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Alicia Schueler

Update On Rescued Morgan

17 posts in this topic

Libby is doing very well and her ground work is going nicely. I hope to have a trainer out to ride her soon. She is well-broke but I am unfamiliar with Morgans and she was shown both in saddle seat and driving. I take her for walks and groom her to accustom her to being handled with vision in only one eye. She was minimally handled in the year and half since her accident. Through a series of unfortunate events, she went from show horse/trail horse to being leased to a trusted friend, to slipping through the cracks entirely for several years. I am in touch with Morgan breeders who knew her breeder and her past. They have been a tremendous help in piecing the mare's past together and recommending a trainer. I am very impressed with the local Morgan enthusiasts and breeders. :smilie:

I have never owned a show horse before, let alone a Morgan. She is very affectionate. She closes her eyes and presses her head against my chest when I stroke her face and she nuzzles me and Little John. The saddle and bridle changes her demeanor from quiet to proud and bold. She arches her neck and moves beside me like paintings of classic horses from long ago. Perfectly obedient and responsive but spirited and musical in motion. She is lovely. Truly this is the breed that generals rode into battle. She'll have to settle for a naval officer, LOL!

Here she was back in mid-June:

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And here she is now.

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LJ feeding her a treat.

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Out in the pasture:

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Edited by Little Cow

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She looks great!!!!! My mini mare is kinda the same way. She was a show horse before I got her and she is the sweetest thing but she carries herself differently than the others. Can't wait to are more pics of her while she progresses!

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Maybe it's just the picture difference but she looks like a totally different color?

Very pretty now, her head fits her body much better when her body isn't so skinny!

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Good job! If she was a show horse previously, she will remember. We had an old Arab rescue that came to us skin and bones. After rehab, we used him to teach handicapped kids to ride. When we would take him to a show, his head would come up, ears would come up and he would arch his tail. You could tell he used to be a show horse and loved to strut his stuff! We lost him at the young age of 31.

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nightdreamer- She was terribly sunburned. She is supposed to be a dark chestnut and her true color is coming back. I'm not sure if she is starting on her winter coat early or if better food and condition is causing her to rebuild her coat, but she is definitely darker now.

Mz Rat- So sorry for your loss. This mare is 22 years old.

Edited by Little Cow

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Did I miss the story on how you ended up with this beauty?

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Kina, I lost my mare, Allie Cat, to a sudden and unpreventable colic this past May and I was pretty devastated. It was a horrible scene because I found her sitting like a dog that morning and our vet treated her twice before we hauled her to the university hospital. We lost her in the wee hours of the following morning.

I decided not to even look for another horse until next year (yeah, right). Anyway, I saw an ad for a registered Morgan for $250 back in mid-June. I couldn't believe it. I have always wanted a Morgan. You don't see Morgans very often and certainly not that low, so I called. Details were that she was 22 years old and blind in one eye. The guy was pretty terse with me and grumbled about tire kickers. I told him that I would not be driving an hour out of my way to kick tires. I took my horse trailer because I had a bad feeling this horse was not in good shape and I know I'm a big sucker. I also gave hubby a heads up and prepared the round pen, just in case.

The skinny chestnut mare had a starry blue pattern in her right eye and did not appear to have vision in it. I had no idea what I was getting into, but she was so depressed. I wondered if she was drugged. This guy was a disabled jockey and he said he had trimmed her feet the day before (it was quite obvious that he trimmed off the beginning of slipper feet, so yeah, not trimmed regularly). There was a white powder mixed with the grain in her bucket, which raised my suspicions about her being drugged. I thought I'd better load her before it wore off, LOL! His place was a tiny sand lot with no shelter from the sun or rain, hence the bleached coat. I paid him cash and he handed me her papers, which had seen better days, but matched her markings perfectly. I was worried about several things. First when I asked him about her eye, he said it happened on the thorns in the back of his lot. He said the injury was a year and a half old and admitted he had never called a vet out. Secondly, I asked why his name wasn't on the papers and he said he just never bothered to register her. Oh boy. I loaded her up, (she went in perfectly). As I drove away, I knew the first thing I had to do was contact the previous owners on the papers and make sure she wasn't stolen.

Once we got home, I turned her out in our round pen, on the other side of the farm from our horses, with food, water and shade from the trees. She was spooky to handle and difficult to catch those first few days. She really wanted to be friendly but was too nervous to let me get close. I finally gained her trust on the third day, just in time for her vet check.

Meanwhile, I tracked down her previous owners. They had retired from their jobs at the local university and moved to a property in Virginia where they could not have horses. They leased their Florida farm out to some people they trusted. They left their Morgan mare with these friends to use for trail riding along with a donkey for companionship. They later sent the mare's papers because they trusted that she was being cared for properly. The mare could not be bred, so she was not worth a lot to other Morgan breeders.

When the rent check didn't come and calls were not answered, the owners became frantic. They finally got in touch with the renters through their lawyer. They had sold, not just the tractor that was on the farm, but also the horses and then moved to a condo. They refused to tell the owners who they sold the horses to. Since they were in possession of the papers, not sure the owners could have done anything.

This matched what the guy said that I bought the mare from. He claimed to have bought 3 horses and a donkey for $600 in a quick sale because these people were moving (the other two horses were probably theirs). The guy said all of the animals were very skinny (she had been skinnier?!). He also said he sold the other two horses and the donkey but the mare with the injured eye was more difficult. He had her for 1 1/2 years. The renters had her for 2 1/2 years so she was away from the previous owners for 4 years total.

When I spoke with the previous owners, they were so relieved that she was safe and that I had her. They helped me sort things out with the Morgan registry so she could be registered in my name. I have been updating them on her progress. My hubby and I had been calling her Libby, because it seemed to fit her. Her previous barn name was actually Shady. Through the previous owners, I was able to obtain her show history and riding history, which will be very helpful as I continue to work with her. She had not been handled at all since she lost vision in her eye. She is very affectionate, however, so things are going quite well and she is adjusting fine to being handled, even on her off side.

Our vet checked her out thoroughly and cleared her to go into the barn. She received all her vaccines because the guy had never had a vet out in the 1 1/2 years he had her. She was a complete lady for everything and she is perfectly sound. At our vet's suggestion, I took her to the university for a more complete eye exam (our vet couldn't quite see everything he wanted because we don't have a place dark enough here on the farm). Thankfully, her eye is stable, with no foreign debris and the pressures are very low. Because of the damage and time that has passed, even if the cataract was removed, she still wouldn't have any vision because her retina has detached. No doubt, it was a very painful injury and she suffered quite a bit without treatment. :bang_head::mecry:

Libby is helping me heal after Allie's loss. I had a young, well-trained AQHA or APHA mare in mind when I thought about the possibility of another horse someday, but that wasn't the plan. Working with her is exactly what I needed. I guess I needed a horse that needed me.

Anyway, that is her saga. She is safe now and they way she is responding to training wonderfully. I had a break-through with her on Sunday when she lunged with me inside her blind side. She is learning the verbal cues and trusting me enough to go around me on the lunge line without actually seeing me (Flequus is a tremendous resource for working with a half blind horse). Libby has a good mind and is intelligent. Boy, did I luck out with this sweet mare. :happy0203:

Edited by Little Cow

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Yes, horses who are starved will change color. When undernourished, the coat becomes dry and dead lighter color. After they regain lost weight, they will shed out all that dry dead hair for healthy shiny hair.

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Lovely story, She is lucky to have, as much as, you are lucky to have her. Open doors...I am so glad you went through and are giving her a good home. :yahoo:

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What a nice story, you are both lucky to have each other! I played a little polo at University of CT in the late 70's and we had a horse with just one eye - her name was Myopia - and she rode and played polo beautifully with sight on just one side. You two have a bright future ahead of you!

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Something tells me you are going to have a deep and lasting relationship with Libby. Somehow the powers that be brought you two together when you needed one another the most. Wonderful story. I love to read these kinds of posts. Congratulations on finding your match.

Edited to add - oddly enough I lost my first horse to a torsion colic. I was just crushed. Even thought about selling my tack and getting out of horses...the loss was just too painful. I had someone offer to sell me their Appaloosa that they had bought as a packaged deal with a pony for their grandaughter. My sister loaned me the money to buy Harley. I bought him because he chose me - the guy told me he didn't warm up easily to people and he obviously liked me - that and my saddle fit him!He was 19yo - we thought he was 14. His past was not quite clear and he ended up going blind in his left eye the first year I had him then totally blind from ERU within two years. Harley healed my broken heart. He filled that huge empty space and expanded my love of horses exponentially. I could not have chosen a better partner for myself.

May you have the same with Libby.

Edited by RA

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What an incredible, inspiring post!

Libby is a great name for a horse that was "liberated" from a world of pain and sorrow to a home filled with love and healing!

Congratulations on finding a Heart Horse that will bring healing to both of you. :huggy:

Please keep us updated as Libby thrives in your care.

Both you and RA had special horses sent to make your lives deeper and richer. Thank you both for sharing your stories.

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That's awesome, RA. Animals do seem to find us at the right time. Maybe just for a short time to teach us something, maybe for longer, if we're lucky.

Thank you everyone for the kind comments. She is a neat horse.

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LC, you write the most beautiful stories about these equines that needed you. Thank you so much for being an awesome person and helping critters in need. I would love to meet you someday. I hope Libby has many long happy healthy years with you.

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Awww, what a wonderful story and happy ending! :wub:

I currently have a mare (Georgie) who is blind in one eye, bought her that way. She's been paraded, trailed, given kiddie rides, etc.

I also have a one-eyed mini, have had a one-eyed mule, and have ridden several other horses who were either blind in one eye or were missing one.

All have performed exceptionally well when handled like any other horse. The main thing was to make them aware of your presence and to make sure others new of their handicap before approaching them.

I'm sure you'll have many years of happiness with Libby, enjoy her! :smilie:

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I love reading about rescues, it always warms my heart! Libby is gorgeous and I'm sure she'll thrive in your care, LC. Good luck with her, I hope she will do well with her training.

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