Rest In Peace, Daisy.
Lacey [now Daisy] is a 25-year-old POA.
She is child-broke, and for years was therapeutic horse at a therapeutic riding center.
Her owner surrendered her to us because he was told there was nothing more that could be done to help her maintain weight.
One of the reasons aging horses to lose weight is because their teeth need attention. That is the first thing that we look at when we have an underweight horse arrive at our facility.
Other causes are not feeding the proper feed, or not feeding enough of it.
As they age, horse's back teeth are worn down to the gum and are not effective in grinding hay and other forage into small enough pieces for them to be able to swallow. They can then choke on the big ball of wet hay/grass they have been trying to swallow. Most just spit the big wad out, and as a result, get little to no nutrition from it.
In Lacey's case, her owner was told no more could be done to help her teeth, and that there was little else he could do. He asked us for help.
When an older horse becomes unable to eat hay or grass (aka forage), we feed Equine Senior. In many cases, we turn the pellets into mush by adding water. The horse can then swallow this already ground food. Equine Senior has all of the forage in it that the horse is no longer getting from the hay. It also has vitamins and minerals to supplement. Our Rescue horses gain significant weight on this feed. We feed them 18-20 pounds a day (1 1/2 gallons, twice a day) until they are back at their normal weight. We can then make adjustments with grains to keep them at their optimal weight.
Lacey is neither a product of cruelty nor neglect. Her owner had simply not been properly educated on how to care for an older horse.
Renamed "Daisy," she was adopted almost as soon as she arrived to the same family with Hoover. They will feed and care for her and bring her up to weight and health.
An update from Amy in July 2011:
"Daisy is doing great! Even in this heat she is steadily gaining weight. Going to start this week on muscle building."
She is starting to round out. Her hip bones are not protruding near as much.
Isaac went on a two hour trail ride with his Daisy in October 2011.
Isaac and Miss Daisy at the Costume Party. Isaac was an indian warrior with his indian pony!! They won first place!
She's looking good in December 2011.