14 year old Quarter Horse X Mare
Lilly has been used as a stock horse, and has come from a property which has been severely impacted by drought. Obviously she is fairly poor and will need a lot of tlc, but we're very confident that she will pick up quickly and be restored to the pretty little thing that she obviously can be. The girl has dreadlocks like you wouldn't believe, and needs some visits from the farrier, but her feet are in fairly good condition considering. Today the first worming for Lilly, and some rest and relaxation in the paddock.
I brought Lilly in today to try to figure out some rugs for her, give her a brush, and just some general handling. We had a little stroll together before she would let me catch her...but that's ok, it was only a token effort on her part. She was a lot easier to catch than yesterday. To make it a bit harder, she has no idea what an apple or a carrot is, and looks at me like I'm some kind of idiot when I offer one to her. She didn't even know what a bucket was all about, as I took one in there with some yummies in it, to give myself a fighting chance. Anyhow I've rigged up a dodgy rug set up for now. She has the one that Bonnie had on, as a local lady dropped off a rug that fits Bonnie.
Well I am getting to know Lilly more every day. I like her very much (yes, believe it or not I have met horses that I haven't liked!). I like her because she is very intelligent..she's a thinker. She craves attention, but is not game yet to come and ask for it. When I go into her paddock to pick up poos etc., I can feel her a few steps behind me. I don't look at her..just go about my business, and she watches me with great interest. I talk to her, and I'm sure she's listening. I caught her today to adjust her rugs, give her a scratch, and just for the sake of catching her. She was much better already, although she wouldn't take my apples, she did let me catch her....More out of curiosity than anything else I think. I am going to chop up some apples and put them in her hard feeds so that she learns that they're yummy. I did that with my foal Finn, and he soon caught on! It's just handy if there's something that can be used as a bribe or a treat sometimes. She's very good on the ground when she has the halter on, very light to lead.
I separated her and Bonnie today as although they were drawing a lot of comfort from each other, Lilly has been hassling Bonnie when she eats. I need to be sure that they are both getting enough feed. Isn't it funny..I put Bonnie next door to Lilly and it was Lilly (the tough guy) who was worried about it. Ahhh, it's always the tough guys who are mushy inside isn't it. She relaxed about it after a while though, when she realised that Bonnie wasn't going far. I also did it because I'd like Lilly to focus more on me than on Bonnie. Hopefully it'll be easier to spend some time getting to know her when she isn't just concentrated on hunting Bonnie away from me.
I am starting to up her feed now. She's handling it well, and learning that she doesn't need to panic over it disappearing. She'll have a snooze now when she's had enough, and go back to it.
Yes, well Lilly has something to show everyone this morning. If you're eating, or have a weak tummy..don't look. She'd like to show everyone though because she's happy to be well rid of these little suckers, and would like everyone to be sure that their horses are rid of them also. At this time of year Bot larvae are hanging around in your horse's stomach lining waiting for spring, when they will pass out in the dung and hatch, only to repeat the cycle. Now is a good time to worm for Bots.
Well, not good news for Lilly today. She was NOT good for the farrier. Front feet ok...hind feet, well let's just say that the girl could kick the eye out of a needle. Not just threatening kicks, the girl kicks with malice. The farrier was very patient with her and did persevere beyond the point when I told him to forget it, but there was no way that anything was going to happen near those hind legs. This is very disappointing, as we cannot re home a chronic kicker in good conscience. Particularly as Lilly is on the smaller side, and we would have been matching her with a young teenager probably. I have no doubt that this dangerous habit of hers is not ultimately her fault, it's pretty obvious to us that she's had minimal handling and that none of it has been done with kindness.
Well Lilly's off to our Sanctuary today. She was a dream to load, but understandably was a bit nervous. She's had a lot of upheaval lately, but I'm sure will be happy at the Sanctuary. Lilly is going to initially be put in a paddock with Dawny, as opposed to putting her straight out with the whole gang. Best she buddies up with someone before being introduced to the 'herd'.
Tony tells me that she travelled really well to the farm, and unloaded very carefully and slowly. He brought Dawny into the yards and introduced them to each other from neighbouring yards. Apparently there was not so much as a girly squeal. After a while, Tony put them both out together in a 70 acre paddock, and they took off. He said that Lilly was hot on the heels of Dawny, (who is an ex-racehorse), and that they had a great run and play, and then settled down to graze.
Every horse who spends time at the Sanctuary gains condition really well..and quickly, so I can't wait to see Lilly come Spring.
(Quest Sanctuary page coming soon).
It was a pretty yukky overcast day today, so not that clear for pictures, but you can see that Lilly has gone a long way towards losing that dry and unhealthy looking coat she had. She is beginning to bloom, and in a couple more weeks, she'll be shining.
Lilly was particularly unhealthy when she initially arrived at Carinya Park. Some horses are just 'skinny', but Lilly was very depleted of all nutrition, and it showed in her manner, her coat, and obviously, in her condition. She is still not the girl she is yet to become, but I know now that she is well on the road to full health.
Lilly is loving the wide open spaces of the Sanctuary, and has a good buddy there, in Bonny (another Bonny, not the 'Bonnie' she arrived with). She will come up to touch her nose to you in the paddock, and is fine to be handled, but really....I have not known a horse with her character before, and am still thinking on it. She has all the instincts of a brumby. She does not relax a lot in the paddock, and is constantly 'on the look out' for ...well, who knows what! However, if she was stressed, she would not be thriving the way she is, so I guess she might be as happy as a worry wort like her ever would be. I hope so.
Lilly in the yards for feet/worming.
There's nothing better than seeing a horse just 'being a horse'.