Damaged Little Dusty
So a few weeks ago we took a trip to go pick up our jack donkey 'Forrest' as you may recall. When we got there there was also a miniature horse stallion peeking out of a garden shed that the owners casually mentioned was also for sale. Our plan did not originally include horses as we are trying to keep all residents of this farm either profitable or tasty (or both) and horses are neither. As we stood there looking at this little fellow we felt torn. He looked pretty worse for wear and his living conditions were less than ideal to say the least. He didn't even have a name which might be the saddest bit of all. He is a registered mini horse with a big fancy name on paper but where he lived they never gave him a working name. I am sure whoever bred him originally would have been horrified.
In the end we brought him home too as I just didn't feel right about leaving him there. When we got him back to our farm and into our lit barn for a thorough look over we knew we had made the right decision. We could see all his bones, he was really underweight and his feet were a mess. He looked so timid and sad.
We got him and Forrest tucked into a stall with lots of fresh hay for the night and hit the feed store first thing the following day to get them on the right track to better health. The next call was to the farrier to have their feet looked at. Horses like many other animals have hooves that keep growing and proper maintenance is required to keep them sound - sort of like trimming our nails. The longer they get, the more awkward and painful they become.
When the farrier arrived a few days later, it was his opinion that Dusty had likely never seen a farrier in his life. His hooves were so grown out that they were severely folded under and it must have been brutally painful for him. The farrier took off the worst of it for the first go and this will be a work in progress to get his feet corrected
over the coming months.