We are happy to have three sweet new mares in our care: Tess, Bean, and Jessel. They were rescued from a very tough situation of neglect and starvation, and it’s going to take some time and TLC before they are ready for adoption. At the moment, we are letting them setting in to their new lives at SAFE. They are at a stage in their re-feeding program where they can have as much hay as they want, so that keeps them happy most of the time.

Of the three, Tess is one we are most concerned about. She’s still thin, and probably needs to gain another 50 pounds before she’s back to healthy weight. She also has very tender hooves and swollen back legs. She loves her mashes and finishes her hay but it takes her a long time. We have noticed she will spit up wads of half chewed hay; this is called “quidding”. A horse may start quidding when it does not get proper dental care. Teeth can wear unevenly, leaving sharp points that cause sores and ulcers on the sides of their cheeks or tongue, and that can make chewing very painful. So first up for Tess and the two other girls is some much needed dental care.

The swelling in Tess’ back leg goes down with turnout but with the cold and rain she isn’t moving around that much. We’ve started hand walking her to help the swelling. (See below for video, it’s pretty cute!) If we need to, we will start wrapping her hinds at night. All of her heels are soft but the worst is her left hind. The frog and heel are very soft and when she arrived it was painful for her to have it picked out. We have been treating it with a product recommended by our farrier and in just a week it is already showing signs of improving. It looks like she has also had a few old abscesses that have already ported. We could see more abscesses pop up as her hooves and immune system correct.

Tess is a very sweet girl, who seems to know that she’s arrived in a SAFE place. Hopefully in another couple weeks, she’ll be looking and feeling a lot better.