There’s several horses who’ve been abandoned in one way or another at Hearts and Hooves Horse Rescue. Most were left to fend on barely enough food, some were physically abused, and one poor soul was left alone when his owner who had loved him passed away in her home.

Each horse or pony has come to Hearts and Hooves with physical and emotional needs. It takes a few days or even weeks before they come to realize that not only is food readily available on a daily basis, but the people at the farm care for them and can be trusted.

It’s truly amazing to me how these neglected horses can still have such sweet personalities!

Let me introduce the “residents” of our rescue farm to you:

Nugget checks out the paparazzi

First, there’s Goldie and Nugget, mother and daughter Arabian Quarterhorse crosses. Both were neglected and left to starve in a teensy paddock with a whole herd of other starving horses.  Nugget was born and never handled by humans. Now both sweet girls are well “padded” and happy, Nugget is now the proud owner of her very own human, Molly, and is being trained for riding. So far she’s a very well behaved girl!  Goldie is still hoping for a forever home.

Next there’s Dancey and Jenna; two Clydesdale mares who also arrived together. As Vina was loading Dancey on to her trailer, the lady informed her, “Oh, by the way, that one’s pregnant.”  These two malnourished mares had been on a farm on Salt Spring Island, and, incredibly, the person there decided it would be a good idea to introduce a thoroughbred stallion to the paddock.  We really aren’t sure when Dancey was impregnated as the stallion had access to her over a period of months, so it’s difficult to know when she’s ready to foal. She and her buddy Jenna are very sweet natured toward people, but Dancey ain’t so impressed with any other horse than Jenna. In fact I’ve seen her lay her ears flat on her head and make some pretty serious moves at the horses in the next paddock!  Jenna, on the other hand, is a real sweet girl. Unlike her buddy Dancey, she’s cool with any visitors in her paddock including Harry the hapless goat. (Harry however made a beeline for an escape route when he saw Dancey headed his way)!

Dancey looks for her next food treat

Plans are in progress now in early October 2011 to get a proper shelter built and new fence put in to allow for Dancey to have her foal in a secure area. It’s very late to have a foal but what can be done but make all the proper preparations and hope for the best?

The sad thing about dear Dancey and Jenna is that they have mud fever, or pastern dermatitis. This is a very painful and irritating condition that plagues many draft horse breeds. There isn’t really a known cure for it, but I’ve been trying my level best to trim away the hair (by scissors with Dancey because she’s afraid of electric trimmers), washing away the mud and encrusted blood and pus (and maggots, yuck), and to apply an antiseptic and antifungal solution to help give them some relief.

I’ll keep giving updates on the condition of the mares, as well as any updates on the arrival of the foal!

Next on the list of horses to introduce are