Post
                                      Laura you asked a question without giving them all the facts. You don't know what is really going on there and MC Caretaker did say they have more volunteers there to help oit. So it's not just 2 full time people there. So basically what they responded is irrelevant.
                                      Except I didn't make that up in my own little head. That's what Mill Creek Farm's Caretaker said. Their employee, their representative.

                                      Originally posted by MCF Caretaker View Post
                                      I will start out by saying that I personally feed every horse on the farm according to the regiment given to me, everyday. I know because I do it. We feed senior feed with suplaments and peanut hay everyday, we also have round bails of coastal hay in every pasture minus the smaller paddocks with one or two horses. I can post links to pics of our feed barn and hay that is stored if needed.

                                      Comment


                                      • Lol I'm sure when he said that he didn't mean that he was the only one feeding. He's saying that he does help with the feeding and because he is helping with the feeding that he knows what they are getting.

                                        Comment


                                        • Originally posted by spotted draft x filly View Post
                                          Lol I'm sure when he said that he didn't mean that he was the only one feeding. He's saying that he does help with the feeding and because he is helping with the feeding that he knows what they are getting.
                                          Neither of us know first hand, do we? So you can interpret it any way you want. I quoted what he actually said.

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