SAFE Operations Director Terry Phelps has been spending a lot of time recently with the new horses at SAFE. Here’s what she has to share about Cali:
This roan mare is really starting to grow on me. She was a bit shy and flighty at first but I’ve found that once she gets past her initial fears she relaxes and her whole body changes. It is taking less time for her to get there each time I work with her so she is making good progress. She is one of the most sensitive horses I have worked on the ground using the flag. I am taking things slow, introducing the flag at a distance she is comfortable with…the first day it was from across the entire round pen! But we will get there and I know these small breakthroughs and good changes along the way will make a huge difference in her ability to trust people.
I will be honest, at 17 and as sensitive and reactive she is, it will take some time to start her as a riding horse. I think her fears are deep set so it will take some time to lay a new foundation of good experiences. We will take our time and let her tell us how quickly we can take things.
We made a sad discovery last week during Cali’s dental float: one of her upper teeth along the right side is broken and has been for some time. The tooth was crammed full with rotting hay.…yuck!. We immediately put her on antibiotics and scheduled an x‑ray, which showed just how bad the break is. Dr. Renner at Rainland Farm Equine will be performing the extraction of the broken tooth. He said that it might end up being a two part extraction but is confident he can get it all removed and make her a whole lot more comfortable. The extraction is going to cost us between $900 and $1200 but it has to be done and it will make her much more comfortable. It will also allow any infection to clear up. She has been very good for all the handling. During some of the work she has put her head near me and her eyes get very soft and she nuzzles me. I know she knows we are trying to help and I hope soon she will feel better.
And here is a little about her from one of our volunteers Barbara:
I’ve had the opportunity to walk Cali a bit and hang out with her while she’s getting her meds. Over the past week, she’s been on antibiotics that have to be delivered rectally to avoid gastro distress. Wow, this lovey mare has been incredibly compliant and willing to put up with our treatments. She’s a fine citizen and I’m really happy that she’s now getting the proper care and attention she deserves.