Welcome to Whisky (Reg. name: 'Whisky Cowgirl')
9 YR OLD STANDARDBRED MARE - SURRENDERED 13.11.11
Whisky has spent the past year standing in a yard with her filly foal. She has some health and physical issues that are very evident, most notably, back/hind end problems and the symptoms of long term neglect of her teeth.
Well an interesting day with Whisky. The day we collected Whisky we immediately noticed that she appeared to be experiencing some back pain in her sacroiliac region, (where the pelvis attaches to the spine at the lower back). Over the past three days it has become pretty evident that this was causing her a lot of pain and discomfort. Today the farrier was out to do trims, and there was just no way in the world that anyone was going to get near her hind end/legs. Brian performed some chiropractic moves on Whisky, and well, what a change! She immediately appeared so much more comfortable, and her demeanour changed completely. She then happily stood while her hinds were trimmed. We will have more practitioners examine Whisky's back and treat if recommended, but today was definitely a big step in the right direction.
Over the past three days Whisky has shown herself to be a horse who has been conditioned into 'survival' mode. She has a lovely kind eye, and I know that she inherently has a lovely nature, but the behaviours she's been displaying are extremely defensive. She is ferocious about guarding her food and water, which is something we often see in horses who have been fed/watered infrequently, and who have become very stressed about the unreliability of the availability of their basic requirements for survival. If any other horse even looks like thinking about putting their head through the rails to share her food or water she flies into quite a rage.
Her udder is subsiding, and she doesn't seem to be missing her yearling foal at all. She is becoming easier to catch by the day, and I'm certain that when we remove the pain and worry from her life, that she will revert to the kind natured girl that she so obviously really is.
Next thing for the beautiful girl is her dentist's visit, and based upon the level of neglect she has experienced, I will be surprised if she doesn't have painful issues with her teeth which can also be alleviated for her.
The first two photos were taken this morning, before she had the work on her back.
Can you see the difference in her outlook between these photos and the folowing ones?
Whisky and Zeke do the introductions.
Big day for the beautiful girl today. Esther says that Whisky has a nice regular bite, and the work that Esther did need to do wasn't too extensive. Precious girl was beautifully behaved.
Ah what a hard nut to crack our beautiful Whisky is.. The wonderful Janis Hobbs was here today to treat some of the horses to some Equine Touch Bodywork and we thought we'd introduce Whisky to Janis, with an aim to working towards having the big girl feeling comfortable enough with Janis to happily accept Janis' touch all over.
As anticipated, Whisky was suspicious and guarded, but as you can see from the photos, we were able to leave it on a good note, with Whisky feeling relaxed in Janis' company. On Janis' next visit we hope to achieve some bodywork with the lovely girl.
If you are interested in learning more about Equine Touch Bodywork, you can visit Janis' web site here.
Very glad that Whisky wasn't underneath this when it fell!
Whisky's coming a long way re her outlook on both life in general, and humans. She no longer feels the need to 'guard' her water, she no longer lunges aggressively at other horses passing her yard, she no longer kicks out at the yard rails when I walk past, and she is accepting contact all over her body. At this stage I'm allowed to touch her via the brush, but she still detests my hand anywhere on her other than on the front of her face. This is something I have to continually remind myself of, as the last place I would usually touch a horse on approach would be on the front of their face.
She is now no problem to catch, which is a stark contrast to the horse we took about 15 minutes to catch in a yard when we initially collected her, dodging flying hooves. A large contributing factor to Whisky's changes has simply been time, coupled with consistency. It takes time for an intelligent animal who's genetically wired for survival above all else to undo 10 years of conditioning, and the first step in that happening is for her to make conscious decisions when met with every situation that unsettles her... do I react with what I know? ...or do I give this human the benefit of the doubt? Whisky is bravely making baby steps and choosing to give me the benefit of the doubt 90% of the time these days. This is making her a far happier horse in herself.
Whisky would love to say a huge 'thank you!' to her friends at Horseland for their kind present of a lovely rug to keep her warm and toasty through winter. Lovely fitting rug with a great range of adjustment, quality fittings, and some really well thought out strategically placed padded areas. You can check out Whisky's new WeatherBeeta Orican Freestyle online for more details.
Whisky has made great advances of late re her social skills with other horses. Where previously her default reaction to other horses even walking past her yard, or close to her fence was to pin her ears, lunge towards them, and often to spin and kick out, she is now tentatively open to introducing herself. She is quite timid about doing so, but is really enjoying the revelation that other horses can be friends, and are not necessarily foe. She has been helped greatly with this by Quest's little Joy, who simply doesn't take 'no' for an answer!
Due to the sale of our President's property, preparations are being made for the big move, which includes minimising the number of horses that need to be re-located on the day of the move. Whisky has very kindly been offered temporary accommodation by one of our Quest ladies, Joanne. Here she is departing for Joanne's (most definitely) greener pastures!
Well it's been a long time between updates, but we are getting back on track now following the major upheaval of our move.
Joanne has been keeping us well updated re Whisky's progress in her care and she has done a wonderful job with her. Whisky is now paddocked with the other horses and loving life in every way. She has become very relaxed, and is now just 'one of the gang'. Whisky is well and truly ready for re-homing now, and we are all very hopeful that a great home will be offered her.
If you are in a position to be able to do so, please consider offering Whisky a safe and loving home in which she can live out her days. Our horse adopters are the most important part of Quest's rehabilitation process, as without good homes to go to, these horses could not be taken into care at all. Every horse adopted out not only ensures the well-being of that particular rehabilitated horse, but also opens up another place to enable another horse in need to be provided the same opportunity. By homing one horse.. you are assisting two.
Whisky is not to be bred from. We also consider her unsuitable for education under saddle due to the unknown nature of her back issues. We have been told through the grapevine that Whisky was involved in a floating accident as a youngster, where the float rolled with her in it. This is third party information, however it would explain the irregularity in the appearance of her spine.
In keeping with our policy of not re-homing to beginners, we are seeking an experienced home for Whisky. She would make a great companion horse, or even a lovely paddock ornament and friend.
Here are a couple of photos from Joanne of the girl doing winter with her buddies:
For some background on adopting a horse/pony/donkey from Quest, please visit this page.
Here's a brief clip of Whisky taken back in March:
Congratulations to Whisky, who has weasled her way into the hearts of Joanne and Craig during her 'temporary' stay with them over the period of our moving properties and re-establishing the Shelter. Whisky is so well settled now with Joanne and Craig's other horses, and so enjoying herd life for the first time in her ten years of life, that Joanne could not bear to see her removed from her situation, where she now feels so secure and content.
Whisky has been in care now for over a year, and during that time has had quite a few sponsors contributing towards her rehabilitation and care as they could manage. At time of writing we need to thank current sponsors; Jenny S., Claire D., Sue W., and Jenelle G. for joining with us in supporting Whisky's journey, but we'd also like to thank past sponsors of Whisky; Kate M., Tanya O., Lisa R., Nicole & Emily F. We hope you are all as happy as we are with the outcome that Whisky has reached. Thank you all.
Joanne has been kind enough to forward us some photos of the lovely girl today, we hope you enjoy them as much as we did!
.. and just a flash-back to the first day I met Whisky:
THANK YOU TO ALL OF THOSE, TOO MANY TO MENTION, WHO MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR US TO REMOVE HORSES FROM THESE SITUATIONS AND SET THEM ON PATHS TO NEW BEGINNINGS.
A mid-winter Whisky doing beatifully in the care of her adoptive family.