Monday, November 18, 2013

Lady Luck

So, on Thursday I bought another horse.  I know...crazy, eh? I have named her Lady Luck, Lady for short.  She's a Morgan, dark, with a little white star and white socks.  I wasn't planning on getting another horse.  But, Lady spoke to me.  I had to have her.  You see, at 34 years of age, Lady ended up on a feed lot, destined for slaughter this week. 

At the feed lot.
The reasons for having older horses trucked varies. Sometimes people don't want to have to provide special care over the winter.  Sometimes owners don't want to have to deal with the expense of having the horse euthanized.  Some believe that an older horse going through auction will be purchased as a companion (sometimes they are).  Some owners are not up to the challenge of the maintenance of a senior horse.  Owners pass away and uneducated family members don't realize the fate of senior horses that are sent to auction.

I found Lady through some volunteers that go to the local feed lot and see the new horses that are brought in every week. They lightly groom them, tack them up and sit on them, or lead them around.  They then post a picture on FB, giving a brief description of their experience with the horse, hoping to find homes for them before they are shipped.  They act as middle men between the dealer and the public, collecting and paying the bail money.  They are not rescuers, just concerned women who love horses.  These volunteers are amazing.  I have helped with bail in the past, so I texted my contact.  No offers of help had come in for Lady.

So the stars aligned and I was able to purchase Lady, secure a forever home for her through a horse rescue group, get the transfer of ownership done and have her transported to her forever home, an hour away, on Sunday.  Yay!  My mother is sponsoring her care for a year through the rescue group.  They will be responsible for her well-being going forward.

It was miserable, wet and windy yesterday, but nothing could have dampened my spirits.  I have to say that seeing her in a field made my heart swell.  Just after her arrival at the farm, two other rescued seniors arrived; a gelding 26 years old, and a mare a little older.  The full time residents include two large dogs, two younger Percherons and a llama. The owner, who specializes in special care cases for the rescue group, greeted us with a big warm smile and told me, My Husband, my sister and my niece to make ourselves at home.  My Husband stayed near the car, but my sister, niece and I walked into the field.  

For 34 years of age, Lady is actually in great shape.  She's a good weight, her winter coat is in, her feet are a bit long, but look good.  Her mane and tail are long and thicker than some of the other horses at my barn.  :-)  I think she was loved and cared for in her previous life.  How did she end up on a feed lot.....?



Lady enjoying being out in the wind and rain.


Lady trying to make friends with the other seniors.

The gelding didn't like her near his friend and ran at her a few times. 

There was some prancing and posturing by the 26 year old gelding.  Understandable.  He was stressed and in a new environment.  Apparently, he has arthritis in his ankles, but you wouldn't know it the way he was moving around!


Percherons to the rescue!

They told the senior gelding to back off.  Were they showing respect to Lady because of her age?

They stayed with Lady until things calmed down.
The Percherons are just gorgeous.  The owner actually rides the larger one (16.3 perhaps??) in competition, although I can't remember what discipline.  To be honest, I was amazed at how energetic the seniors were.   There was lots of walking and trotting.  A little stiff maybe, but there was still a lot of life and vibrancy left.



The resident llama really liked Lady.
First contact.  What a gentle soul.
Lady was patient with us, allowing herself to be petted and fussed over.  She enjoyed the little treats we gave her - she still has teeth!  :-)  But after a while she had had enough and simply walked away.  Can't blame her.  Even though the last few days for her must have been extremely stressful, she was still a class act.

This experience with Lady has been very rewarding.  She may just last the winter, or she could live on another few years.  Whatever happens, at least she is somewhere that will give her good memories.  This experience is also a reminder that horses live a very long time and the responsibility of horse ownership is a big commitment.  The owner of the farm said she liked me and I was welcome to visit any time.  :-)  Lady has quite a fan club now, so I suspect that I will have company when I go out to give her a brush!

Have a good week, everyone!




32 comments:

  1. Bless you. She's a pretty horse, and seems to be healthy.

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    1. Hello redhorse. Yes, she is a very pretty girl.

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  2. Thank you for making sure she found a safe place to call home. She sure looks like a lovely mare!

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    1. I am delighted at the place that she will be calling home for the rest of her life.

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  3. What I sweet girl Lady looks like. She's so friendly and I'm sure she already loves you for saving her. It's such a shame what happens to the horses nobody wants or can take care of anymore. Thank you for helping out a horse in need and your mom too. You're very special and have a good heart.

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    1. Considering how her world went topsy turvy over the last week, she handled it with grace. She is very sweet. :-)

      I could not have done this alone. This really was a team effort: The feedlot volunteers helped me buy her, the rescue group I contacted found a home for Lady, the livestock/feed lot owner even helped me get her to the rescue-approved farm, and then my mother sponsoring her care. It was meant to be, I think.

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  4. Wow, how wonderful that you were able to come along and save her! She looks like such a great mare.

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    1. I think she was loved in a previous life. She looks great for her age.

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  5. How sweet! Oh the stories Lady could tell, if only she could. What a Lucky mare to have found such wonderful people - like you! She looks like she belongs with those Percherons, seems that often "similar looking" horses hang together. I hope they continue to befriend her, it can be tough being an old gal. Looking forward to reading more about your new mare ~ congrats!

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    1. Yes, the stories she could tell!! I hope the Percherons keep an eye on her too. The farm owner only ever has a maximum of 6 horses, so I think Lady will be OK and get the one-on-one care she needs.

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  6. Good for you, to give her a home when she needed one.

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  7. Tears.... happy tears for the lucky Lady. Bless you!

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    1. There were a lot of tears when I paid for her and when we saw her in the field! :-)

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    1. I am very happy that it worked out. :-)

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  9. What a happy ending. I get think of a more heart breaking job than going to the feed yard to try out the new arrivals. I'm sure my farm would be full in a day.

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    1. Hello 4RRanch! Honestly, I don't know how these volunteers do it. They truly are amazing. They are so dedicated and passionate about what they do. It's got to be heartbreaking, but I suspect that they focus on the successes.

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  10. Wolfie this is absolutely amazing!! To read such a positive, uplifting story after all the bad news that we're bombarded with on a daily basis ... you are a STAR!!! Your mum is a STAR! Those wonderful volunteers are amazing STARS and the rescue home ... (you see where I'm going with this ;o))

    The pictures are lovely; Lady really is a lady by the looks of things. Especially like the pix of her with the llama. And I am so proud to know such a wonderful, caring wolf-lady :D xxx

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    1. (blush!) :-) The stars really did align. It was meant to happen, I think. She does seem like a lady; very gentle and polite without being a pushover. I will be going to visit her in a couple of weeks to see how she is doing. Her caregiver has my email address, too, so she will give me updates. xo

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  11. Congrats on the new horse Wolfie, you did a great thing.

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    1. It makes me feel good to know that she's OK. :-)

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  12. Your story just made my day ;) It's hard enough to find homes for younger, sound horses , never mind the seniors. So glad you were able to save one!

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    1. Glad her story brought a smile to your face. :-) I have a soft spot for seniors...perhaps because I am not that far off from being one myself!

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  13. I love stories like this. She looks awesome for her age. It was these horses that always made me the saddest at the auction, I'm so glad you were able to save one! No doubt she'll have an awesome home for the rest of her days.

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    1. I don't think I could bear to see an auction. It was sad enough going to the feed lot to pay for her. :-( She is an a much nicer place now. :-)

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  14. I'm so happy for you and Lady, and thankful that you are in a position that you could save a life. So wonderful for you all! (She does look pretty good to my untrained eye.)

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  15. Oh this warms my heart! My first horse was a Saddler named lady and she lives up the road from where I work with my senior gelding, Of course you know that I take care of 'special' cases on the farm. Our old prince is in his 30s and a bit lighter than Lady, having worked hard all his life, but sheesh. I am so glad you did this. Love for an old horse is a special kind of love. Sending you much blog hugging! xxx

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