Appx. 20 yr. old Black TB mare with star. First seen at an auction eating her own excrement because she was so starved! Ringbone and rear stifle problem. Past founder. Callie is doing great! She is shedding her yucky, unhealthy coat and is sleek and shiney black! We let her out in the pasture the other day and she felt so good she wanted to run and play. Unfortunately, due to her condition, she cannot move well. Must be very frustrating for her. We are hoping to get a chiropractor out to help her with some of her problems and perhaps get some relief/mobility. Rescued 3/20/99
On June 9, 2003 Callie was assisted across the Rainbow Bridge. She had a tummy full of alfalfa (something that she wasn't allowed to have due to her tendency for founder), apples, carrots and even part of one of Pearl's Pies!!
Callie had developed 2 abcesses in her left front foot. Although she had had abcesses before, this time they lasted longer and took more time to drain. Even though the abcesses were draining and she was strolling around trying to steal alfalfa, we knew that it was only a matter of time before she would develop more abcesses and have to go through the pain again and again. Yes, Callie would have continued fighting, but we felt that she should not have to endure a continuing painful existence. Therefore, on Monday afternoon, she was laid to rest.
According to the first letter of her tattoo (an 'H') she was 25 yrs. old. Many of those years were hard years and they took their toll. Yet, this magnificent Thoroughbred mare continued to give. To teach, to love. She was one of the horses kids were drawn to. Especially children that were somewhat intimidated by horses. She would lower her great head to these little ones, a light of mischief would appear in her eyes and she would blow that warm loving breath of hers into their faces, making them laugh! She was the Queen of TIER and demanded to be treated accordingly when being groomed or when placing her royal robes (blanket) upon her. And, if you happened to be standing in her way when she wanted to go in a certain direction, she did not hesitate to bow that wonderful head and then shove you aside should you not move quickly enough to suit her!! I remember being airborn on one such occasion! HA!
Callie taught us about founder. She taught us about developing a diet that would give her the nutrition she needed, yet not put too much weight on her as her front legs could not carry the weight. She continually surprised vets and farriers alike due to the fact that her x-rays showed that her coffin bones had significantly degenerated, yet she continued to cruise the grounds in search of alfalfa and, sometimes, even companionship. Amazingly, she and Pearl got along together after their first year of arguing about who was running the show! HA!
Callie taught us about having a great heart, willingness and trust. She would nicker a greeting each morning, rub that regal head against your shoulder, and push you out of her way as she headed toward her feed bins. She loved to be massaged, but she did not like being fussed over and would get impatient to be on her way to more important things.
Moses was her next door neighbor and eventually they became good friends. If Callie would wander out of Moses' sight, he would search for her, not relaxing his vigil until she came into sight again. On the day that Callie was to leave us, I spent some time with Moses explaining that Callie would be crossing the rainbow bridge. He was very docile that day and we were concerned that he might experience some depression at Callie's passing. Apparently, Moses understood that Callie would be much more comfortable on the other side of the bridge as he has not demonstrated any signs of depression. He did spend most of the day standing near her before she left us and I think they must have said their goodbyes during that time.
I miss her face, her nicker, her bright eyes. Thank you Callie. Thank you for teaching me, allowing me to love you, to learn from you. What a gift you were to us and to those who came to know you. Thank you for the hope, the joy, the smiles, the trust, the laying of your great head in my arms. Thank you for the gift of you.
Callie is sporting a silver slipper on her "good foot". Poor baby had an abcess that we assumed had drained completely and dried up. Apparently, everything didn't drain out, although she wasn't indicating that she was more sore or anything. Loaded up her hoof with Pine Tar and wool, covered it with a plastic bag, put a pad on and wrapped it and then put the special silver shoe stuff on.......Duct Tape! She cruises around everyday and has started joining Pearl in the backyard. But, Callie really isn't interested in Pies. (Thank goodness!)
Whew! Did I have rough morning/early afternoon!
I had finished my breakfast and cruised up to the side of my abode where I could visit with that little chunky girl Honey. We usually gossip about the silly youngsters, the handsome boys, which treats we like best, those goofy dogs that run lickety split to the back of our property thinking they can find a squirrel or something, and...of course Blair & Gail.
Anywhoo......after our usual morning discussion, I decided I would just lay down in the sun and soak up some warmth. I'm a tad old you see and the sun feels really good. So..I laid myself down and took a good snooze. When I woke up, I tried to get up and couldn't! You see, the divider between my house and Honey's is welded wire. I had moved myself into a position where my rear feet were up against the divider and my front feet were pretty close too. I couldn't stretch my front feet out far enough to brace myself so that I could raise my head/shoulders and then get my feet under me. What a mess! I tried though!! By the time Gail sauntered towards me to open my gate to let me out for my daily inspection of all the other kids, I had worked up quite a sweat and was so frustrated I was frothing at the mouth and exhausted.
Gail was walking toward me and realized I was not just doing my early afternoon snooze. She started running and calling my name. Like I could really hold a conversation with her at this point...right? Silly woman! I thought she was gonna split her jeans trying to crawl through the bars of my pen to get to me! HA!
I tried real hard to get up for her, but just couldn't. I was really pooped. Honey started nickering at me and then Baxter joined in. I nickered back to let them know I was okay....just wondering when this woman was going to help me get out of this predicament! Chance, the class clown, was looking on from his side of my pen with eyes stretched way big! Of course, Chance is a joker anyway and looks at everything like it is the very first time he has ever seen anything so dramatic in his life! Drama King. But, I could tell he was concerned.
Gail tried to move my rear end away from the welded wire panel. What....she thinks she's Hercules? I am a thoroughbred! A big thoroughbred! I may be old and crippled, but I am still a gorgeous hunk of horse! She then tried to maneuver my head and shoulders away from the divider. Huh? Like my front end is lighter??? Oh pulllllllleeeze!
She ran over and got two of those long cotton lunge ropes they use and an old fly mask. She wrapped the flymask around my underneath hind leg and stuck a rope through it. Then she put the other rope around my underneath front leg. She grabbed both ends of the ropes and started pulling. Kinda rocked me a little but didn't budge me at all. I was becoming concerned because I knew this woman was not going to be able to move me an inch! And talk.....whew...that woman kept talking to me like I was on the phone with her or something!
She then tried to only move my rear end with the ropes. She got a little more leverage there, but I am a good sized horse and it was of no use. She then told me not to worry, everything was going to be okay and took off running towards the house. Don't worry? Everything will be okay? And she ran off and left me? Very considerate don't you think? Hmmph!
She tried calling Blair who was not near his cell phone and neither were her friends June & Jerry. Nobody was answering their phones so she runs out to her truck, picks up some sheepskin (fake stuff for the bottom of the dog crates) and towels, then drives her truck back toward my pen. I'm thinkin....Great! Now she wants to go for a spin around the arena and I'm stuck here, sweatin to beat the band, can't move and she wants me to go for a joyride? I don't think so!
She backs that truck up to my pen at a weird angle and comes flying through the fence with her little sheepskin thingy and towels. She takes the flymask that has been around my back leg and moves it down further toward my hock. Then, she puts that sheepskin thingy on my butt where the rope is so I won't get rope burns or something and then puts the towel under the hip that is on the ground. What??? Is she trying to improve her diapering skills or what??? I'm stuck here ya know.
She then gets the rope that was looped around my front leg and ties it to the rope that is attached to the flymask on my back leg. She hooks the end of this to the back of her truck. Okay...so she is going to take full advantage of my dilema and use me as a drag? Or, does she think I am a yo-yo? Can't she tell I'm really tired, upset and not in the mood for her silly games?
THEN....she gets in the truck and starts driving off! She's just gonna leave me there??? How dare she! But, she is going real, real slow. She can't see what the heck she is doing so she jumps out and lets the tailgate down. (She shoulda thought of that first!!!) Gets back in the truck and starts going real slow again. Once she has all the slack out of the rope I see her put her head down to pray. I know what she is thinking.....don't let me hurt her, don't let me break her hip or leg. Let her be alright. And then she starts goosing the truck forward...kinda makes me start rocking.
Eventually, she gets my rear end over, my front end follows and........the flymask breaks! Whew! Just in time or else I might have ended up being all tangled up in ropes, flymasks, sheepskin thingys and towels when I jumped to my feet!
I was huffin and puffin and shaking. My rear legs were wobbly and then here she comes again, running her mouth and asking me if I'm okay. Am I okay? Shoot! I've been flat on my side in the hot sun, sweatin like a frosty glass of rootbear in the Florida Sunshine, frothing at the mouth and breathing hard, a little wobbly and she wants to know if I'm okay??? Yes, I'm fine. Now, get out of my way because I'm late for inspection and I need to nibble a little grass.
She picks up all her stuff, puts it away and, as she is throwing that ripped up flymask away she says....."Fly masks.....the all purpose tool. Thank goodness for the inventor of fly masks and thank goodness I don't throw these things away right off." She then gets the shedding blade and sweatscraper out and heads my way. Sigh...
I guess you can use flymasks for lots of things! She even uses the old ones to skim the hay off of the waterers when we throw it in there. Uses it like a strainer. She is kinda weird. You could probably say flymasks are an all purpose tool. But then again, one of the other favorite all purpose, handy dandy items to have on hand (besides duct tape) is baling twine! But, I will show her about that stuff another time. I'm just too tired right now and I have an inspection to do.
My heart is just filled with admiration for this awesome lady! As most of you may know. Callie is a 23 yr. old TB mare (can't read her tattoo!) that came to us starved and horribly foundered. She was seen at an auction eating her own excrement due to her starvation. After Callie was brought to TIER due to the generosity of several lovely folks, she foundered again. The vet deemed her a chronic founderer and did not hold much hope for this poor lady's continued recuperation. Due to the long term founder and having to shift her weight to her back legs due to the pain in her front feet, she was crippled in her rear end also. We brought out a Natural Horseshoer who had diligently worked on Callie's feet and also changed her diet to Timothy hay, pellets (timothy, bermuda, brohme). No alfalfa or senior for this girl! We also started using glucosamine/chondroitin supplements and devils claw for the inflammation/pain (Thanks to Kricket of Witchtrot Farms).
It's been a long process. I had been told by several people to put Callie down, including a vet. We almost did at one time, but then I looked into her eyes and realized she was not finished. Today, Callie was turned out in the pasture with Grace and Amber! We had turned Callie out before, by herself. I was hesitant to put her in with other horses as she would not be able to move out of their way once the herd dynamics started playing out. I did not want her hurt. Recently, when we would go out to feed in the evenings and in the mornings on weekends, I would open the gate to Callie's pen. If she wanted to come out and move around...fine. This last week she has ventured all over the property grazing. Previously, she would only graze in front of her pen and the one next to it where Chance is. Today, when we started walking her toward the pasture where Amber and Grace were, she practically trotted! She was anxious to be in with girls! She moved out a brisk pace towards the end of the pasture where the girls were grazing. She dropped her head to graze and would move towards the girls as she grazed. Eventually, all three were grazing together and Callie was so happy! There were no fights, no figuring out who was boss. It seems Grace and Amber knew that Callie was not a threat of any kind. When it was time to bring the girls in, Blair went to the gate with halters in hand. Grace and Amber came running up and, bringing up the rear, at a trot (this is amazing) was Callie! It was obvious that Callie was ready to try this. We are so thankful that it went well. I had visions of Amber or Grace kicking her because she could not move out of their way. Perhaps, one day soon, Grace and Amber will be trying to keep up with Callie!
I am so glad we didn't have Callie put down some months ago. Remember...when the heart speaks, the heart listens!
Callie is eating and drinking well, but she is laying down alot. Recently, our Natural Horseshoer came out and trimmed her poor feet. When he was finished, he was surprised to see her walk so well! We are keeping a close eye on Callie. With the recent rains and subsequent deep mud, she would get very tired trying to walk through the mud. We are putting shavings in her pen to make it softer for her. She is a dear mare that we hope to have with us for a long time.
I thought you might enjoy viewing the latest and greatest pictures of that magnificent mare known as Callie, so here they are!
As you know, some months back we thought we would have to put Callie down. Vets, farriers, etc. were saying we should put her down as she was in pain.... At the last minute (literally) Kricket, of Witchtrot Farms, e-mailed me with with a plan designed to help Callie with her "chronic" founder. I called the vet and told him I was going to try Kricket's plan. You see, I looked into Callie's eyes. She was in pain, yes. But, she was not done!
We changed Callies diet drastically! No more alfalfa, A&ampM or Senior.  She is now on Timothy hay (19.95 a bale and Callie is worth every penny!!), and a Timothy pellet/Bermuda pellet mix. This has helped her drop some weight (she was in good weight, but her poor feet/legs were suffering because of it).
She is on Pawier vitamins (see our links page), Garlic, Glucosamine/chondrotine (spelling?), Devils Claw, A Gateway Product called Iron Rich Blood Builder (fancy red cell type thing-vitamins & cherry flavored! mmmmmmm!).
Now...look at the pictures! Note that she is now standing on all fours with her weight distributed evenly! Note the look in her eye. NOTE that she is standing at the fence in the pasture that she could not walk to a couple of months ago!
Pretty impressive......Yup...That's Callie...pretty impressive!
Thank you to all who helped Callie to come to TIER from the feedlots. To those who helped me, taught me and were there for both me and Callie. Special thanks to Kricket for giving us a plan that worked.
And...Thanks to Callie. For being my teacher, my friend, my hope.
Callie is still with us. Due to an overwhelming amount of e-mail (thank you all for your support!!) and some information from people who have had experience with horses that are in the same or worse shape than Callie, we have opted to try some alternative methods of treatment.  Callie will have some things added to her diet (garlic, red cell, devils claw, buteless, chondroitin, etc. etc.). Also, if anyone knows of a chiropractor or kinesiologist in the Southern California area that treats horses, please let us know. Or ask them if they would be willing to help this mare! We are low on funds and I have wanted to get a chiropractor out here since Callie got here. We are also calling in a farrier that studied under Bergie to do Callie's feet. We had her x-rayed yesterday so that the farrier can see just where that rotated coffin bone is. To see what we are working on (Guided by Kricket of Witchtrot Farms) with Callie, please go to the address below. Remember, Callie needs your help and your prayers. She is moving better and is bright eyed. She is the regal lady of the land!