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Astrot, almost a year and a half after we brought him home. What a difference! It's hard to believe he was literally skin and bones and losing his hair when we brought him home as a three-month old.
A Sad Situation
"Daddy, can I have a horse?"
How many times have we heard this? A young girl desperately wanting a horse of her own? More times than we can count, I'm sure. But what happens when the novelty of horse-ownership wears off, and the reality of daily chores 365 days a year sinks in?
What about summer camp horses? Pony ride ponies? Carriage horses? Trail ride horses? What happens when they are no longer useful? Or when the season is over?
Unfortunately, many of those horses are sent to low-end auction barns across the country to be sold to the highest bidder. While many times these faithful mounts find good and loving homes, sometimes the highest bidder has no more intent than to make a dollar selling horsemeat to the pet food companies or to restaurants in Europe and Japan.
And it's not always the old, lame or infirm that are headed toward the slaughterhouse. On our farm we have three such unfortunates. Two were cast aside simply because they happened to have been born boys. As Egyptian Arabians, they have the proud designation as being the oldest purebred horse breed in the world. But when they came to us at 3 months of age, Astrot and Bubba were anything but proud. Malnourished, and thin beyond belief with moth-eaten coats, these two little boys were wild when they came to us. It took months to gain their trust, but, now, two years later, they're fat, happy, and friendly; you'd never have known they were bound for the pet food aisle. Their ransom? Three hundred dollars which included their purchase, transportation, shots, health papers, and entry into the United States from Canada.
Our newest acquisition came in July 1999. The breeding farm that had cast away Astrot and Bubba had gone bankrupt. Over 300 horses were going to auction with no reserve. Most went for slaughter price, but we managed to bring home 3-year old Jallesia. Like our other two, she was horribly underweight and had been barely handled during her lifetime. Wary of people, it took us months for her to gain our trust; now she is always first in line for attention and treats.
All over America rescue groups are working daily to improve the lot of neglected, abused and abandoned horses. But rehabilitation is not cheap, and it may take months to bring a horse back to full health. Vet bills and feeding bills can be astronomical. We at Northern Scentsations applaud their efforts, and, because of the work we have done privately, would like to give back to these organizations that are run solely on donations.
Cartier (aka Bubba); what a handsome boy he is at a year and a half!
Jallesia (aka Leesa), a month after we brought her home. We had already put quite a bit of weight on her, thank God! The "wild child" is now the quietest horse on the farm.
Nominate A Rescue Group!
Want to nominate an equine rescue organization for Northern Scentsations to showcase? It's easy! Simply e-mail us (put 'rescue nomination' in the subject line) and tell us why your chosen group should be brought to the public's attention. Be sure to give us a web address so we can check it out, too! Remember, all groups must have 501(c)(3) status.
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