Shay

breed: 1991 bay Arab mare
registered name: EA Wild Thing
type of rescue: Pierce County Animal Control seizure
intake date: 2/17/2012
date of passing: 3/17/2016
length of time with SAFE: 4 years, 1 month

Rest in peace, Shay.

Strength and beauty. Two words that perfectly describe Shay. In the four years that we have known her, we’ve seen her battle back from neglect to become a vibrantly, beautiful mare. She’s lived a happy life in the company of her best friend Marta under the wonderful care of her foster family, Eileen and Andy Carrol. We knew that Shay had foundered at some point in her past because of the rotation in the coffin bone of both her front hooves. Keeping her sound and comfortable meant that she had to be fed a low-carb diet and be kept from grazing on the lush green grass of her farm. Over the years she was seen regularly by our vets to ensure that she remained pain-free. The Carrols created a dry lot area where Shay could be turned out without her hated grazing muzzle, and they kept her stall deeply bedded so she could always have a soft spot to stand if she needed it. Our vets warned that a sudden bout of laminitis could quickly devolve into a life-threatening situation for Shay, so Eileen and Andy always kept a close eye on her, watching her carefully for any signs of pain or discomfort.

At the start of the year, Shay began struggling with soundness. Her comfort was maintained with medication for a while, but in time, even increasing her medication was not holding off the pain. Sadly it was time to let her go. At age 25, there was no reason for this lovely mare to suffer another moment’s discomfort. Better to say goodbye on a relatively good day than risk another bad day.

Shay’s passing was quiet and peaceful. Two close friends were there to see her off…Eileen, who comforted and loved her to the very end, and her pasture mate Marta who stood near her and said goodbye in the way only mares know how. Shay left this life believing that she had found her perfect forever home with people who thought the world of her.

Run free, Shay

photo by Jessica Farren

photo by Jessica Farren

Strength and beauty. Two words that perfectly describe Shay. In the four years that we have known her, we’ve seen her battle back from neglect to become a vibrantly, beautiful mare. She’s lived a happy life in the company of her best friend Marta under the wonderful care of her foster family, Eileen and Andy Carrol. We could see that Shay had foundered at some point in her past because of the rotation in the coffin bone of both her front hooves.  Keeping her sound and comfortable meant that she had to be fed a low-carb diet and be kept from grazing on the lush green grass of her farm. Over the years she was seen regularly by our vets to ensure that she remained pain-free. The Carrols created a dry lot area where Shay could be turned out without her hated grazing muzzle, and they kept her stall deeply bedded so she could always have a soft spot to stand if she needed it. Our vets warned that a sudden bout of laminitis could quickly devolve into a life-threatening situation for Shay, so Eileen and Andy always kept a close eye on her, watching her carefully for any signs of pain or discomfort.

At the start of the year, Shay began struggling with soundness. Her comfort was maintained with medication for a while, but in time, even increasing her medication was not holding off the pain. Sadly it was time to let her go. At age 25, there was no reason for this lovely mare to suffer another moment’s discomfort. Better to say goodbye on a relatively good day than risk another bad day.

Shay’s passing yesterday was quiet and peaceful. Two close friends were there to see her off…Eileen, who comforted and loved her to the very end, and her pasture mate Marta who stood near her and said goodbye in the way only mares know how. Shay left this life believing that she had found her perfect forever home with people who thought the world of her.

Marta is being joined by a new SAFE horse, Aubrey, who will be arriving at Eileen’s farm today. We are very hopeful that the two will get along and become friends.

A photography session with Marta and Shay

Shay and Marta

Shay and Marta

Recently, Jessica, a volunteer and foster committee member, spent the morning with Marta, Shay and their foster mom Eileen Carol.  Eileen also volunteers as SAFE’s Foster Coordinator.  I asked Jessica to tell me a little bit about her recent visit. Here are the kind words she had to say about the girls:

“My visit with Marta and Shay was great.  What beautiful mares!  They are such great companions and they’ve really bonded with one another.  When I briefly walked away with Shay, she kept looking back to see where Marta was standing.  It’s obvious that they really love being close to one another.   

Considering the way they gallop in the field and come running for breakfast, it really is amazing that they are both in their twenties.  I could also see how much they love being groomed; their coats are beautiful and glossy.  

The horses weren’t at all bothered by Eileen’s dog, who was running and playing around.  They remained calm.

Marta and Shay just look so healthy and happy!”

Jessica has been taking wonderful photos of our horses at SAFE Harbor.  We are grateful that she is willing to visit foster homes and share her beautiful photos with us.  We look forward to more of her photos in the next few weeks, but here are some recent candid shots of Marta and Shay.

 

Shay Update

Shay Shay has struggled with periodic bouts of lameness over the years.  Recently, it went on long enough that we called out Dr. Fleck, from the Rainland Farm Equine Clinic, for an evaluation.  He reviewed earlier x-rays of Shay’s rotated coffin bone and thought she just might need a set of front shoes.  He felt that this would stop her from walking on dropped soles, a problem which was causing her pain.  Dr. Fleck did some blood work and left some Previcox for a short-term treatment.

Earlier this week, the lovely Greer Hei arrived to put on the new front shoes.  Shay had worn boots up to that point, but she was not concerned about getting shoes.  We think it likely she has worn them consistently in the past.

So far, Shay is happy, comfortable and sound on her adorable new shoes.

Rainland then gave us some rather fabulous news that Shay’s blood work is “normal.”  This means that for the moment, she has no dietary restrictions.  However, since she does have the look and history of a horse with metabolic issues, we will continue to manage her diet with that in mind.  Still, it’s terrific to hear that the situation has greatly improved over time.

Shay is mostly laid-back and very calm, but occasionally she gallops around with Ms. Marta.  Together, they like to put on a fancy Arabian show.  They are, after all, very fancy mares!

Marta and Shay greet springtime

Spring has sprung, apparently, and what better way to celebrate than letting the ponies into the pasture! Yesterday Marta and Shay enjoyed a very serious bit of rolling and then took off and galloped a few laps around the pasture. Their foster mom Eileen took this video afterward. “Turns out there is a woodpecker who has returned to the neighborhood and is pecking every loud surface he can find,” she tells us. “Definitely cause for Arabian mode.”

Marta & Shay update

Marta and Shay continue to thrive under the careful care of their foster mom, Eileen. With their blankets on, it’s hard to tell who is who, they are such peas in a pod! Both mares continue to be easy keepers on restricted diets, but they are getting to enjoy a brief reprieve from their grazing muzzles during this very barren January. These two would be a great pair of companion horses!

marta_shay_01_06_2014

A dry lot for Shay & Marta

Shay was showing some increased signs of lameness last week, so she was seen by Dr Owens of Owens Equine.
As we already know, Shay has clearly had laminitis in the past and has a 30-degree rotation in both front feet. Despite being carefully managed (which Dr. Owens said Eileen/SAFE was doing a good job), she may be showing signs of IR/metabolic syndrome. The vet report makes it clear that if Shay has an acute case of laminitis in the future, it could quickly devolve into a life or death situation, so we do need to manage her carefully.

Eileen had kept her stalled at night over the weekend and she appeared comfortable but when she re-attempted night turnout, Shay once again appeared uncomfortable in the morning. So Shay was kept inside in a heavily bedded stall for a few days while Eileen and SAFE volunteers fenced in a dry lot area for her.

Eileen’s pasture, except for one very small area at the end, is already practically a dry lot. Marta and Shay have been wearing their grazing muzzles religiously. They are clearly being managed with IR/EMS in mind. But Shay has a small dry lot where she has access to stand in thick, cushy bedding if she wants it. Eileen covered the hole in her grazing muzzle and will turn her out as seems appropriate.

We’re pretty sure we could not arrange for better management of Shay than Eileen is already doing. While Shay’s neck is cresty, Eileen has kept both mares in good weight and Shay is about as slim as she can be and still look good. We now think there is a legitimate question as to whether Shay was having a metabolic episode or whether this is the first time we’ve seen her on hard, rocky, August ground. We did see her take an occasional bad step, but the rest of the time she is quite happy to be moving…not the sign of a horse experiencing an acute laminitic episode.

Bottom line, we are so thankful to Eileen for the care she’s provided these two old dames over the past year. The mares are both clearly very happy and enjoying life…except maybe those pesky grazing muzzles!!!

Marta and Shay Update

Here’s an update from Eileen who is fostering Marta and Shay at her lovely Fall City Farm:

Their daily lives are very straight forward and routine. They have grazing muzzles to keep them on a strict diet because they only need to look at food and they gain weight. Shay has intermittent bouts of being “off.” It doesn’t appear to be anything related to eating grass. I have spoken to the vet a few times about this and she isn’t concerned because there are no signs of foundering. (No heat present in fetlocks, losing weight, intermittently off but can still canter and trot quite well.) I am guessing it is related to being an older girl with flat soles/arthritis. Moving around in a pasture is beneficial we suspect. She gets around just fine for grazing and such and seems very happy and content.

Both have their schedules down pat and love being turned out together as much as possible. The whole neighborhood knows when it is feeding time because they will both whinny and nicker (especially when on a diet) and walk directly into their respective stalls. They are very attached to one another and seem very happy and content altogether.

Wild Thing, aka Shay, arrives at SAFE

Shay – Impound Photos