This morning, after a long talk with our Vet we agreed to not operate Beethoven. His chances to heal were so slim but the pain he was about to confront was so high that out of respect and love for Beethoven I decided to let him go to sleep. I cannot explain what a difficult decision this was, nor can I explain the pain I am feeling now.
Lucky has lost a long time friend – we shall miss you Beethoven. Happy Trails!
Billy – the horse with the smartphone is not with us anymore.
For the first time in more than 5 years we could not get you back on your feet.
Your body was too tired, approx. 40 years old of which you spend 20 with me.
Aqui was brought to the shelter by a truck driver from Bergamo with the understanding that he would pay for Aqui’s upkeep and veterinary expenses.
After three months Giovanni disappeared leaving us
with incurred expenses of 1600 euros.
Aqui Cour’s story is one that could be told by many horses who like him are emblematic of the exploitation inherent in competitive racing. Horses who after their achievements, races and earnings (Aqui won 65,000 euro racing for his owner) end up being exploited in riding stables.
When they are no longer profitable for the stables they are used for horse therapy and eventually end up at the slaughterhouse. This the fate of most of these noble creatures.
Aqui Cour is a French Thoroughbred born in 1993. He competed until he was seven,victorious in enough races to earn his owner a considerable amount of money. At the end of his career Aqui was sold and began working in riding stables. He was passed from stable to stable beginning his slow descent into hell. In one of the last stables where he worked he suffered a severe injury resulting in a torn Achilles tendon.
Injury after injury rendered Aqui un-rideable. Not even deemed worthy of humane euthanasia he was photographed, from his best angle, and posted on Subito.it as a freebie.
Noticed by a potential new owner he was brought to the Shelter for rehabilitation before being transferred to his permanent new home. However, it was obvious from the initial exams that Aqui was in worse shape than what had been stated. Not only was his Achilles tendon torn and untreated but one knee had a suppurating abscess, his beautiful face was sunburned and eaten by insects and he was severely malnourished.
His new owner decided to board him at the Shelter promising to pay all expenses for his treatment and board. Promises unkept. The owner soon vanished abandoning Aqui with all his problems and health issues.
It was now 2011, Aqui Cour was only eighteen and he became a permanent resident of the Shelter.
The first thing we tackled was his Achilles tendon. Over time Aqui had compensated for his injury by putting too much weight on his right rear leg resulting in pain and inflammation. His quality of life and spirit improved and were maintained with the help of supplements including devil’s claw, ginger and MSM. Massage and electromagnetic blanket therapy became part of his daily regime. His tendon was supported by a structure held in place by a bandage.
This enabled him to walk, lie down and stand unassisted. Aqui started to feel good, live without constant medication and was able to make new friends both equine and human.
Unfortunately in August of 2014 he took a turn for the worse. Eco-graphs and X-rays showed that his right rear leg which compensated for the injured left lacked cartilage and synovial fluid and that the femoral joint lacked cushioning.
Even though walking is painful for Aqui his style and joy of living remain undiminished.
His medical reports were sent to a clinic in Ferrara, one of the best in Italy for equine orthopedics. We soon received the results which were not positive. There was no surgical procedure which could help his condition.
There is one last hope for Aqui, an innovative treatment which consists of intra-articular injections of stanozolol a synthetic anabolic steroid. One injection a week for six weeks at a cost of 100 euro per injection. It will be two or three months after the last injection before we can determine if the treatment has been effective.
If the treatment doesn’t work we’ll continue with pharmaceutical pain management therapy for as long as his system can handle it after which Shelter and veterinary staff are prepared to humanely euthanize Aqui in his paddock where he’ll be surrounded by his friends. A tragic fate caused by a past consisting of unpardonable abuse and neglect.
Let us not become accomplices to stories like these because there are many Aqui Cours, more than one can imagine. Lets put a stop to this chain of suffering.
Rumh is a distinguished lady who was born in 1978 and arrived at the Shelter in 2009. She arrived underweight, with dysentery and a severe bronchial infection.
For eight years she had lived alone with her ex-owner without any other horses for company. She had pretty much been left to her own devices, seemed lost in her own world and had a persistent cough.
Adequate food, fresh air and contact with people (the volunteers) and other horses (Daffy and Bianca with whom she lives) opened a new world for her. Now Rumh is happy and can frequently be seen running and even bucking and she coughs much less.
After Daffy death, in 2014, she lives with her friend Bianca.
Born in 1985 has Lipizzan bloodlines and was previously owned by a couple. She had sever problems with her spine and rear legs. After much physiotherapy and massage she was able to engage in light riding activities with children for four years.
Eventually her health problems worsened and now she can live pain free if she no longer works at all.
Bianca has Lipizzan bloodlines and belonged to a couple who boarded her at the Shelter in 1997. Despite having no financial difficulties after three years Bianca’s owners decided they could no longer be bothered with her upkeep and gifted her to the Shelter. Here Bianca worked for a while with small children until her prior injuries worsened and she was permanently retired to a large paddock which she initially shared with Daffy and Nonnina and currently with Daffy and Rhum!
This morning Daffy went to visit his friends. His body gave out. The exploitation he experienced in the past caught up to him in the present! Daffy…the Gentle Giant (1.80 hands high). I’ve never known a horse like you.
Daffy was born in 1988. Years of overwork and lack of care by an owner who had kept him for 17 years resulted in lameness, backaches and many other problems which subsequently rendered him useless to his owner who replaced him with another horse…young and healthy!
Daffy was with us since March 2007. What will we do without you? Someone wrote that you were that unique case where the prince and the horse were one and the same.
Billy is an Arabian gelding born in 1985. He lived with several cows in a barn that didn’t even have hay on the floor (Billy slept on the cement!). He was always kept tethered on a short rope in order to limit his mobility. He was being fattened up for slaughter!
When he was rescued and brought to the Shelter Billy was very aggressive and trusted no-one but little by little he became the herd leader and even began to trust humans, so much so that he became the children’s favorite. However, eventually the damage caused by the hard years spent in the barn caught up with him. He developed serious hip problems and was no longer able to be ridden.
Now, several years later and after several bad falls Billy is enjoying a much deserved retirement at the Shelter and despite his bent and crooked appearance he’s retained his ever present air of intelligence.
Cee Tari Baby, Baby per gli amici :), è nata nel 1982 ed è arrivata al rifugio nel Marzo 2009.
Pluriblasonata quarter americana finita a vivere sola sotto una tettoia in mezzo ad un campo acquitrinoso senza altro riparo.
Alcune persone di buon cuore avevano scoperto Baby e le sue condizioni assolutamente indecenti.
Nonostante l’intervento di questi enti quasi nulla è cambiato.
Quindi sono stati raccolti i soldi necessari per riscattare Baby e portarla al rifugio.
Come viveva Baby
Nessun animale dovrebbe vivere cosi!
…piove e tira un brutto vento, fa tanto freddo e mi sento sola. Ho fame, nessuno mi pulisce, ho dolori alle ossa e non ho spazio per sdraiarmi!
Reika was a Haflinger born in 1972 who arrived at the Selter in 2004.
She belonged to a young handicapped boy and helped with his physical therapy. She lived with him for ten years after which he lost interest in her and after she also developed serious elbow problems she was destined for the slaughterhouse. She was rescued and brought to the Shelter where her elbow problems were treated by adding ginger to her feed to keep the elbow elastic.
Even though no longer young Reika didn’t want to retire so being a trustworthy horse but one who couldn’t be overtaxed her riders were children between the ages of three and five.
All these young riders whose first horseback ride was with Reika who was so reliable and reassuring would never have had this experience had she been slaughtered!
In her final years at the Shelter she was finally able to enjoy a well deserved retirement.
Unfortunately in 2011 our dear Reika left us… no words can express how much everyone at the Shelter misses her.
Nonnina, a Westphalian, was already elderly when she arrived at the Shelter. Born around 1965 she was 30 plus years old… a considerable age for a horse!
She became the adoptive mother of a Shelter colt whose mother had died and when the colt was grown Noninna joined her friend Bianca in a large paddock to enjoy her much deserved leisure but Nonnina became depressed. She felt neglected and her hind legs swelled up. Because of this she was once again involved in the school’s activities and for an hour, two days a week, she was ridden by a very light young girl.
Because of this her mood improved greatly and even her swollen legs returned to normal. A horse Nonnina’s age has no back teeth so she was fed a special diet and was also seen by a veterinarian every three months who found her to be healthy. Unfortunately, in 2009 at the incredible and remarkable age of 44 Nonnina passed away. She was a sweet and patient grandmother to all colts, puppies and humans and, irreplaceable, will forever be missed by the Shelter.
Martin-Martin, born in 1985 arrived at the Shelter in 2007. He was in bad shape after being shuttled around to various local stables.
He was severely underweight and had pulmonary emphysema as well as heart and neurological problems .
According to his previous owner his condition was normal for an older horse and therefore it was useless to treat him.
At the Shelter we immediately began treating this sad horse. According to the Vet, Martin was extremely malnourished and his chances of survival were slim. Nonetheless, the Shelter wanted to try to save Martin. Little by little Martin came around.
Thanks to proper food (hypoallergenic wafers and supplements) he gained weight, Aerosol fixed his lungs and finally having a permanent loving home with a guaranteed food supply vastly improved his mental state.
Martin lived happily at the Shelter with his pony friend Angie. He was strong, almost arrogant and finally happy.
Unfortunately, an unexpected colic took him from us in April 2009.
Happy trails Martin, you will always be in our hearts.
Daffy had the same owner for seventeen years obeying his every request from jumping to trail riding.
After all those years of effort and lack of respect for his well being which resulted in lameness and backaches etc. he was deemed useless by his owner who replaced him with a new horse…younger and healthy!
He came to us in March 2007 in great pain.
Now, after five months of intensive therapy (at the Shelter’s expense) and after much rest he lives with two friends in a large paddock and is happy and regaining his health.
Elian, born in 1980, was a Trakehner who arrived at the Shelter in 1998 when he was 18.
As soon as he arrived he was diagnosed with herpes by the veterinarian and in addition he moved as if he had an inflamed sciatic nerve. He was treated and thanks to the correct exercises for his dorsal muscles and the use of elastic reins (without a rider) he slowly regained his flexibility. The addition of ginger to his food and acupuncture treatments further assisted in the improvement of his condition.
Initially, his problems and humans caused him great stress but at the Shelter Evian eventually learned to live with people and even crave their company although he did have his favorites. He preferred children and became a loving uncle to the colts.
Unfortunately, Elian pased away January 2008 saddening everyone at the Shelter.