Another busy day at the LCC. This morning, Tango gets turned out for the first time since she came back from the farm "on the hill." There is a farm in Athens - about ten minutes from this farm - that we lease from a very generous donor. It has acres of grass pastures, which is the one thing we lack here. Tango has been living there with Cyrus, an old crippled recovered starvation victim. Cyrus came down with some intestinal issues, and a trip to the vet revealed his internal systems were calling it quits. This left Tango without a buddy on the hill, so, she is home for a few weeks.
Tango was Donny's main ride for the past several years, until she was officially retired 3 years ago. She is 38 years old, a New Zealand bred TB. She played polo until she was in her mid-twenties. She is a mean, grumpy, sassy old mare. But, Victoria promised her ten years ago she'd paid her dues and would get to die here. (OK, she didn't plan on it taking this long, but...) Tango still has enough spunk that it took two heavy doses of sedative AND a twitch to float her old teeth on Friday. I will have to get you a picture of her teeth - they are so angled outwards, they protrude from between her lips, so she is constantly snarling. Anyway, she got to go out with Cool, who is a meanie in the field, and two other TBs. I tell you, Tango doesn't even have to chase anyone to be in charge. She just looks at them, and they know. 38 years young; she is a little on the thin side, but still looking good:
I had a great pair of volunteers today, and we decided to bathe poor little Triumph, the 2 year old Percheron starvation victim brought to us by Happy Trails Farm Sanctuary, who rescued him. Well, the problem with Triumph is, he doesn't know how to lead. AT ALL. We mastered moving forward very quickly - good boy! - the dilemma was that he just does not understand that I am at the end of the lead rope and he can't go wherever he darn well pleases. This resulted in a really scary few moments as I first was dragged headlong down the driveway, then was nearly dragged off the 'dock' at the back of the Hope barn. There isn't a mean bone in this poor boy's body, he just has no understand at all of the situation. His left eye was removed last week, so he can't see you when you're leading him. He is also the most unfazeable animal I've ever seen, so all the jumping up and down and waving your arms and being scary doesn't bother him one bit. We switched to his right side, so he could see me, which helped a ton. When he is with you, he is very attentive; barely a wiggle on the lead and he will back up, and gentle little tug and he will walk with you. He just doesn't understand the he can't wander away whenever he wants. I did finally have to put a chain on him, because it was scary, and I was concerned about someone who didn't know better trying to lead him somewhere. He "got it" very quickly, really... he is quite a smart boy! He pays attention very nicely at the end of the rope, and is learning to stand quietly as he is being groomed. We just have to learn that we can't wander off whenever we want. ; ) He is very intelligent though, I was so proud of him, and he was soooo happy to be loved on! I bet he will mature into a beautiful, loving horse for someone. He is so malnourished he looks like a weanling in his proportions - but he is 15.2, at least! You can see how skinny he is.... his ears didn't suffer from the starvation, though.... hehehe. Liz White has graciously procured for us a 'prothesis' for his eye socket - it will be a silicone implant that will keep the skin from the empty eye socket from sinking in as everything heals. He won't have a creepy hole, in other words. ; ) Thanks Liz!!
Our volunteers, Leila and Rachel, also helped with little Yuri for a few minutes today. Yuri is a LOVELY little almost-yearling who was a nurse mare foal last spring. He has been looking for his new home for some time now, but no one is interested in a commitment his age. He is a little TB x Percheron cross and will grey out in the next few years. His ground manners have improved considerably in the last few weeks, and it would make a nice addition to your barn!
Victoria worked on the milk room ceiling - it is wood panelling, and will be beautiful! Leila and Rachel stained many more floorboards for the living room. Last year, the living room floor basically collapsed. Victoria dug all of it out, put a fantastic slate area around the wood burning stove, and put in sub flooring... but we never got around to putting in the hardwood floors. Before this foal season, it will be complete! It has seemed like for the last year the house has been falling in around us - the milk room floor and the bathroom floor both rotted out a few months ago. Now they are lovely tile, and we won't have that problem again, as they were fixed RIGHT this time. Yeah!!
Have a relaxing Sunday!