Type: Shetland Pony
Markings: Star & Strip
Hallie’s tale is a sad tale of good intentions gone terribly wrong. In August 2018, a series of photos depicting some emaciated and neglected miniature horses came through Celine Myers’ Ark Watch Foundation newsfeed. The little horses were standing on a small patch of dirt in the heat of the Texas summer without any food, water or shelter, not even a single tree to provide them with a spot of shade. A small foal in the group had an eye injury that had already been left untreated for more than a month. The horses were starving, two of them had died and several others were very near death. Celine knew that most of the little horses would not survive a long trip to rescue in such critical condition. She arranged to have the four in the worst condition transported to a local vet clinic to immediately begin receiving the treatment they needed.
The man who was housing the equines, no doubt realizing his fault, took the poor ponies to Celine’s hauler’s ranch and unloaded them in the middle of the night. When Celine’s hauler checked them in the light of day, he was absolutely horrified. While loading the four minis to get them to the vet clinic, one little white gelding went down and died. The poor thing was so close to getting the help he needed but he couldn’t hang on for one more moment. Two of the ponies that did survive were a sorrel mare and her paint colt with the eye injury. Celine named them “Hallie” and “Cody”.
Temperament wise, Hallie turned out to be as wild as a March hare! She was not at all friendly or handleable but she was in fairly decent condition. Unable to ultrasound Hallie’s lungs, the vet made the decision to not stress Hallie out any further by forcing the issue. The vet did not want to introduce any sedation at this early stage in Hallie’s rehabilitation given that: 1) Hallie was anemic from malnourishment and 2) she suspected Hallie had pneumonia, despite the fact that she did not present with any clinical signs of respiratory illness.
Hallie was very protective of her colt Cody. This made treating Cody’s eye a challenge for the vet team but it was critical they tend to Cody’s eye as soon as he arrived at the clinic. Hallie didn’t make it easy, but the team at Reata was able to successfully treat her little colt for his injury, a sticky stifle and eventually Rhodococus. Cody’s trials are a story for another time. Celine Myers and Dr. Sutherland’s team at Reata Equine Hospital had their hands full with this pair, but they persevered!
However, even after settling in and spending some time at the clinic, Hallie did not come around at all. If Hallie never had to deal with another human being for the rest of her life, it would suit her just fine. Celine and Dr. Sutherland came up with a plan and decided to anesthetize Hallie to ultrasound her lungs and trim her hooves. Hallie’s lung scan did show evidence of comet tails in both lung fields. They treated Hallie in the least invasive way possible with two Excede injections. The farrier was able to trim Hallie’s front hooves, but even after sedation, Hallie kicked and bit as an attempt was made to trim her back hooves
Throughout Hallie and Cody’s stay at Reata Clinic, the vet often expressed to Celine that she had serious concerns about anyone handling Hallie. She felt Hallie was dangerous. With that in mind, Celine tried to get Hallie and Cody into Black Beauty Ranch for lifetime sanctuary. Unfortunately, Black Beauty couldn’t accommodate them, so they were stuck at the clinic.
In the Summer of 2019, one year after rescue, Celine reached out to us at Red Bell Run. All of the medical needs had been addressed for these two little horses. With Hallie still unhandleable, both Celine and Mary believed that love and knowledgeable handling was the answer, and there was fortunately room at the Sanctuary. Hallie and Cody soon boarded an Equine Express trailer to their new home at Red Bell Run. Our staff worked extensively with Hallie to gain her trust. It took some time, but thankfully, Hallie can now be handled although she will probably have a lifetime distrust of strangers. She and Cody now live peacefully at our Silo Barn in adjoining stalls with dry lots, grass paddocks and plenty of people to love them!