A Tripple Spotted Rescue

One cold day last spring, we received a call about three horses in a field getting very thin. Neighbors were concerned that no one was caring for them, as they had heard the owner passed away and no one had seen any hay but a few times since then. Within an hour of that call we received a call from a woman who had inherited the property from the man that passed away. She said that she was not a horse person and had no idea how to care for the horses. She would rather we take the horses than give them someone to whom she would have no idea what they would do with them. That afternoon we put a team together, hitched up the trailer, and went out to the property. We really had no idea what we would find.

The mother of the other two horses was old and much more emaciated.

As we pulled into the long driveway we saw the three on the opposite end of the field. There was a round bale and at least one of them was eating from it. Two of the horses were thin and the third horse, the eldest, was extremely thin. As we approached them we also saw that their manes and tails had been cut, rather haphazardly. This was really not good. First, because they were Appaloosas their manes and tails were scarce as it was. Secondly, fly season was approaching and they would need all the aids they could have. It appeared that whomever had cut them was trying to get burrs out of them. They probably did it in an attempt to help the animals. 

The horses were all approachable. They were happy to receive some attention. However, catching them was entirely a different matter. We hadn’t yet figured out which of them was in charge. As we finally caught the first one and tried to load her, we quickly figured out it wasn’t her. We put her back in the field and approached the old timer. It was rather effortless to catch her and load her. As the other two feverishly galloped back and forth along the fence line calling out to her, we soon saw we had our lead mare. We managed to get them all on our trailer, something we are fairly certain at least two of them had never done before and brought them back to the farm.



At the farm we had one of our vets waiting to examine the horses. The two youngest, which turned out to be sisters, we named Sunflower and Auburn. They were in fairly good health but underweight. Probably nothing a good diet wouldn’t take care of. However, the eldest, their mother, was going to have a much greater struggle. She was older and much more emaciated. We named her Daisy. For several weeks our staff, along with our vet, worked with Daisy, but sadly, her condition was too far advanced, and she was unable to hold on any longer. Help came too late.  Her last days were at least peaceful and filled with staff and volunteers who indulged her with all the TLC she could possibly get. She didn’t spend any of those days hungry, wondering if food would arrive soon. Sometimes that is the best gift we can give them.