Charity of the Week: Mustang Spirit Rescue

By Tania Bennett

In 2001, after an injury I was told by my doctor that I would never go back to work. After several hours of crying my husband asked me what I wanted to do. My reply was “sell the house (we lived in the city) and move to the desert so we can have horses”! 60 days later we were packed up and on our way to our new home. In April 2002 Mustang-Spirit was created and we opened our gates to all breeds of horses in need. Since that day we have assisted in rehabbing and/or re-homing over 600 precious lives, mostly equine, however that rather large list also includes macaws, cockatoos, chickens, ducks, steer, goats, sheep, pot belly pigs and the occasional dog.

On Aug 7th 2010 I responded to a craigslist ad which read “QH mare, in foal, bad knee, first $50 takes her”. I explained I was hauling a horse to San Diego and there was no way I could make it that day but if they held on to her till the next morning I would give them $100. After promising to take her “no matter what” I was given directions. The next morning one of my volunteers and I arrived to pick up this mare. 1/2 hour later we had the mare “Red” on the trailer and were headed home. The knee looked bad and I feared the worst. Had the vet out who said she would need to be sedated and several x-rays would need to be done but since she was so far along and it was obviously an old injury we should wait till after she foaled.

On Dec 3, 2010 at about 8:30 a.m. Red, now renamed Crimson went into labor. Everything seemed to be progressing well until baby’s shoulders were almost out and Crimson just stopped pushing and the baby had started to go back inside. Did I happen to mention that Crimson was still only 2 years old at this time? Who would do that to such a young mare? Anyway, the vet was more than an hour away, so as I snapped picture after picture while I assured my husband he could deliver this baby. He waited for the next contraction and then started to help mom…we soon had a beautiful little carbon copy of Crimson on the ground trying to stand up. We named her Clover and we did all the normal imprinting stuff…she soon became a favorite at the rescue.

When baby was 4 days old we loaded Crimson & Clover into the trailer and hauled them to the vet for x-rays. The news was worse than expected. The vet said if it were not for the foal he would suggest she be put down right away, but since she obviously wanted to be a mom to this precious little one, he suggested we wait till she told us she was done. He said we would be lucky if she hung on for another 60 days.

When Clover was 87 days old mom just couldn’t do it any longer, she refused to stand up and you could tell she had given up. The very hard, but obvious decision was made to humanly euthanize her as we could hear her still very young and still needing to nursing filly calling from the other side of the ranch. Luckily for this sweet baby, the paint mare (who was a retired brood mare) I mentioned above had taken an interest in this baby so we put them together so she could be her surrogate mother. Clover was already eating hay and junior and being with her new mom she got over losing her mother much faster than we expected. The following day we noticed that she was trying to nurse, but my paint mare did not have milk, then to our surprise, one of our wild mustang mares started calling Clover to the shared fence line and Clover start to nurse on this wild mustang (who by the way had not had a foal any time recently). The mare did not want to be with Clover, but she was willing to allow her to nurse for a few weeks at least a few times a day. Horses are just amazing!!

Clover continued to grow and be handled and at 5 months she was adopted by one of our younger volunteers. She was moved to the young ladies fathers home and she just seemed to thrive there. Unfortunately dad had to move out of state suddenly and Clover was moved to a stable. She was returned just before her 1 yr birthday. At the time of her return we found she required a minor surgery, and was put on some supplements to take care of her epiphysitis from being fed incorrectly, after she recovered from her surgery, her training was restarted.

Clover is now 2 1/2 years old, she clips, ties, trailers, tacks up easy, bathes, ponies, stands for farrier, lounges, is easy to catch and totally in your pocket, she has been to several adoption events with us including a Halloween event last year where she stood all day dressed up (in the wind) with large fairy wings flapping…she is just so easy going and so used to us doing silly things with her that she is going to just be such a great horse. We have not ridden her yet, but she has had someone on her back once and was totally unphased.

Clover had a really rough start in her life and has gone through so much with losing her mom to being returned at such a young age. She really needs someone who is willing to commit to being her person, who will continue to teach her, love her and give her a home for the rest of her life! She stands 14hh now and is still growing (mom was 14.2 not sure about dad). This little girl is a pleasure to be around and really wants her own person soon!

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