Monday, March 16, 2009

Six Weeks of Progress

Today Faith has been with us for six weeks. Over that short period of time, her weight has increased, her wounds have healed and her spirits continue to improve. She has taught me more than I could ever put in words, and for that I am truly thankful.

Below are some pictures of Faith in the arena today. (Just as a side note, the wall Faith is looking over is 6 feet tall. I told you she was a big girl!)

Faith's normal routine has changed very slightly since my last post about it. Every morning, she still meets Dan at her door, eagerly awaiting her breakfast, nickering at each second that passes before she receives her meal. Shortly there after, I finish with my chores upstairs and head down to grain her and work with her.

Faith is currently receiving the following amounts of feed and supplements twice per day:
1 1/2 quarts of Blue Seal Vintage Victory (10% Protein, 10% Fat, 11% Fiber)
1 1/2 quarts of Blue Seal Hay Stretcher (11.5% Protein, 2% Fat, 20% Fiber)
1 1/2 quarts of Purina Equine Senior (14% Protein, 4.5% Fat, 16% Fiber)
Vitamin E Supplement
She also has free-choice hay in front of her at all times, and eats (er, devours!) about 8-9 flakes per day (about 30 pounds). Her feed bill is ludicrous... But she's worth every penny!

Faith is now getting turned out with our miniature donkey Dominic - they have become pretty good friends! A few pictures of him are below, although it's really tough to photograph him as once he sees my camera he won't leave me alone... It's hard to find his "good side" when he is on top of me. I'll let the following pictures show you his thought process.

Dominic is munching on some hay, but then he spots me with a "device" in my hand...

...and he isn't sure he approves of the camera, so he's gets closer....

...trying to figure out which side of his is the most photogenic...

Hey mom, what are you doing?!

Dominic is my little sweetie, who also came to us a rescue. His job here consists of eating, fighting with the farrier, eating more, braying loud enough to shake the entire barn, chasing the geldings around, fighting with the vet, eating some more, breaking out of every fence we have ever put up, breaking into the feed room repeatedly, and generally just being our farm's mascot/terrorist. We love him just the same! How can you not just fall in love with that face?!

Back to Faith...

We are still having a slight issue with her hind legs swelling if she is not wrapped, although it has greatly improved. Lately I have been keeping her wraps off while she is in the arena during the day, and re-wrapping her each night. Today I decided to put them back on, as they were a little swollen when I removed them this morning.

Her hind end definitely has some serious problems, of which we will diagnose in the future when she is stronger. I'm hoping in another 6-8 weeks she will have improved enough to put her through some lameness exams to determine the cause. When she trots in the arena on some days, she looks off on her left front and/or right hind.

She is currently turned out in the arena from about 7:30 am until lessons begin around 2pm. Yesterday, one of our regular paddocks was officially snow and ice free, so she was allowed to go out there for a few hours. (We live in the Northeast and have had over 90 inches of snow so far this year, as well as a horrific ice storm.) I hate keeping Faith "inside" so much, but with her hind end still being so weak, I would rather keep her sheltered than risk the possibility of her slipping and falling in the snow and ice. She enjoyed the sun yesterday and even stretched out and took about a half hour nap. (I kept an eye on her the entire time she was down... this horse has turned me into a worrywart!)

The geldings on the other side of the fence also enjoyed her company and couldn't take their eyes off of her. (Heck, she's tall, has long legs and is thin - every guy's dream girl!) My Morgan insisted on grooming her entire body from over the fence, and Faith not only let him but she seemed to enjoy it! Although she is a mare and just had to let out a squeal every 90 seconds.

When I look back at the past six weeks, it's amazes me to think of how much this horse has endured, how far she has come, and how she always seems so very grateful. She is a sweet horse with an absolute heart of gold and I hope that her recovery is free from any other bumps along the way.



  1. Nice work. Have you looked into DSLD as a possible diagnosis?

  2. Wow! I see a major change in this set of pictures, especially in her face and eyes. She looks like she has so much more spark and is more interested in her surroundings. You can really see now that in the past she was SOMETHING. Good for you!

    Love the little guy too!

  3. WOW---Nice work on getting her in shape. Isn't it amazing what just six weeks of proper care and TLC can do? She is certainly a BIG GIRL. She is about 17.2 hands?? No wonder she is eating you out of house and home! You can just see the sweetness in her eyes.

  4. Wow! What a big girl! She looks so much better too, keep up the good work! :)

  5. Looking good! She's going to be such a gorgeous horse come this summer. (Also, Dominic is CUTE!)

  6. Hey
    She looks great!
    We rescued a horse from an auction barn that was still being used in lessons hours each day at age 18, covered in sores and rain rot and body condition 1. *he was consigned at normal weight, as pictures came in with him* We had the same problem of him getting very stocked up if he wasn't wrapped, and our vet had us handwalk him 10 min am and pm, to help cirulation, which seemed to do the trick. He had been painted with latex paint (red,white, blue)by the girl scouts that were riding him, so had sores all over his legs preventing us from using any kind of linement. He was also on paddock turnout, but tended not to walk around at all.
    Best of luck, its a very rewarding process.
    Have you tried posting pictures at the lost/missing horses website, and on, and

  7. Oh wow--such changes, such wonderful changes. You have put so much work into her and look at the payoff!--the spark in her eyes, the alert looking around.
    Dominic is a cutie.

  8. Wow, she is looking so much better these days! You can see it in her face too, she's looking so much more "with it".

  9. You must feel like you finally can take a breath. I know she still has a long way to go but she look SO much better already and what a long way she has come from those first touch and go 3-days! The Donk is adorable have on myself they are so sweet.

  10. Dominic is the cutest thing ever. And, Faith is looking wonderful. I hope that you can find out what is wrong with her hind end, and that it's nothing serious. Keep up the great work.

  11. Hi!

    First, you're doing a great job for Faith.

    I just wanted to comment on Dominic. We have 3 mini-donks. Two of which are rescued. Neither was ever abused, but both were "leftovers" that just needed a home to love them. Anyhow, it's funny you should refer to your donk as a terrorist. Ours have "real" names, but their nicknames are "Terroris #1", "Terrorist #2", and "The Antichrist". We feel that these nicknames are wholly appropriate. :-)

    Do you know what you have with 3 mini-donks? A terrorist team. They actually work together to get what they want. If you're carrying hay, one will block your way while the other bumps your arm to shake the food loose. Yup. They plan. Together. Often.

    Anyhow, it's a great thing you're doing. More people need to step up and rescue instead of buying or breeding. Thanks!

  12. Wondering how Faith is doing, we miss your blogs!