"If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. I hope to make people realize how totally helpless animals are, how dependent on us, trusting as a child must that we will be kind and take care of their needs...[they] are an obligation put on us, a responsibility we have no right to neglect, nor to violate by cruelty." ~ James Herriot
Never let anyone convince you that Blind or Senior horses are “Less” 32 year old TB Mare, Blind in both eyes, Special Needs Senior...She is Guardian Hearts oldest resident, a true Queen of Hearts, she has certainly found a place in each of ours that will never fade ...Long may she Reign!! ...December 2018 and Alison forwards me a post regarding 3 senior special needs sanctuary horses from an owner surrender by an elderly owner to Iredell Co. Animal Control needing immediate rehome...we couldnt say no. Maggie, was a 30+ year old TB mare, BSC 3/9, blind in both eyes, heart murmer, bad feet, special senior nutrition, nervous disposition & anxious personality, etc. Her 2 companions were Buddy, a 35+/- year old saddlebred cross gelding and Colonel a 20 year old MFT, both with multiple issues making them companion only horses. Over the last nearly two years we lost first Buddy, then Colonel to age related issues. ...But Miss Maggie? She is a grand & tough Old Dame...and a fighter. We have no idea if she has a tattoo (she resists any attempts to get in her mouth with a vehemence) so have never been able to ID her or accomplish the dental float. Neither have we been able to do hoofcare on her due to the extreme level of her anxiety and willingness to fight against us (our nearly fearless farrier wiped his brow after his first attempt and said he wasn’t trying that again LoL)and we can’t safely sedate her due to her other medical conditions. We have tried to blanket her in the winters and that has never been met with success either. I used to think it was her being blind and the blanket creating noise that disoriented her, but I have long since figured out that it is only Maggie being the tough bird that she is wont to be, “Her way or Not at all” LoL ...Every spring we move her into the big pasture where we have a goodly sized herd of permanent residents, that pasture is upwards of 30 acres, and she not only integrates with her herdmates beautifully, she also navigates that huge pasture amazingly. Watch her vids below, she walks slow but steady, knows just where the automatic waterer is, and takes no guff from the young whippersnappers LoL In the winters we move her to a smaller pasture of Seniors who also need more cold weather maintenance & diet. Maggie https://youtu.be/cktNoFNJEmk
This handsome fellow is Chico ... and he is Guardian Hearts' Covid-19 story. Every cloud has a silver lining...and sometimes FAITH can be restored just when you despair & lose HOPE. He is an 18 year old Paso Fino gelding, has lived almost all his life with one family. He had a Mom, Dad, and family who loved him, spoiled him, cared for him, and made sure he was safe. He had herdmates who he lived with, and dogs, and cats, and life was good. As the years went by, some of his companions were lost to age, and I am certain that he felt those losses keenly, but always his rocks were there to soothe away the troubles with treats, groomings, good hay and feed, and more love & attention. By the beginning of 2020, he was alone now, the last of his companions, age was catching up to him, he had lost the vision in his right eye, there were no more rides, but it was ok because his family was still there and he was so very loved. Then tragedy struck. Covid-19 hits the USA, and in short order it sweeps through North Carolina. And while Chico knew nothing about this virus, he did know that one day Mom stopped coming to the pasture, Dad was barely there and very upset. He heard things like "in the hospital" "having surgery" "recovering and doing well" "heading to rehab"...but he still got his feed and hay, his pats and scratches, so all seemed well. But then something bad happened, something that made Dad very sad, so sad Chico could sense the broken heart and his own heart surely reached out hoping to both to give & get support. Chico didn't know anything about the things he'd been hearing, he didn't understand why Mom wasnt coming home, why Dad struggled to care for him with a grieving heart. He reached out to us, and asked us to help when his wife passed from covid during recovery in rehabilitation after surgery. We couldn't bring Chico in yet, we didnt have a place to put him. Rescues are so often full, and we are no exception. That was in April ..Thanks to one of our wonderful volunteers, we managed to get him hay and grain from our hay/feedbank, and sent our vet in to bring him current on vaccines, coggins, and a general once over health check.I asked for him to hold on and have faith, an extremely tall order considering all that he'd been thru. But we never gave up...and neither did Chico's Dad. On July 12th we finally managed to bring him into the rescue farm. He was more than a little confused at first, but he transitioned amazingly well, and he is now out in the big gelding field with Hudson as a buddy, and shortly both Miller & Skywalker will join them. We can see he is gaining confidence daily in his new surroundings, and relaxing. Chico's Dad never gave up on him, or us at GH. Chico is now one of our Haven Heart's, he has a permanent home at Guardian Hearts, and his Dad has an open door welcome to come see him. (He is way too polite to ever just drop in tho LOL). It took a village to help them, from our volunteers, to our beloved vet, and everyone involved...Teamwork is how we succeed and how we make a difference in the lives of these horses. Chico isn't the first local horse we have helped at home when someone reached out, but he is and will always be, one of my best personal memories. And a shining example of how no matter the crisis, when we all pull together we can still make a tremendous difference. Thank you so much RC, for never losing faith
This 20 yo, pony sized mustang gelding is a sweet, handsome gentleman & one of our newest sanctuary horses. A recent Wake Co cruelty case seizure (yes, the owner was prosecuted& charged). Miller has the softest hair, like silk, and it's a joy to give him pets & rubs which he adores (along with scratches & treats LOL). They gave him an amazing start before he reached us, but he is a special needs sanctuary horse, a "Haven Heart", and will need special feed, hay, possibly more dental work, as well as farrier care. We don't know how he came to be in a fight with a pig and be injured, but it left him with a permanent issue with the abdominal hernia. ...He is currently playing "Uncle" to Skywalker, and seems to be enjoying the job LOL He is certainly always right at the gate for hugs and luvs, and the perfect example of the resilient nature & forgiving souls these Hearts of ours have. We could all learn something of kindness, compassion & love from horses like Miller. #GuardianHeartsDefenders From Wake Co. Animal Services Director: MILLER: 20 something Mustang gelding, worn teeth, can only eat soaked senior and soaked hay cubes, pony size! (attached picture has my 12 year old nephew walking him for reference), has hernia on left abdominal wall (issue with pig last summer), came in as BCS 2/9 – has been improving! Had severe rain rot (was on SMZs for 7 days) – improving. Had dental exam / float, has been vaccinated and has current coggins. Did well in turn-out with all of the horses. Easy to load on trailer.
Hudson came to us from Lee Co. Animal Control. He was a voluntary owner surrender preliminary to an abuse/neglect case. He was running loose over a 5 mile stretch of hwy with a 12 year old, untrained, nearly feral stallion. Animal Control said the owner lives out of state, and leases the property the horses were housed on, and believed the tenants were taking care of the horses. ...Hudson is an 18 year old Arabian gelding. A sweet and gentle soul who is everything so far one could hope and expects in a good Arab. He is people oriented, in your pocket, loves attention, loads, trailers, stands to be groomed, flysprayed, hosed. Was amazing for the vet, and is patient and tolerant with our volunteers (who all love him btw). ...He came in around a BSC of 2/9, his feet badly overgrown and neglected. No coggins, vaccines, vetcare in we dont know how long, covered in scrapes and minor wounds we believe came from the stud and running essentially loose. He is recovering nicely, has had preliminary vetwork (coggins & rabies, other vaccines will be given in about 2 weeks, we are proceeding cautiously due to his debilitated condition not wanting to overstress his immune system), is scheduled for farrier. He is currently almost a 3/9 BSC & recovering well (I adore how adaptable & hardy Arabs are, and their sweet, kind souls rebound with simple. gentle kindness and love)....I have a feeling that Hudson (we named him after the founder of Blue Bell jean company in Greensboro, NC and the indomitable river that flows up into NYS from the Atlantic Ocean) is a horse to watch in the coming months. He will be a very special boy & deserves a loving home and family. #GuardianHeartsDefenders
Annette Coratti McKinley Kevin M McKinley Feathers From Heaven Equine Rescue ...The fourth & last of the Wake Co. seizure horses (and last but by no means least) Mary is the only mare we got from this group. And like Dallas, we desperately reached out to fellow rescues, praying one would be able to help us with her. Having brought in Miller & Skywalker, we couldn't add Mary to the mix with Skywalker just gelded, and had zero room left. ...Thankfully when I reached out to Annette, she said that they had just then determined they had room for one horse but only if it was AC/Seizure case.Sometimes just when God shuts a door, you find he has opened a window. ...Mary is a Special Needs Senior Quarter Horse Mare, the oldest of this group at 22 years old. She has "Road Founder" (Mechanical laminitis that occurs when a horse is ridden or driven on hard surfaces, particularly when no or incorrect hoof maintenance has been provided"). X-rays show there is no structural damage, no navicular, no coffin bone rotation, etc...she was literally being ridden half to death with no farrier care. Appropriate hoof care should improve and largely correct her laminitis and it may even heal over time. Right now she is already improved to the point where she is nearly pasture sound and without the soft ride boots initially being used. ...The McKinley's plan for this girl to be a Sanctuary horse and simply have a safe and secure retirement at Feather From Heaven filled with love, care, and all the joys they can provide her for the rest of her life. How blessed are we, to have such wonderful support from other rescues who will step up to assist with Hearts in Need, even those that are not GHED Hearts!!
This gorgeous golden boy is as adorable on the inside as on the outside. A Palomino Quarter Horse and part of the same cruelty case seizure from Wake Co as Miller, Mary & Dallas (yes, the owner was prosecuted & charged). Skywalker is the youngster here at just 2 years old. Still a stud colt when he was seized, the Wake Co AC Director somehow managed to get him gelded for us so we could bring him in (we haven't got the facilities to house studs, even baby ones)for which we are so grateful. He is curious, people oriented, and is learning a good sense humor from "Uncle" Miller.
...We are so honored to have this youngster in our care. He will be available for adoption in the near future, we just want to let him adjust, settle, relearn how to be a horse for awhile, do some farrier work, evaluation, and heal from his recent surgery.
...So far he has all the making of a "once in a lifetime" horse...and we are incredibly blessed that Wake Co. AC was able to save him and for the opportunity to be part of his future and see what sort of hoofprint he will leave along the way!!
From Wake Co. Animal Services Director:
SKYWALKER: 2 year old QH colt. BCS 4/9. Very sweet. Has been started well on the ground – leads, picks up feet, can catch in pasture easily, loads on trailer. Needs to be castrated. With issues at farm, probably not possible to have done there and stay for two weeks post-op.
Tarheel Feedlot 2007 APHA Mare Blk/Wht, Tag#451
...Beautiful mare, regal, elegant, with one of the sweetest faces you’ll ever see. Makes one wonder why anyone would ever drop a mare like her into a killpen. Which is exactly how she arrived there. A local drop off, by her owner, who knowingly & purposefully took her there, she knew the owner/operator of THF, and regardless of how lovely, this mare was now an unwanted burden. Snazzy’s owner had been struggling for years with Insulin Resistance & Founder.
...Chronic laminitis is an insidious disease, one from which there is rarely a good or positive conclusion. It is costly at best, special diet, special pasture, special supplements, special farrier/hoofcare...and despite that there are typically recurring incidences, continued damage to hoof laminae, etc. And the outcome is invariably the same...humane euthanasia due to chronic, increasing lameness, pain, & suffering.
...It is our job as caring & responsible horse owners to make sure these amazing creatures who grace our lives with their presence never suffer. Why then would anyone take a horse like this, who deserved to be loved enough to be given the dignity & respect she had earned over the years and a peaceful end by a loving heart?
...People disappoint me, they make me angry. I hear things like “I love him/her too much”, I’ve had people tell me if they have to pay the costs of euthanasia & disposal they cant afford another horse, that they “just can’t stand to be the one to make the choice” ... I’m sorry but if you love your horse, be kind, do the tough but right thing, consult with your vet/farrier always, but let them pass in a loving home surrounded by loving hearts who actually care. Please do NOT give them away, sell them or take them to the feedlots & killpens in the hopes that someone “else” will bail them and take on your responsibility.
...All of us at Guardian Hearts are grieving for the loss of this sweet gentle soul who so touched our lives. We made the hard choice, we agonized over the decision to let Snazzy go, have spent countless resources over the last 2 plus years struggling to keep her stable, give her a good life as a companion & sanctuary, and not allow her to suffer.
...Monday September 14, 2020, we let Snazzy pass over the rainbow bridge. We spent the majority of the day allowing her treats and freedoms she has not seen in years for the sake of maintaining her condition and health. A warm bran mash with sweetfeed, unrestricted grazing in the “good” grass on the other side of the fence, her favorite songs, etc. Thanks to our beloved vet, her passing was calm, quiet, and quick. She passed with kindness, soft words, a kiss goodbye, and all the love she so deserved. She will no longer limp, no more stiff legged struggle to make it up tiny inclines, no more slow but steady weight loss that told us all she was in pain despite everything we did for her comfort, and finally the tired, weary look that more and more often showed in her eyes that broke all our hearts to see. She can race with the wind, kick her heels to the sky, eat sweet green grass to her heart’s content.
We did this bc she touched our hearts, bc it is not only “what” we do, but its the “right” thing to do. And the one person who should have done these things and made these choices...chose instead to pass the buck and make a few quick dollars and dump her in a killpen and leave it to someone else. For anyone in rescue, you know why we all do what we do, in every facet of life we are needed for horses, dogs, cats and critters of all sorts, there are far more people like Snazzy’s old owner, than there are those who muster up the same courage & heart as their horse has. For those who do so, you have my deepest respect, heartfelt empathy, and gratitude...we need more Guardians like you to defend these precious souls who grace, enrich, & bless our lives everyday, in so many ways.
RIP Snazzy 2020
Welcome Buddy & Maggie as our newest Sanctuary & Select Hearts and with some time to settle in & recover we hope that Colonel will be adoptable & find the right fit with a forever family. They arrive today, January 16, 2019. Thanks to their previous owner for surrendering these precious old-timers and giving them a chance to live out their lives in a farm setting with the care they need & deserve, and not giving up and taking them to auction or a local feedlot/killpen. A huge shout out of thanks to the Defenders who have donated towards or sponsored their care. Please keep watch, we will update their story as we go along.
3 HORSES AT IREDELL COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL. NEED OUT IMMEDIATELY! THEY ARE PAST THEIR DUE OUT DATE. Statesville, NC
Buddy (A205370) was surrendered to the shelter along with his pasture mates after their owner was no longer able to care for them. Buddy is underweight, needs to have his hooves trimmed, is Coggins negative, and is aged at about 30-35 years old (the owner said he could be older than that). He is very attached to his pasture buddies… Especially Maggie. Due to Buddy being underweight, we are reaching out to rescues to give this gelding a chance at gaining weight and becoming the beautiful horse he once was. Buddy halters well, leads well, and trailers well. While he has been here, he has seemed to prefer the company of women over men and will sometimes pin his ears back at men.
Maggie (A234253) was also surrendered to the shelter along with Buddy and Colonel. Maggie is BEAUTIFUL! She is a little bit underweight, but she is a very tall and lean girl. We are thinking she is Thoroughbred. Maggie is somewhere around 30-35 years old, Coggins negative, and needs her hooves trimmed. This sweet angel is very attached to her friend Buddy. She seems to depend very heavily on him due to the fact that she is blind. While Maggie does have significant vision loss in both eyes, there is the possibility that she can see some shadows. This mare is going to need some special care with someone who understands the needs of a blind horse. Maggie does not seem to have any bad habits. Loading her onto a trailer can take a little bit of patience, since she is vision impaired. However she does ride very well once trailered.
Colonel (A234171) was surrendered to the shelter with Maggie and Buddy. Colonel is the alpha gelding of the trio. According to the owner, Colonel is around 18 years old. This handsome chunky gelding is Coggins negative, halters well, leads well and trailers well. However, he can be pushy on the ground and will try to get away with bossing you around. We recommend that he goes to a home with a very experienced horse owner who will feel confident working with this guy. Colonel is very attached to his pasture mates. The owner did state that Colonel was broke to ride years ago but has not been ridden in a long time.