Type: Shetland Pony
Markings: Star & Strip
Type: Shetland Pony
Markings: Star & Strip
Type: Shetland Pony
Color: Chestnut & White Tobiano
Markings: Strip & Snip
In August 2018, a series of photos depicting some terribly emaciated and neglected mini horses were brought to the attention of Celine Myers at the Ark Watch Foundation. A rescue had placed the minis with a “quarantine provider” who was pocketing the money and starving the minis in his care. The horses were standing on a small patch of dirt in the heat of the TX summer without any food, water or shelter, not even a single tree to provide them with a spot of shade. Celine and another rescue reached out to help, and Ark Watch took the four most critical minis and immediately sent them to a vet clinic. Two of these minis were a sorrel mare and her paint colt with an eye injury. Celine named the sorrel mare “Hallie” and her colt was named “Cody”.
Hallie was very protective of Cody and virtually unhandleable. This made treating Cody’s eye a bit of a challenge for the vet team but it was critical they tend to Cody’s eye as soon as he arrived at the clinic. Not only was Cody in a significant amount of pain from the injury but the eye was also very infected. Initially, our vet thought she would have to remove Cody’s eye. She began a treatment regimen with a serum made from Cody’s own blood and multiple antibiotics. As Cody’s injury began to heal and the infection resolved, the vet felt she might be able to save the eye but she wasn’t sure if Cody would have any vision in it. Only time would tell. Happily, Cody responded extremely well to the treatment and has about 65% vision in the eye.
Shortly after Cody arrived at the vet clinic, the vet noticed that the foal’s stifle was locking. Initially, it seemed to be an intermittent event but in time, it started to lock and stay locked. Once Cody was old enough to be castrated, we made the decision to put Cody under general anesthesia and do both surgeries at the same time. We had hoped that the vet could do the less “severe” surgery on Cody’s stifle but when it wouldn’t unlock even under general anesthesia, the vet had no choice but to cut the stifle. While Cody was anesthetized, we also took the opportunity to trim his hooves. Poor Cody woke up from surgery to an unfamiliar body but, like all youngsters, he was quickly on the mend. Just when Celine throught Cody’s health issues were resolved, he developed a cough and some nasal discharge. A lung scan revealed Cody had abscesses in his lungs and our vet suspected the poor foal had Rhodococcus, an often-deadly illness that affects very young foals. Cody was put on a course of antibiotics. About 10 days into the treatment, he developed serious diarrhea, a common side-effect of the drugs Cody was receiving. Thankfully, some Bio-sponge resolved the issue and Cody remained on the medications for another three weeks. In time, the lung abscesses eventually resolved and Cody made a full recovery.
Throughout Hallie and Cody’s stay at Reata Clinic, the vet had often expressed that she had serious concerns about anyone handling Hallie. She didn’t care for people at all. Despite this, after several discussions with Celine, Red Bell Run agreed to take on the pair. Fortunately, with slow and patient handling, Hallie has learned that all people are not evil and that she and her son Cody are safe here. Cody’s traumatic eye injury as a baby has caused permanent sight impairment and damage to the drainage system in his left eye. He has to be given eye medication daily and his tear ducts flushed regularly. We keep a careful eye on him and he gets regular exercise for his stifles. Hallie has a new best friend in another Ark Watch resident, Cassie, who looks like a larger version of her little self! Cody loves everyone and is a very happy camper these days! Both he and his mom are much loved residents of our Silo Barn.
In August 2021, Celine Myers of the Ark Watch Foundation saw a video of a pony mare and her days’ old spotted mule baby in an auction photo. The foal was dragging her right front leg and had an enormous wound to her right shoulder. She immediately purchased the pair and rushed them to the Reata Equine Hospital in Weatherford, TX. She named the mare Cassie and the little mule baby Blossom. Sadly, Blossom had a long list of injuries, most likely inflicted by a jack. Little Blossom’s injury list was so extensive that she was unable to be helped and was humanely euthanized. After evaluation at the vet clinic, it was determined that Cassie was in fairly good health herself, but had most likely been used for breeding and was basically unhandled or had been mistreated by humans. She was barely handleable and very distrusting of humans. Celine reached out to us and asked that she come to the Sanctuary at Red Bell Run where she will be cared for, learn to trust humans and become a good equine citizen. This is an excellent example of why Auction Houses (many now owned by kill buyers) should be regulated heavily. An Animal Control Officer (paid for by the auction house) should be onsite and instances such as this should be immediately reported and the owner required to provide veterinarian care. It is horrific abuse to force an injured baby such as Blossom through an auction to make a few bucks when the owner should be providing veterinarian care.
Cassie and her foal Blossom in the auction
Type: Standard Mule
Color: Dark Bay
In 2016, Winslow was rescued by a well-meaning lady from Alabama when she saw that he was shipping to slaughter. He was one-eyed, half- (well, mostly-) starved, feet were a mess and he didn’t have much to recommend him. His new owner found herself unable to afford his care and turned to Red Bell Run. We made arrangements for him to go to Second Chance Equine Rescue, a rescue partner in Georgia, supporting him financially until we had an opening. The good folks at Second Chance Equine Rescue discovered that while Winslow liked being petted, he had no interest in walking on a lead line, standing for the farrier or doing anything at all resembling work. They worked with him diligently and when an opening came up at Red Bell Run, Winslow was ready to be a good citizen!
However – Winslow is a sensitive mule and within four hours of his arrival laid down with a bellyache (colic)! We rushed him tot he Tryon Equine Clinic where he was given IV fluids and pain medication, recovering overnight and ready to come back to his new home. We have learned that Winslow has opinions and can be quite dramatic in expressing them! For several months thereafter, every 30 days, Winslow would lie down and colic, so back to the clinic he would go. In examining Winslow, it was discovered that Winslow was on the far side of twenty years old, lacked most of his teeth and flatly refused any type of paste given by mouth. After several months of monthly clinic visits, Winslow began to settle into his new life at Red Bell Run.
It took a little time, but we found a group of equines that Winslow is comfortable with and he lives happily with his “girlfriends”, Cheyanne, a beautiful paint mare, and Cassie, a pretty little Paso Fino cross. Starvation has taken its toll on Winslow, and his heart is very compromised. We have had every diagnostic test possible performed, including wearing a Holter monitor to record his heart rate. Winslow suffers from three different heart abnormalities. Several drug therapies were attempted but in the end weren’t found to be effective. So, Winslow lives his best life under constant observation for any signs of heart failure or discomfort, grazing, eating his mush (no teeth), and flirting with his girls. We know his time is limited but as we do for every equine, we will make however many days he has left, good ones.
Winslow is why we do what we do. Living his best life!