Thursday, May 10, 2012

Okie, A Horse's Story

Okie is a grade (no registrations papers) gelding, 5 years old.  He was living in Oklahoma which was going through a major drought and suffering from a pasture and hay shortage, which may help to account for the fact that Okie was terribly thin.  A friend knew that we were looking for a well broke horse for someone who hadn't ridden in many years.  He was told that Okie was well broke, had been ridden many many miles, so he brought him home.  The other horses rapidly pushed him to the bottom of the feed line, so Okie wasn't able to get his share, and there was no way to separate him and feed Okie separately to guarantee he got his groceries.  We told our friend to bring him to us. 

Okie had ribs showing, had gotten kicked in the mouth and was having trouble eating when he arrived.  We wormed him with Strongid C and followed it up 10 days later with Ivermectin. He started to shed the long guard hairs of a wormy horse.  We made sure he had pasture and plenty to eat.

Personality wise, Okie is kind, doesn't want to hurt anyone.  He is at the bottom of the pecking order here as well.  However, he told us that he didn't like his previous job.  He didn't want to be caught, would guard his right side, and you could see the fear in his eyes when we approached.  So, I grabbed my trusty curry comb as he was shedding and started rubbing and brushing, no halter, to let him know that I meant no harm.  We had to start somewhere.  I took a little while, but he finally relaxed and his eyes became soft, liquid pools - relaxed and trusting. 

We then had friends ask us if we wanted to turn a couple of horses out to clean up an overgrown pasture - so we accepted and turned him out with another horse to graze and fatten up. 

We are going to go get both horses tomorrow, and then we will see how well broke Okie is now that he has gained over 200 pounds and is worm free.  He may not be the horse we are looking for and it may be necessary to find him a new home, but he now has a chance at a long and happy life.

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