The Neglected 20 Herd

The Neglected 20 Herd

In July, the number of horses in the MSSPA shelter nearly doubled in a single day when a herd of 20 neglected horses arrived at the farm in urgent need of care. Their medical needs are extensive, but we are committed to getting each and every member of the herd what they need–from hoof and dental care to medical treatments and a healthy diet. Even though some of the photos are quite shocking, this is really a happy story of horses who are finally receiving the care and love they need and deserve.

Give to the Herd

Meet a few members of the herd below. Some of these images may be hard to see. But working together with our dedicated veterinarians, farriers, barn team, volunteers, and you, we are committed to the care and rehabilitation of every one of these very special horses.

At just 50 pounds underweight when he got to the shelter, sweet Belgian colt Oscar might seem to be ahead of some of the adult horses in the herd, but sustained deprivation at his young age can have lifelong negative effects. Like most of the horses in this herd, he also needed urgent farrier and dental care. Oscar is now getting used to quality feed every day and having his feet handled.

At just 50 pounds underweight, this sweet Belgian colt might seem to be ahead of some of the adult horses in the herd, but sustained deprivation at his young age can have lifelong negative effects. Like most of the horses in this herd, he also needs urgent farrier and dental care.

One of the most joyful parts of this particular story is the spunky black and white pinto filly Izzy. Izzy and her dam, Phoebe, are part of the group of horses with the least experience of human handling. They form a tight band, and the little filly is not at all afraid to stick up for herself with the bigger adult horses. This young lady has a very bright future ahead of her.

Staff and trainers have been working tirelessly to help this group get comfortable with humans and the human touch on all parts of their bodies. Although some members of the group are still quite resistant, progress is being made with a few, including Phoebe. They are learning how to be handled with a halter and lead rope and are being taught how to lead and turn. Assistant Barn Manager Madi Donahue says “It’s slow progress, but good progress.”

The “gentle giants” have also quickly worked their way into our hearts. This band of drafts always travels together from hay, to water, to shelter. Despite having access to two large shelters, they prefer to squeeze into a single shed! These big horses are calm, sweet, and so happy to have enough hay and water to fuel their large bodies and even larger hearts.

Their large size and lack of consistent handling also meant special equipment was needed for their hoove trims. Barn Manager Jeff Greenleaf said, “The use of stocks can actually be safer for horses and humans. With these drafts, who are so underweight, the stocks make trimming easier because they can lean on the sides of the stocks, which makes it easier to hold up their own weight.”

Watching this older gelding hobble slowly off the trailer was truly heartbreaking. Nearly 200 pounds underweight, covered in rain rot and lice, and with overgrown hooves and sharp teeth, Flaco is one of the most badly neglected horses we have ever seen.

Much younger, but at 150 pounds underweight, dark bay gelding Deigo had neglected health issues from which he couldn’t recover. Sadly, both of these horses had to be euthanized on the same day only a few weeks after arriving at the shelter. You can read the full story here.

Flaco
Flaco
Diego
Diego

This neglected herd of horses will continue to need significant care, from medical to farrier to training. If you would like to give to support these horses, know that a compassionate gift of any amount will make a difference.

Give to the Herd