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Lena and Dutch

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Back in April, after we said goodbye to Lucky, we rescued 2 more Belgian Draft Horses from Bowie Texas Livestock. A mare and a gelding. If you don't know Lucky's story...he was rescued from Kemp, Texas through Last Chance Direct Ship Horses and was saved from shipping to slaughter. Lucky had a horrific eye injury and was in serious need of medical attention. After multiple vet visits and tests we found out that Lucky's eye injury was actually a tumor. The tumor had ruptured his eye. Our plan was to have the tumor removed but when we arrived for surgery Dr. Brown from the Texas Tech University of Veterinary Medicine found additional tumors in other areas of Lucky's body. The cancer had spread and Lucky was suffering and had been suffering for some time. We decided that Lucky's suffering had gone on long enough and we chose to say goodbye. That was the hardest decision we had to make.

 

The night we got home from the vet after saying goodbye to Lucky, Cory happened to go to Bowie's website and there were two BelgianDraft Horses posted and their ship dates were just around the corner. The foundation had raised money to pay for Lucky's surgery, since the surgery didn't happen we decided to use the funds raised to save these two beautiful healthy horses. 

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Since our trailer would only hold one horse, our amazing friends Andrew and Donna let us borrow their trailer for the day to pick them up. Cory and I drove to Bowie which is about 3-1/2 hours from Amarillo. This was my first time driving alone for this long of a distance with a trailer. 

When we arrived at Bowie to pick them up we realized Lena and Dutch were a bonded pair. That made us even happier that we decided to rescue both of them. We loaded Lena first and she became very agitated when she could not see Dutch. Cory moved the truck so we could load Dutch and she started moving around in the trailer and calling for him. Dutch loaded right up and was much calmer then she was. I drove with Lena and Cory said she was looking back every so often to see if Cory was still behind us. She is such a smart horse. If we passed another vehicle on the road I could feel Lena move around in the trailer, she was shifting to look for Dutch. When we stopped for fuel we made sure to park where Lena could see Dutch.  

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We got them both back to the farm safely and got them some hay for dinner along with a bucket of Alfa-Pro. Lena was so tired that she was falling asleep while eating her dinner.

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Lena's run was in between Liam and Dutch. She immediately took a liking to Liam. This was a picture of Lena and Liam grooming each other over the fence panel.

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Dutch came to us shod. We needed to get his shoes pulled off before we could turn him out into the pasture with the other horse so he wouldn't seriously injure another horse if he kicked them. These were a few pictures from when Kimi our farrier came out to remove his shoes. There is a comparison picture of Dutch's shoes and a standard size horse shoe! Belgian Draft horses feet are huge! Kimi calls them dinner plates! 

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From the livestock yard video, they said Lena might be pregnant. We got her into the Dr. Waggoner at MVP as soon as we could for a pregnancy check. She got a clean bill of health except she was not pregnant. We were happy and sad because it would have been fun to have a baby Belgian running around however Dr Waggoner thinks Lena is a much older horse probably in her 20's and a pregnancy at her age could pose complications.

 

Dr. Waggoner also came to the farm and gave Dutch a wellness check and pulled blood labs. Dutch was given a clean bill of health too! 

Our next step with Lena and Dutch was to get a little weight put back on both of them with Alfa-Pro and all the hay they wanted to eat. And thats what we did.

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We got Lena and Dutch integrated into the herd slowly. After integration Lena took a liking to Finn and they spend a lot of time together. Dutch and Liam are best friends and Dutch protects Liam for the other horses.  We are so glad that we were able to save these two beautiful horses and give them the retirement they deserve. Lena and Dutch are living their best lives and LOVING retirement!

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Updated: August 2023

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