Saturday, November 17, 2012

Extreme Fence Make-Over

As some of you may know I rescued a sweet little miniature horse stallion back in March, now referred to as Leonardo. He had come from a complicated situation which resulted in not only him but 4 other horses locked in 24/7. Leonardo was originally born in Virginia on a miniature horse breeding farm, then brought up to Maine where he was abruptly weaned off his mom and sold because he was unregisterable. The family who bought him (and who I rescued him from) consisted of a nice older man and his mentally disabled daughter who had lost her mom as a toddler to illness. But because of family hardships, the animals well being could not be high on the list of priorities for the family. Leonardo stayed cooped up in a 4X5 foot pen for the first year and half of his life because adequate fencing was never put up and the daughter could not handle his energy when he was taken outside for walks. I found out about Leonardo when the older man called me to trim his feet one day because he wanted to sell him to a family that also had a mentally disabled child, and who had never had horses before. When I arrived, Leonardo's matted forelock was barely noticeable from the edge of his pen in the back of the barn. When I got closer his big blue eyes lit up and he began to prance when he realized he was coming out of his enclosure. Once out in the light, it was clear he had some type of parasite.. he had bloody raw spots on his shoulders, back and neck. His ribs were noticeable even under his shaggy/matted coat and he had a low hanging belly that seemed to droop. His hooves were the worst of all. They were curled up and around, like a circle. I trimmed 6 inches off the first trim and told the old man that I would take him right then but he refused as he had promised the lady with the disabled daughter. Discouraged, I left wishing for the best.

About a month and half later I got a call from the old man saying he still had Leonardo and that the woman came to meet him and called the state on the condition of the horses. He said he had sold one of his horses and that I could come pick up Leonardo anytime for free as long as I promised to not call the state on him again. I immediately picked him up and began the rehab. In less then 4 months, the parasites, worms and hooves were under control and although he had a terrible clip job (courtesy of me) he was happier then ever to be running around in his make shift pasture where he could see the other horses.

Since then, I've been able to keep in touch with the old man and his daughter, as I work right down the road quite often. I recently found out the the mans son had some very serious medical issues having to do with chemicals he was exposed to in the army and was on hospice. The old man himself had been having some major medical issues too, with random seisures. A therapist was called out to talk to the daughter and let her know what was going to happen if one or both of them passed away. She would have to live with another family or stay in an institute. Besides from that, the horse fence had still not been tended to since I seized Leonardo from the property which meant the horses had to stay inside since they knew they could plow through the mangled mess.

With the help of my good friends Maria and Ethan, I decided we should take charge and help out this unfortunate family and improve the lives of the haflinger horses locked inside (Luke, Duke and Tony). I was willing to donate all the wiring needed to enclose their small paddock as well as some insulators, Maria was willing to donate all remaining insulators as well as gate handles, poles, and other miscellaneous and Ethan was willing to donate the time needed to pull all the efforts together.

Maria and the disabled daughter spent nearly 3 hours one day pulling down every bit of the original fence as they could which consisted of 6 strands of high density wire wrapped and stapled into every post, tangled around one another and one strand of barbed wire weaved through all the plain wire, around the whole pasture. When me and Ethan arrived the next day we removed what was left of the original wire and began to put the new insulators and poles.

One of the supply buckets.

Getting ready to set up for the make over!
Some of the removed wire from the day before.
This was how the barbed wire was attached to each post as well as unorganized strands of high density wire.. the horses had not had electric fencing for over 10 yrs, no wonder they didn't care about pushing through!
We cleared this up before we began any further with the new set up.
Putting in the new poles. This is the most trouble-some side to keep the horses in because Maria owns a nice lush field to the left that is very tasty looking to these hungry haflingers.
The old man has difficulty catching the horses to bring them in at night so he created a smaller holding pen, which just added more dangerous obstacles for his horses to get around. You can see Maria's horse barn in the upper left hand corner, from there you can hear the horses locked inside and kicking in annoyance at the old mans house.
Another up close shot of his 'holding pen' with his bigger paddock in the background.
Ethan making the holding pen clear and visible!
Maria hooking up the electrical components.
Helping eachother out.
Some of our supplies.
The new holding pen!
Connected into the perimeter fencing!
No more jumbled fencing here, these horses are in for a surprise.
We turned Luke, Duke and Tony out one by one for the first time since Spring.. what a happy sight!
"What's this new zapping material?" Tony says.. after pushing into a couple times and feeling it 'bite' him!
Job well done here.. when the horses are happy and the owners are happy, I'm happy. I'll do whatever I can to ensure that horses can get what they deserve and in times of hardship, like this family has been facing, I don't think twice abot making donation like this to relieve some of their pressure!
Thank you for reading.


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