Friday, September 19, 2014

Francie the Rescue Horse Update

I think I'm way overdue for an update on the horse I rescued last Thanksgiving, Francie.  She is doing very well!  If you remember, she was starved, infested with worms, and completely untamed and unhandled when I got her.  She has made wonderful progress in the time I've been working with her. 

We have had our challenges though.  Like last spring, when Francie had her first heat cycle, became aggressive, and bit me while my back was turned opening a gate.  For that, she was separated from my gelding and spent some time in isolation (and I yelled at her immediately when it happened - the bite left a bruise for 3 weeks!  Thank goodness I was wearing a thick sweatshirt, otherwise it would have been much worse).  Once I was assured that this would not happen again, I moved her back in with Phoenix. 

We also ran into trouble when Francie started bolting her food without chewing.  I suppose this was because of her starvation days.  Twice she choked.  When a horse chokes, it can still breath, but it cannot swallow.  They stand awkwardly, cough, and buckets of slime (saliva) run out of their mouth.  It can be rather scary.  Luckily, I had seen it before, and I knew it wasn't generally fatal.  One of the times I did have to sedate her to get her throat to relax enough for the clump of food to pass.  Since then, I've put some large rocks into her food dish.  Now she has to nuzzle around the rocks to eat, and it takes her 20 minutes to eat instead of 5.  So far, this has been effective.

Francie and I have been riding a couple of days a week.  She has made great strides over the past month or so.  She is very spooky, but we are working on that (more about that in a later post).  I am able to ride her without assistance now, and we are walking and trotting.  I feel like we will canter in the next month or so.  I'm focusing on trying to get her to relax and bend and move away from leg pressure.  This will give her more 'power steering'.  It's slow going, but she is trying, and every ride to me is amazing, simply because I know how far she has come.  I'm so proud of her efforts!
I do wish I had more time to work with her, but the time I can put in has to be enough for now.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the next few months bring.  It's so nice to be riding again. 

35 comments:

Steve Surratt said...

She really looks great! Thanks to the "Two Bears Finishing School".....

Lin said...

Thank you for saving that sweet gal. I cannot imagine her life before....or without you taking her in. She is certainly lucky to have someone who cares so much for her now.

Gosh, she is beautiful. Filled out nicely!

Out on the prairie said...

Nice to hear, but not when they nip. I have never been bit, but had some close calls.

Linda E said...

Just shows what love and care can do. People that mistreat any animal ranks very low on my totem pole. She is a beautiful horse.

cobie en bas van Es said...

Het is ook heerlijk om paard te rijden.

Laura Lee said...

You guys look great!! She sure is a pretty horse. Heat cycles, ugh. I tried mare magic and it seems to take the edge off with my girls. I don't use it all the time but spring/summer if i notice they are particularly acting really snarly.

TexWisGirl said...

she is in capable and caring hands. :)

Willow said...

Great strides you are progressing so well.
Rescues can be a challenge as they usually haven't had the best start in life. Both are little mares are rescues . One had the same issue with bolting food and major trust issues ( she had issues from having been starved and being ill treated before we got her ) . She did a bad choke when we first got her 8 years ago. Scary she had to get vet tubed and ended up with aspiration pneumonia from the tubing , that was a long road to wellness. Eight years later Tink is now fit as a fiddle and a great little mare.
Oh I did go on and on ~ meant to just say ~ Your doing a great job !

camp and cottage living said...

Lisa
You are so patient.
She has come a long ways already with your guidance and love!

Buttons said...

Oh Lisa " I'm so proud of her efforts!" I am so proud of yours some would give up but I admire you so much for that. Great job she looks wonderful. Hug B

Blackberry Lane said...

So glad that you are enjoying riding again. She is fortunate to have you!

Maggid said...

Thank you So Much for the Update.
You are some kind of super hero -
see, i know canines best - i would only be able to help by thinking of Francie as a large pup . . . i would be in trouble super fast with some of her issues . . . you know right away what needed to be done and how to go about it - THEN - you "hung in" - when the going wasn't so rosy . . . (where many or maybe most people give up and get rid of the creature) - Golly, i am always amazed by you - You are simply a great human being . . . thank you for sharing snippets with all of us . . (color me inspired)

Ginny said...

You and Francie look like you were made for one another.The rocks in the food is just a brilliant idea!! You're proud of her efforts, and I'm proud of YOURS! You saved a beautiful animal.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

A horse bite hurts like hell and leaves a nasty bruise if there is someone who never had the bad luck to get one. So nice to see that it has paid off and you have a good horse started. Dusty is real calm but one time he got aggravated with me and nipped my upper arm and I had a thick jacket on but it still was not fun.

Tanya Breese said...

a great update...you two look good together!

Sally Crowe said...

Well, I'm proud of you for the rescue and the patience it must take. She really has come a long way, and that's wonderful. She's really a beautiful horse, and oh my the difference in her looks.

You look great riding her, and give yourself a pat on the back for me. :)

xoxo

Monkeywrangler said...

Lisa she looks beautiful! What a change from last year, eh?

Beth, ...".E." Lizard Breath Speaks said...

wow, i am glad you can help... i know she appreciate your kindness. i love horses. don't know much about them. they sure are gorgeous creatures. ( :

A Quiet Corner said...

Your hard work has paid off, Baby Girl...for both of you, I think!...:)JP

Tina Fariss Barbour said...

She is so beautiful! She looks sooooo different from when you first rescued her. I admire your knowledge and your patience. Francie is a lucky girl. Thank you for the update. I love hearing about her and about how you are training her and helping her.

Tweedles -- that's me said...

Francie is looking so beautiful. And the two of you look so good together..
All the love and attention and patience is working out,, We can see it..
Good job.
love
tweedles

Tweedles -- that's me said...

You know what? We so admire your zest for life,,,, and we will keep hoping that zest comes into our life also,,, for example-- the recipe the other day,,, and your boys, and your horse,, and your running.
and just your life
love
tweedles

Roan said...

Beautiful, well cared for horse. I'm having troubel getting around to visit everyone. Will stop in when I can. Loved this post and look forward to another update.

Michaele said...

You have done so good with her. She needed someone who knew horses and I am glad it was you. Wonder if I should try the rocks with Wilson :@

Lynn said...

a perfect post to come back to, I'm so happy that Francine is improving though sorry to hear of her biting you-your photo and story are lovely. :-) Big hugs to you both xxoo

Sonya @ Under the Desert Sky said...

Aww, it's so nice to see that she is improving so nicely and has a home where she's getting the care and attention she needs. She's such a cute little gal.

I wonder if her first heat cycle was so rough because it was her first one and she was not used to the changes in hormones? I suppose your vet could give you some guidance on what may help her in the future (if she acts like she did during this first one). And there are herbal pellets specifically for mares, that supposedly help their cycles go a little more smoothly. I've never had a mare, so I'm no help there.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

Reading this happy update MADE MY DAY. Thank you for that!

Sandra Morris said...

She is lucky to have you :)
She looks great!

Michael Manning said...

You have worked a miracle with her, Lisa! I do remember how terrible her condition was, and quietly wondered if she'd survive. What a wonderful report to share! You should be very proud!! :)

mail4rosey said...

I love hearing about her updates. She is a very lucky horse. :)

Michelle said...

Nice to see that she has improved so much and has a great home.

Linda said...

Glad to see she is thriving. I've seen dog bowls with big bumps in them to keep dogs from bolting their food!

Gauri Kulkarni said...

She is so beautiful... God bless you for taking care of her so well... Much love to her

Starry Dawn said...

Hi Lisa, precious friend,
Glad to see you again, sweetheart.
My Internet is back, thanks God!
I was Offline for some reason...
I've been missing not being Online,
because a couple of tropical storms
devastated and knocked out a large number of electrical connections and things like that in my overseas corner of the world.
I realize that you are doing an extraordinary job with your horse, Francie. You rescued her, and brought her back to life. You see, I really admire you. You must be a great lady with a big heart for animals. You know I love animals so much. I hold a big dream in my heart, which is to buy a horse farm and have other animals too in a Southern State.
I like North and South Carolina for their lovely mild weather.
Of course, I may need lots of advice about taking care of horses, riding courses, and basically running the whole farm. Well, it's just a dream.
My hubby has just RETIRED from his lifetime Medical Practice as a Physician Surgeon. So, he is at home more often. We make further plans for our future and relocation back to my dear family in NY, a big project.
My eldest granddaughter will go to College next year. She wants to study Psychology Science. That is nice!
Well, that is all for today, Lisa.
Have a blessed Fall with your dear children, husband, family, friends, loved ones, your beautiful animals!
Warm Hugs & Greetings from Starry.

alissa apel said...

She looks much better then the first post you wrote about her! I bet that was scary to see her choking.