Old Red (aka Maple) was left behind with three other horses in January 2021 when their owner passed away. The horses had been surviving neglect before that (starvation and/or injuries/illness). Without the compassion and hay given by a neighbor, these horses could easily have died as two other horses and a mule living on the large farm had at some point.
It’s possible that “Red” had been an Amish cart/driving horse before being sold to the former owner. It’s certain she had been starving in the past until a neighbor began secretly feeding the horses some hay. Like one of the other horses, it appears she foundered in the past. No veterinary care was provided as the horses lived on a remote farm outside of a small Wisconsin town and the owner was in declining health.
The person listed in the former owner’s trust to take the horses had predeceased the owner. As a last resort, Front Range Equine Rescue was contacted. It took months to get the horses to Colorado as winter weather, veterinary and farrier care, and arranging safe transport all took time to coordinate. Two of the horses also were not capable of immediate transport even if it had been available which it was not. In May 2021,Old Red and her three companions traveled safely to CO. She is continuing with a more thorough evaluation, but is likely to live out her life with the rescue.
Update (September 2021): “Red” moved with her companion Lilla in August for training assessment to see how the mares might hold up for possible light duty driving or being ridden lightly under saddle. Red has some arthritic changes in a front knee but the “damage” is not within the joint itself, so light driving or riding might become a possibility and increase chances for placement in a qualified home. If this option does not work, both mares will remain with the rescue in retirement.
UPDATE (Dec 2021): Red will remain with her companion Lilla at the ranch where their trainer lives for the winter. Weather related and other events have kept their training assessment interrupted at times. Once she has a more comprehensive overview, it is expected she and Lilla will become available to a qualified home after Spring 2022.
UPDATE (2023): After additional evaluation in 2022, it was determined that ‘Red” had physical limitations due to past neglect and injury to her knees. She retired to live out her life at a private farm in CO where many of FRER’s rescue horses are kept.
More About Old Red (aka Maple)
- Sorel Tobiano
- Draft cross