Cold, dirty and shaking with hunger.
I was skin and bones, with little muscle and zero fat.
Forced to eat horse poo for the grain in it.
Forced to lick the ground for the minerals I need.
Every bite I took hurt my mouth and made me eat slow.
My owners thought that eating slow meant I wasn't hungry, so they fed me less.
There was never enough food to share and the mares were mean to me.
I was covered in bites and sores.
My skin hurt to touch, especially over my back and ribs.
My owners thought that chasing me with their ATV's was great fun.
I had pee scald on my shins on my hind legs, because the ground I was kept on was hard, dry dirt.
I was covered with mud and horse crap in an effort to stay warm.
My feet were left untrimmed, too long in the heels and toe, which made each step painful.
The hair on my face, belly and legs was six inches long, an attempt of my body to keep warm.
I had swelling and bruising from multiple kicks.
I had a small shelter I had to share with two mares that would chase me out into the cold.
The hay I was being fed was poor quality grass, filled with weeds and smelled moldy.
Then mom came and every thing changed.
I'm brushed and stroked every time mom comes to see me.
My coat is clean, thick and shining.
I have muscle and fat covering my bones.
I get two pounds of Amplify all to myself every day, and it has an amino acid which makes my body feel better. Plus, Mom gives me a nommy warm, bran mash with carrots everytime I'm worked.
I have a mineral block that I lick. A lot.
My mom fed me by myself so it didn't matter how slow I ate and then she got the vet to fix my teeth so my cheeks weren't being jabbed and the ulcers I had there healed.
My mom feeds me a lot. I am still, nine months later, getting six flakes of alfalfa/grass mix and it is so nommy.
I get fed four times a day, so I don't have to go very long without food.
I don't have to share my food with anyone. I have my own bin with hay that's meant just for me.
No one bites me any more. I have my own space and can play over the fence if I want, but otherwise I'm good. All my sores have healed.
My back and ribs now have muscle and a layer of fat over them. My skin is clean and unmatted. I love being brushed and mom is good about using the correct brush for my skin, regardless of the season.
I am housed in a stall with a run, so I can go outside when I want, but can be inside when it's cold, or snowing or raining.
Mom's idea of fun is to ride me in the arena, to ride out and explore our trails. Now, we have a huge mesa to explore.
I now live in a run with soft ground, sand and small rock. My pee doesn't splatter any more and my pee scald is almost gone.
I have a thick blanket the barn people put on me when it's cold. I have a bed of thick shavings to lay in at night.
My mom has put a lot of time and thought into trying to get my feet right. She found the best farrier for me and I feel so much better now. She says she's going to buy me hiking boots for the rocky hills.
My winter coat is thick, even, but not too long. I stay warm even without the blanket. No shivers for me.
No swelling. No bruising. I get time off between rides. The bones on my legs are getting thicker and stronger. I'm getting stronger.
I have my own stall, plus a run I can go out into whenever I want. I have thick shavings to lay in. I have a door they can shut when it gets nasty outside.
I am getting a lot of yummy noms. The hay is tasty and fills me up. I'm not hungry any more. And I still get lots of treats.
I love my life.