Sunday, December 23, 2007

Every Day Something New

Poor Argus, his body can't do what his minds want to. He gets turned out, and you would THINK that he would run around, but he doesn't. I have seen maybe 12-15 canter strides out of him in the 2 weeks he's been here.

No bucks. I don't think he has the strength. He trots on occasion.

He is sore and stiff each morning. I wish I had a larger enclosure for him to live in 24/7. His knees and pastern joints have some arthritis and make for a slow start each morning. It will take months to see where he will eventually be at, soundness-wise. I don't know how a horse can develop and grow properly with no exercise and fed bread and lettuce. He should improve with time, movement, good feed, and love!

On Friday, I rode the other gray horse, Ridge, in the arena while Argus was turned out. If Argus' eyes could have popped out of his head, they would have! I do not know if Argus has ever really seen a human ride a horse. He was curious and wanted to follow us around the arena. I will do this a few more times in preparation for ponying Argus off of other horses. My horse Ridge is kind and patient (and bossy) with Argus, but he is also JEALOUS. Ridge knows his mommy rescues horses (he was a rescue himself), but none-the-less hates sharing. A typical kid.

I really, really like Argus. He is really smart and tries very hard. Getting a blanket on him takes skill. He is afraid of it, but if I go very slow and lay it over his back quietly, while holding the lead rope, he will let me put it on him. It take me about 5 minutes to do it. He could easily plow me over and run me down to get away. He could really hurt me. But he doesn't. I feel a lot of trust in this horse and know that he would rather not hurt me. I am touched by how hard he tries to understand and cooperate.

Yes, he's thin. He is not scary thin but there is very little *substance* to him. He is 16.3 hands ---- I measured. Not only is Argus lacking fat, but he has very little muscle. We are taking things slow. He gets tired easily, and cannot tolerate long periods of stress. My past experience with starved or malnourished horses is that it takes a full year for them to recover, for you to see how "far" you can get them.

Yesterday, I turned Argus out with another rescue horse (do you seem a theme here at our farm?), Pay Day. (Pay Day is a slaughter rescue and a gentle riding horse who is available for adoption.) They enjoyed each other! Again, Argus played the role of dutiful follower, while Pay Day gently bossed him around. This interaction is helping Argus to feel more secure; horses like to have a leader.

Again, Argus rolled and rolled and rolled. He rolls a good 10 times when he is turned out in the arena. The coarse footing must feel so good. He has a lot of bad skin under all that white hair.

Today, I will de-worm Argus for the first time in his life. I will also be starting him on some joint supplements next week. Taking things slow....

And as always....

Could you be the happy ending to Argus' story? This special boy needs a forever home with someone who has an interesting pasture, good shelter, advanced horse experience, and a few horse buddies. He will thrive on a few hours a week of grooming and love. He is not considered a riding prospect and he will need continued training and a confident handler to learn horse things he has missed. He has a really good mind and is quite sane. Please contact Katie at or 707-544-7584 if you are interested in learning more about adopting Argus. He will stay in foster care here in Santa Rosa until he is healthy and stable and ready for his new home.


Ridges2ndmommy said...

I see a Paux de due between Ridge and Argus in the future. Argus in the photo's reminds me so much of Ridge at a younger age. I envy you that you have the talent the patience and the ability to do this important rewarding work.

Merry Christmas

Yankecwgrl said...

What's the latest on Argus? I started following a few weeks ago and read all the way back to the start....
Can't wait for another update!