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Honey Made A Friend

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hello my lovelies.  Your Queen of all I survey is at a bit a crossroads at the no kill shelter.  I still very much want too and have the inclination too write about the ridiculousness of the justice system, there is just nothing peeking my interest at the moment and yet I still feel compelled to write.  So, since really the only thing I do is be depressed or go to horse therapy, I’m going to write about that for a bit.  I hope you don’t find it boring and also that maybe for some of you that don’t really know horses you learn some stuff.

I am still dealing with the loss of Charlie.  That sucks if you are a person, to lose an animal that had come so far back to this side of the land of  maybe things will turn out okay.  It sucks way worse if the dead horse was another horses only friend

Charlie had a best horse friend.  Her name is honey. Honey is another horse that the owner of the farm took pity on and just decided to buy so she wouldn’t be meat.  He bought a spectacular Shining Spark Stallion that day and was getting ready to leave when Honey came up on the chopping block.  Meat horses do not go for large amounts of money.  Usually it works out to about 10 cents a pound.  Honey was a wreck, just like Charlie, only for different reasons.  Honey had caught strangles and whoever had owned her had gone to all the trouble and expense of saving her which is no joke and costs thousands which made me not understand why on earth she would end up at a meat auction in the middle of the United States.  Strangles untreated will kill a horse as fast as can be and it is a horrible death.  It is just exactly what it sounds like.  Whoever owned her had gone as far as to have a tracheotomy performed in order to save her life.  Neither the owner, nor myself understood what had happened between then and the auction.  My best guess is that she was stolen.  That apparently is a huge problem due to the market for horsemeat in other countries.

So, he bought the shining spark Stallion and was ecstatic about his purchase,  He cost a lot, like more than 20000 dollars, and he had gotten a deal at that amount of money.  he was just standing up when Honey came in.  She was skinny to the point where it was hard for her to stand on her own and she was frightened at all the noise and a ring full of people she didn’t know and the owner swears he could tell she had just completely given up.  She had gone form somewhere and someone that loved her to this and it broke his heart a little.  This man has a huge heart and I wish more people were like him about animals.  It speaks volumes about a person how they treat animals.  After spending over 20000 on his stallion he ended up buying Honey for 74.50  He told the barn manager that they could use her for a brood mare or something.

So after a vet check to make sure she had nothing communicable they got their paperwork to get her across the border and brought her to the farm.  She was quite a site that mare.  Nothing but skin hanging off of bone.  I’d got Charlie tamed down by then and she was with the other pregnant horses so he brought me this one and asked if I’d see if there was anything I could do for her.  There was lots I could do for Honey.  All she needed was a lot of food and the love I give to all the horses on the farm.  She was a palomino mare (on of those yellow colored ones with the white mane and tale).  She was shy, mostly because she had no idea what in the name of fuck had just happened, but honey didn’t have a mean bone in her body.  About the only thing on earth she wanted was to be loved like somebody used to love her and I was happy to do that for her.  I slowly got her weight up, starting with grass hay because second cut which is very high in protein would have made her sick and very little grain for the same reason.  I increased it slowly over time and she started to take weight.  She was sad though and that was a much harder fix.  I put her in with the brood mares once she was at a decent weight and they all rejected her.  They picked on her, they kicked at her, they drove her off the food and basically made her live miserable.  Horses have a definitive pecking order and Honey had victim written all over her and they all took advantage of it.  She refused to fight back.  Not once she kick back, or try and bite or even pin her ears in anger.  She just took it. I talked to the farm owner about it and asked if he thought it would be okay if I put her with Charlie.  He had his doubts, but I didn’t.  I knew Charlie well by then and she knew what it was like to be tormented.

Charlie and Honey bonded instantly.  It was immediate and it was strong.  Then I put Charlie and Honey back in with the rest of the brood mares and boy things changed fast.  The first mare that went after Honey was thoroughly trounced by Charlie just to let the who herd know that the days of picking on Honey were over.  She would stand over Honey and make sure she got her fill of hay and grain even before she’d take it herself.  The herd now accepted Honey because they did not have another option.  Charlie wasn’t playing around when it came to Honey.  If a horse messed with her they were in big trouble.  When Charlie got sick, I had to bring Honey up too, because they would not leave each other.  Honey had a complete and total meltdown when I tried to lead Charlie away.  I brought her because I thought it would help Charlie and because I was afraid that Honey would try and go through the fence to get to her friend.

And then Charlie died.  Honey changed in that moment.  Every ounce of joy she had managed to regain left her the second Charlie did.  And she has been despondent ever since.  She has been in the main barn since Charlie because she foundered and also because we knew the herd would turn on her now that Charlie was gone.

I had another idea.  My farm owner didn’t like it, but was willing to try for Honey and because so far I was batting a thousand with the idea’s.  I suggested we put her with my mare Scout.  Now Scout is not a fan of other horses.  She is the most unherdlike herd animal I have ever seen.  She likes her solitude.  Unless you are a cow in which case you are tolerable and she will be your friend.  I knew Scout wouldn’t hurt her, my worst worry was that she would totally ignore her.  Seems my horse Scout has as big a heart as Charlie did.

Scout spent a little bit convincing Honey she wasn’t going to hurt her, and once that was established, she proceeded to begin to stroke Honey on the back the way horses do to comfort each other.  It is like a light bite, not to hurt it actually makes the horse on the receiving end feel accepted and comforted.  By the end of the day Scout and Honey were best friends, a thing I would have never believed had I not seen it with my own eyes.  My horse just does not like horses. Period.  She just seemed to know that Honey needed somebody, anybody to be her friend while she mourned Charlie.  Scout made it so that she did not have to grieve alone.  She led Honey around the paddock, slowly because Honey is still foundered and her feet hurt her quite badly.  She led her around and showed her where the best graze was, she introduced her to her cow friends who truthfully could not possibly have cared less about the new horse.  She showed her where the water was, and she kept up a pretty constant horse conversation which Honey responded too.

Then night came and we had a problem.  Scout is completely barn sour.  She completely loathes being inside the barn.  She kicks at the walls and screams her anger at everyone and does other stupid things like refuse to eat until you put her back outside and Honey was still not well enough to stay outside all night.  If there were coyotes or anything Honey would be unable to run away or defend herself.  So we decided that Scout would stay out with her cows and Honey would come in for the night.  And Honey ATE.  Like she hadn’t seen food in months she ate.  She nickered, she didn’t pace and most importantly, she didn’t look sad.  He head was not down so low her muzzle was dragging the shavings.  She called out to Scout periodically  and Scout heard her and called back just to let her know she was there every time.  Honey had her first decent night since Charlie passed away.  So, we are going to move Scout up with the brood mares along with Honey once she is well enough to be up there and hopefully that should solve that because while Scout is no more mean than Charlie was, and Charlie was not a mean horse,  I have a feeling she will not take any shit on behalf of Honey.

 

RBMD peacing the fuck out.

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4 Responses to Honey Made A Friend

  1. K Walker says:

    All I can say is kudos to you for doing all you can and I wish all the very best.

  2. Spellbound4 says:

    ❤ <3.

  3. Twister says:

    My sister takes in older horses so they can live in peace for their last years. One horse was from the Amish. The Amish don’t name their horses, they are farm equipment. This horse was old, overworked, underfed and just enormous. They named him Diamond. He settled into a pampered life of leisure but was always grouchy and not nice to other horses, especially a small blind horse. I would feed and brush them, but I still prefer dogs. …. As always Kelly, you write it, I’ll read it!

  4. TrulyUSA says:

    I love your horse stories! My brother has taken in three older horses on his farm, one was once a champion rodeo barrel horse who had once belonged to his wife’s mother, and is beautiful but old. They will live out their days now as they should, in a big pasture with all the grazing and hay they can eat. He has 5 in total, but can only ride 2. I have only ridden about 3 times in my life since I lost my Dallas County Bud. There was just something about that horse that could never be replaced. No other horse came close and I never loved another horse, he was my one and only and he was enough for the rest of my life. That’s how grand he was. Very high spirited, not everyone could ride him but he liked me–no–he loved me and looked out for me. I used to show him in the pleasure horse confirmation class – just leading him around the ring with a halter and getting the “stance” to show off and he would win every time – that’s how beautiful he was. I miss him so much!!! I was 18 and in college when Dad sold him because no one was there to ride him anymore. I was devastated.

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