Horse Rescue Stories
In reality, ALL horses rescued are success stories. However, some are more involved. Some of our
incoming horses are in such bad shape when we get them that the change we see, with a little love, care, feed and water, is AMAZING!
A very elegant Polish mare who came to us when she was 16 as an owner surrender.
We found out later that she was
grass foundered at about 6 years old.
When she arrived, she was wearing shoes that had been on since the previous year. They had to come off,
and when they did her feet turned to baby powder. She then developed one of the worst abscesses we have ever seen.
Her whole heel separated with an infection that would not go away. While soaking her foot three times a day, she
rotated the coffin bone.
In the meantime, she was roaring and seemed to have uncontrolled fits. She also had cysts on her
ovaries from being on regumate during her show years. The abscess finally cleared so we could put a shoe on her, and then
she developed an abscess on her other front. We kept thinking WHAT NEXT?
While watching her napping one day she
appeared to go to sleep standing up and then fell over. Our vet diagnosed her with narcolepsy.
We were all wondering how much more of this Ptara could take.
After a year of care, and one thing after another, Ptara was
finally well again. She is now the sunshine for Kim, who is her best friend, and her other horse friend Lady.
This wonderful 12 year old quarter mare came to us as an owner surrender. Her owners had no money for feed
and she was terribly emaciated. As I walked into the dark barn she turned towards me and her look told me she'd given up.
Delta was severely dehydrated and in desperate need of food. Every bone in her body stood out. Reportedly pregnant, we knew
it was a desperate situation. Not having been wormed, the feed she needed could only help so much but worming her in the shape
she was in could have killed her. After three months of tender loving care, enough feed and double the water intake of a normal horse,
she finally decided she would stay with us. Everyone that meets her falls in love. She knows she is in a safe place but is still
looking for her forever home.
Update: Delta has been adopted by Gant and Melissa Renick!
Darla and her daughter Strawberry came to us from a home with good intentions but little experience in horse ownership.
Her owner first contacted us to tell us that Darla probably needed to be put down but she couldn't bring herself to do it. She
asked if we would use our knowledge to try to save her or at least alleviate her pain. The owner had given up.
Darla had gotten tangled in a fence a few years ago. Tragically, she had completely torn the heel bulb off her left front hoof.
The injury exposed her to the elements and infection. She also developed a very deep crack on the inside of this foot from
exposure. The owner's farrier told her Darla had thrush and someone else had told her to treat it with bleach. This type
of treatment kills any healthy tissue. The owner applied bleach every day for years. In addition, the farrier had been putting
shoes on both her front feet that were two sizes too small for a 1300 pound horse. After a few years of mis-diagnosis and improper attempts
to treat and cure the problem, the hoof deteriorated to the point of putting Darla's life in jeopardy.
When Darla arrived at the rescue, it was discovered that a nail had been driven directly into the crack in her hoof. Thus, irritating her entire foot with each movement. We called our vet, who pulled the shoes, cut away at the crack, and was able to find healthy tissue.
He also declared she had white line disease, not thrush. The leg was x-rayed to determine how extensive the damage was. Our farrier
arrived the next day. He put on backwards shoes to support the heel bulb that was missing, and we soaked her foot twice a day for the
infection. Our farrier declared her fit to ride as soon as she had enough foot to support her.
After a long time of care to improve her health, she has been adopted by Chip Burkett. Darla has a forever, loving home with
people who care for her damaged hoof as part of her daily routine; when it is wet they keep her in the barn to prevent further
deterioration; they pamper her like the queen she is and are THRILLED with the new addition to their family. Her hoof has grown out
completely and they are able to enjoy riding her. Our farrier continues her care, as well as that of a second horse who is Darla's
companion. For the previous owner, a novice working with unskilled people, Spring Creek made it appear easy. However, with skilled
farriers, vets, and knowledgeable horsemanship skills, this story has a very happy ending!
Colton came to us three weeks after a dog had chased him through a fence. He was half the size a yearling should be, severely starved, terribly
scared of humans, in pain from his injury, wormy and dehydrated.
Our vet cut off the flesh from his wounds, cleaned
up what was left of his back legs and left us with LOTS of antibiotics. Never having been handled, the activity in the barn sent him to
the corner to cower. Although he moved away from any human, he watched with amazing interest everything going on. When his legs had
started to heal and the weather grew warmer, it was time to start haltering, handling and worming. Some of the other colts were first,
Colton stood in the corner of the barn and watched. After three of the other horses were introduced to the chute, haltered and touched, the humans
were tired. We figured Colton had already been through so much that we would leave him for another day. As we began to put things away, pleased
with the progress the other colts had made, Colton came forward, looked at us, and put himself in the chute! The intelligence and
understanding he demonstrated was AMAZING. Although he cringed when touched, he dropped his head, licked and chewed, and let us groom
both sides and halter him. After six months his legs are still healing. He'll never grow to his full height due to early malnutrition but can be happy and healthy living here at the rescue.
Update: Colton became a gelding on 1/07. He has become one of the most social horses at the rescue and is our greeter for every new
horse that arrives, especially the ladys. He now asks for attention from his human caretakers, likes to be groomed, and hates to be
ignored. We expect him to really blossom this summer and become all that he can be.
Updated as of May 2008: At this time Colton still has big trust issues and continues to have a fear level above normal.
For the time being he will continue to be a permanent resident here at Spring Creek until he can trust mutiple people.
Update February 2013: Colton has matured in size and really looks like a horse now. His call still sounds like that of a 2 year old, and he still does not trust everyone, but his fear level tapers as the years go by.
Callie was a sheriffs pull from another "Rescue." She came to us starved and dehydrated, covered in rain rot, and scratches on all four legs. Even with all of those issues, she has shown a great will to survive. Here at Spring Creek she has healed and grown. She has learned to halter/bath/trim/ride and is happy to be alive.
Tom is a 16 year old Clydesdale gelding and was part of a foreclosure. After the owners left the property, many horses were left in stalls with someone who promised to feed them and didn't. Tom had already suffered a stroke and was paralyzed on his left side. He acquired bastard strangles while confined to a stall with no food and water. The starvation in itself was enough to recover from, let alone the stroke and paralysis.
Never have we seen a horse with so much determination as Tom. He has come through everything with an attitude that just keeps boosting everyone around him. He is full of himself (that's an understatement) and lets you know everyday how happy he is to be here.