Sanctuary Horses Benefit From Hagyard Helps Horses Program

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Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement, in Salem, Connecticut, has been selected as the second recipient of the Hagyard Helps Horses program. Of the more than 1,000 equine organizations on the EQUUS Foundation Equine Welfare Network, only those organizations that have achieved the EQUUS Foundation Messenger designation, currently numbered at 135, are eligible to be selected quarterly for a $500 gift card for Hagyard Pharmacy's Resolvet line of products.

"We welcome the opportunity to support the efforts of these dedicated Messenger organizations that make their horse care and use practices transparent to the public," said Laura Riley, Director of Pharmacy, Hagyard Pharmacy.

"The EQUUS Foundation provides funding to re-train horses for multiple careers after their sport careers are over, but it is also important to offer a sanctuary for horses who have reached the end of their careers. These horses deserve to live out their lives at such places as Mitchell Farm," said Lynn Coakley, EQUUS Foundation President.

Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement is dedicated to providing a safe, comfortable and permanent sanctuary to aged and infirm equines.

"Managing aged horses requires an individualized plan of care based on all aspects of health including a reliance on products like Resolvet," said Founder and Executive Director, Dee Doolittle. Case in point: Solo.

"It is the nature of a permanent sanctuary that every horse that comes to Mitchell Farm will eventually pass away," continued Doolittle. "We give them love, comfort, grace and dignity in their final years. I remind our volunteers that with the loss of each horse follows the opportunity to improve the life of another."

Solo is a 23-year old Appendix Quarter Horse. When he arrived at Mitchell Farm, among the list of his ailments were severe COPD (heaves), crippling arthritis and post laminitis complications. He was also thin. After reviewing Solo's extensive list of ailments and treatments, the vet said that Solo did not fit the admission requirement of being pasture sound and his current comfort level was unacceptable.

Before arriving at Mitchell Farm, Solo had been moved from barn to barn and at each barn was a new vet and farrier, each diagnosing and treating another ailment without referring to prior treatments.

His owner, wanting the best for Solo opted for every treatment suggested. The shoeing prescription that was appropriate three years ago was detrimental in his current condition. The boarding stable he arrived from stalled him indoors where it was warmer, but dusty. He was being fed hay, making his breathing issues worse. Solo became dependent on inhaled steroids several times a day. The stall floors were concrete with rubber mats which aggravated his severely arthritic joints and laminitic feet and the choice of pain relief medication was no longer adequate.

Doolittle said, "I feared it may have been a mistake for us to accept him and he may have been better off euthanized."

Instead, Doolittle, together with the veterinarian and the farrier, decided that the best course of action was to try to undo the human over-intervention he had experienced. They gave him an outside stall with a clay floor and very deep bedding and access to pasture 24/7 away from allergens. Within a few days he no longer needed the inhalers and he seemed to move more comfortably.

He was given medication more appropriate to his pain level and his diet was changed to include proper amounts of senior feed and forage replacement products. Any hay that he was given was soaked in water to eliminate dust and allergens.

In six weeks, Solo went from a frail horse of real concern to being strong enough to do a little gallop with his new pasture mate, Luna. He will never be completely sound and they will have to monitor his breathing regularly. But, he is comfortable enough now to have good quality of life. They can't give him a longer life but they have definitely made a difference in his quality of life.

"Solo is one of our success stories, said Doolittle. "Thanks to Hagyard, we will have more success stories!"

The EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) public charity established in 2002, also known as Horse Charities of America, is dedicated to improving the quality of life of horses, enabling the therapeutic use of horses for those in need, fostering the horse-human bond, and educating the public about the horse's unique ability to empower, teach and heal. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Contact the EQUUS Foundation, Inc., at 168 Long Lots Road, Westport, CT 06880, Tele: (203) 259-1550, E-Mail: mail@equusfoundation.org, Website: www.equusfoundation.org.

Hagyard Pharmacy, the official pharmacy of the USEF, is staffed by licensed pharmacists and personnel with extensive knowledge of equine healthcare. Hagyard Pharmacy is recognized throughout the industry for our equine knowledge and expertise. Medications purchased at hagyardpharmacy.com or at our location in Lexington, Kentucky, are backed by 140 years of Hagyard Equine Medical Institute's veterinary expertise. Resolvet, the new and growing line of products available exclusively from Hagyard Pharmacy, was developed by the veterinarians at Hagyard. Headlined by the newest addition, RelyneGI for gastric support, the Resolvet line includes ReflexHA and Reflex200 for joint support, electrolyte paste RelyteHA, Repair hoof oil and the antidiarrheal paste Relieve.