Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Taking Chances

    The very nature of equine rescue involves taking chances. Every case is different and we never know what we're getting ourselves into. When we receive a phone call from law enforcement, the amount of information is usually limited, all we know for sure is that a horse is in trouble and we're being asked to help. On Aug 16, 2011, we picked up two horses for the local sheriff's department. The filly was estimated to be 12-18 month old and had a body scale rating of 1.5 and the gelding was 6-8 yrs old and rated a 3 on the body scale chart. We named the filly Cindarella and the gelding we named him Chance.  As we were loading them to take them to our vet, the owners told us that Chance is mean and that he would kick us. We found that Chance is not mean.....Chance is scared of people, He's obviously been mistreated, so he's smart not to trust people. We were told that the deputy roped Chance before we arrived at the location in order to be able to catch and halter him.

    After a trip to our vet, Chance settled in for the night in his new stall. Depressed and lethargic he was content to eat hay and didn't move around much. The next day we moved Chance to another stall with an adjoining turn out area. He was content to eat which he did for the next few weeks without even stopping to take a breath. Since he was fearful and distrusting of people, we were taking a chance on having problems catching him if we put him in a larger area, but we did. We have an area against the fenceline that is 25 x we moved Chance there. He wasn't hard to catch since he learned his name quickly and would "whistle" at me whenever he saw me approaching the barn. After all, I am the giver of food. I call his name, he comes running. I am able to halter him with no problem as long as I move slowly and talk to him to reassure him. Each morning he's turned out and then brought in each evening. After a few weeks, when he started feeling better, he became more restless and would be seen running and bucking and talking to the other horses over the fence. Then he began to call to the main herd when they grazed far away from him.

    He'd been living basically tied up to a flat bed trailer, most of time without food. He'd been starving and looked like he was on the edge of giving up. Now he wanted to be a member of the main herd that I call the Magnificent Dozen. Saturday morning I went to the feed store and when I returned I heard a high pitched squeal. Looking toward the south meadow, I saw Chance running for his life as the Magnificent Dozen followed in hot pursuit. When you have a dozen territorial horses on your heels you'd better be fast. We went to check how he got out and found the panels had been pushed from the outside, so he had an accomplice. We suspect Willow, who has been spotted hanging out in that area. The next few hours past and Chance decided to use his new found freedom to explore the woods and to take a dip in the pond. He knew he was taking a chance but he still wanted to join the herd. At dinner time his "new friends" became even more hostile toward him and when he was repeatedly bitten and kicked and ran off, then and only then did he decide that he wanted to return to his stall and enjoy his gourmet meal. Since then he comes in for his meals and then gets released back into the main pasture. He still wants to be a herd member. They still don't like him. He's content being able to graze in the distance and pretend it's his herd. One thing about it, if you give Chance an inch....he takes a mile so it's a good thing there's 132 acres here so he can expand his horizons and explore around until somebody in the herd decides to take a chance on him and take him under their wing. He found out real quick that you're not allowed to join the Triple O Herd without an proper invitation.


  1. Loved reading his story in more details :) Tina x0x0

  2. GREAT first installment in the continuing saga of the Triple O!! Love Chance's story, and the herd "dynamics." Amazing!! Please keep us posted!!!