Today was a day of great relief and celebration on our farm. Since December we have been fostering and then adopting a rescued pony. Fantasia is a 10 hands 3-year-old Shetland pony. She was rescued from a kill pen at the new Holland auction in PA. She then was brought by a friend of ours to CT, she was 100 pounds underweight and suffered from horrible stomach ulcers. On Christmas eve of 2015, she arrived at our farm. We decided to foster her to keep our mare, molly company at our new homestead.
Fantasia was a jumpy nervous mess. She never wanted to be separated from molly, so we ended up keeping them in the same stall. She refused to eat. We had the vet out and she was diagnosed with severe stomach ulcers. We had to treat her 3x per day with medication for over two months. This was not only time consuming, but expensive. The first round of medication as $100 for two weeks, then came the omeprazole for 6 weeks, totally $250.
My 11-year-old daughter started a rescue fund and raised the money to not only cover fantasia’s ever growing medical bills, but donated the extra to a local horse rescue farm. She has raised over $900 to date. Without this money we would not have been able to afford to help Fantasia. Michaela, my daughter, wanted to take fantasia to the 4 h fair to show everyone that rescue horses can be retrained and make great pets. She began training Fantasia to drive a cart. But due to her health issues, the vet said Fantasia could not go to the fair this summer unless she greatly improved her weight.
Once the ulcers cleared up fantasia started eating everything we put in front of her. But still she was not gaining any weight. We were giving her 2 pounds per day of feed, 2 pounds of alfalfa pellets and unlimited hay This a lot considering she only weighed in at 250 pounds. It was expensive and very discouraging. Despite not eating. Fantasia was settling in. She was less anxious and loved to follow us around the farm. She absolutely adored rolling in the dirt and puffed out clouds of dust when brushed. We nicked named her pig-pen, after the Charlie brown character.
The vet did some blood, tests, fecal exams and floated her teeth. Nothing was giving us a clue to why she wasn’t gaining weight. She looked like skin and bones. I began to worry that we might never get her to gain weight. What if she withered away to nothing? Our poor sweet girl. I began giving her a third meal of the day, hoping it would help. But still nothing….
The vet then switched her food again, and we put up a new fence so she had a new paddock full of rich spring grass. This was the winning combination…Nutrena Pro force fuel and good old country grass. She finally gained 20 pound this past month.
I breathed a sigh of relief and joy! Maybe the first three years of her life had been rough. But we didn’t give up on her and now she has rounded the bend and is finally on her way to a healthy, happy life. Fantasia has found her home!
Thank you to all those who donated to Michaela’s animal rescue project. Without your support this would not be possible. Michaela will continue to raise money and support other horses and ponies rescued from auction. So others can have a happy ending , just like Fantasia!
Fanny in December….fanny in May
Still skinny but getting better!
Please share to help raise awareness for other horses in need of Rescue. Thank you.