I got an email from somebody who sent me some screen shots from the Facility Inventory Report at BLM Burns. This is a sheet that lists all the horses and donkeys currently at the corrals. And she had circled one horse and there was a star next to the number of days in Agency. That read close to 10,000 days. I had to read it twice and then had to actually calculate how long that was. 28 years.
I was so confused as it didn't seem to be possible that a horse could have been rounded up as a yearling all those years ago and still be at the corrals. After all they are short term holding and I couldn't imagine why a horse would have been kept there. I made a promise to this person that I would find out about the old horse and try my hardest to give him the retirement we felt he deserved.
I emailed and found out that the horse was in fact a saddle horse named Lep who had come in as a baby, been trained to ride and had worked his whole life at the corrals and lived there too. It is a hard environment for an old horse. They are fed but if the hay is stalky an old horse with few teeth is going to find it hard to chew it and get the nutrition needed to thrive. As most people know once many horses get into their late twenties early thirties they often need an intensive diet of extra feeding, bowls of mash, leafy alfalfa, extra vet care and extra love. It is why it always breaks my heart to see senior horses taken to auction, as with the extra costs involved some people would rather sell an old horse than take the extra time and money it takes to feed them up.
A lot people would already have euthanized him. He wasn't able to work anymore and he was going downhill so what reason is there to keep a horse like that ? But the BLM employee who had him all these years really cared about him and had gone back and forth about what to do. And they asked us if we would consider taking Lep. And you know what, we said yes.
Now Lep has a sponsor. Me. I just felt as though he deserved to have the best retirement possible. And we are happy to give it to him.
Because without knowing it I had met this horse once before. When the BLM asked us to take the orphan babies from the roundup little Sugar was the first one I saw. She had lost her mother and also been injured and trampled during the gather. She had injuries to her legs and wasn't doing well and they had put her in with this old boy as he would care for the babies. When I was taken to see her she was in with this boy and he was so gentle and affectionate with her it touched my heart that day. This old horse seemed to know she was injured and he was letting her share his food and his space and was being careful not to knock her or step on her.
We took the babies and I didn't expect to see him again and had actually not realized it was the same horse we just brought home. Until we brought Sugar in for Beth to keep her company and she and Lep saw each other and started nickering and sniffing each other and saying hello. So for little Sugar, for the BLM employee who cares about these horses at the corrals, for this old boy Lep who deserves all the pampering and love showers he is getting right now, this ones for you and I have never been prouder to be able to help.
So Lep old boy, welcome to Skydog, we are so grateful that your handler cared enough to ask us to take you and for all the other horses they have saved we say thank you also.
These are just a few of the Mustangs we have brought to the ranch, there are so many more that need a safe environment to live in.
Check back soon and meet other rescued horses and please donate to help us save more mustangs. Over 150,000 American horses are shipped to Mexico and Canada every year and killed in the most inhumane and brutal painful way imaginable - stop the slaughter by lobbying your congressmen to Pass The SAFE ACT......