Warhorse Ranch Welcomes Spanky to our Second Careers for Horses Program

by Betty Jones,
VP Warhorse Legacy Foundation

Funny how life hands you horses… especially these days when you are out shopping for a metal hay barn for the newly formed Warhorse Legacy organization. A visit to Berryville Portable Buildings proprietor, Carole Rogers (a veteran), opened a door to meeting an elderly Vietnam veteran in nearby Kingston who had a horse that he wanted to place in a good home. After a call to refer me to him I was able to get an appointment to go to his home for a visit. These visits are sometimes very difficult because the horses we get are very well loved and cherished. In addition, I soon realized that this was going to be a two horse donation because Spanky had a best friend who also wanted to tag along. Of course, WLF agreed to take both of them. The owner made sure they both had new Coggins Tests and also donated their custom made saddles, tack, and equipment.

Both of these horses were larger than average and since the Second Careers Program only had an old stock trailer to haul in, we called our special Second Careers for Horses volunteer list to see who could haul for us. Luckily, Fara Ferguson in Goshen could do the job. We are eternally grateful to Fara and all our volunteers like her who help us with the horses. They are all experienced horsepeople with safety always in mind.

After getting these two big boys to the farm it was interesting to see how our other small group would interact. Spanky and his pal Handy got their own 3 acre paddock so they could get acquainted to the property and the other animals from a distance. Spanky is 20 years old and Handy is 12. Pastures are not all created equal and our paddock had a lot of clover which proved to be a bit of a problem to both in the beginning. Grass has been lush this year (due to the abundance of rain) and seemed to give Spanky diarrhea which developed into a severe problem for him but not for his pal. Our vet was not convinced clover was the cause so we tried several remedies, floated teeth, pulled fecal samples, etc. We were not getting the results we wanted.

The next step was to recondition his gut with massive infusions of Probios. This tactic immediately put him back in good shape! We are all so thankful for that. Sometimes the stress of moving to a new home, new grass, etc., can be enough to upset any horse.

Horses are a lot like people in their feelings.

Today Spanky is in top shape. His gorgeous brown and white coat is shining. He is interacting with the other veterans and families who visit here. He has been groomed, fed treats, and loved on by many during his convalescence and he is truly a healthy, happy horse now. His old friend Handy is always near and comforting. Now Spanky has a new friend, Rapid Red (fresh in from Oaklawn Race Track) who sticks to him like glue. More about Handy and Rapid Red in our upcoming newsletters.

Call and schedule a visit to meet all of them!