Timmy on intake in 2016
Timmy in 2017
Timmy in 2018
Timmy with his "mom"
Timmy in his show days
Timmy was surrendered in early 2016 when his owner could not manage his weight or give him the special care he needed. He appeared to be in his mid teens, 16.2 hh and we were told he was an Appendix QH. He arrived to us 100 lbs underweight, with severely neglected and sore feet, had an infected eye injury, and skin infections on all four legs from hoof to armpit. He was one sad looking fellow, but was always kind and patient, becoming a favorite for volunteers to handle. He was put into a refeeding program and slowly but surely all his visible ailments were healed. He recuperated nicely at within a few months was ready to be ridden. He had very flat, poor quality hooves, so needed shoes to be comfortable under saddle. It was evident that he also had some arthritis, and he was listed for adopted in a light riding capacity. He was found to be very well trained with smooth gaits in our evaluation under saddle.
A seemingly nice family came along looking for a 4H mount for their 14 year old daughter. They fell in love with Timmy and promised to keep the riding light, since the girl was just learning and not interested in jumping or running him. They had him put in shoes and she began lessons with him. Within a few months they were still plagued with lameness issues and although they loved him very much, did not have room to keep him if he could not be the intended 4H mount. He was returned to the rescue in fall of 2017, about a year after adoption. As soon as Timmy returned, we could see his issues had worsened. Most obviously, his right front fetlock had a huge swelling on the outside. It did not appear painful, but it was hard to flex, it was so large. In addition, both hind suspensories had dropped, with the right side worse than the left. His feet were still poor quality and the shoes fell off as soon as he was turned out to pasture. So, we went back to work on more rehabilitation, beginning with a very thorough vet exam. To try to diagnose the giant ankle, we did x ray, ultrasound, tapped the fluid and sent it away for testing. Five vets at the clinic reviewed the data and were stumped. They sent it all to Cornell where two more vets looked it over and said it was very unusual. They ended up labeling it a pseudobursa, probably caused by some sort of trauma. He was deemed comfortable as a pasture companion, but not cleared to ever be ridden again. We thought Timmy would be with us for life. Companion horses with obvious disabilities to not adopt easily.
In March of 2018, we got a phone call. Caller:”You have a gray horse named Timmy?” BAHR: “Why yes, yes we do.” Caller: “That’s my horse!” We had never been so happy to hear that someone loved Timmy and was looking for him! It seems his previous owner had him for 9 years. She trained him and showed him in AQHA shows. Her young daughter won multiple championships with him. He toted all the kids around the farm and was a family pet. Unfortunately, Timmy was never a very sound horse and they did not feel it was right to keep pushing him to show, so he was retired from showing. When a friend with a special needs child asked to keep Timmy at her place as a pet, the owner agreed with the understanding that he should come back when she was done with him. Tragedy struck Timmy’s new family when the husband passed away, the family sold the farm and moved away, never answering the repeated inquiries of “where was Timmy?”. Timmy’s owner was devastated her horse had been given away to parts unknown and she had no leads to find him. She searched for 4 years until a chance search by a friend on our website brought up Timmy’s description. Although his color had changed, she knew it was her old friend. Within days she was at the farm, signing the papers and taking him home once more. His little girl is now a teen, but he still nuzzled her pockets looking for treats. He will never leave again, being a babysitter to youngsters and watching the family grow.
Helen and Sullivan
Helen and Sullivan
Helen and Sullivan have one of our favorite rescue stories. BAHR was contacted by a rescue group in Georgia, with a desperate plea. It seems Helen had been abandoned, completely blind and heavily pregnant, by a roadside there. Animal Control had picked her up but could not keep her. This rescue group had stepped in and asked for assistance online. A private rescuer agreed to take her in at her place in Western NY, so the group fundraised to ship her to NY. Within weeks, the private citizen claimed Helen ate too much food, made too much mess, and she was sure there would be troubles with her upcoming foaling. She wanted the rescue group to pay for her to foal at Cornell, although there was no way to know what she had been bred to, or when she was due to foal. The group asked if we could take Helen in and foal her out, then place them in good homes. We stepped up, found a foster home experienced in foaling mares, and kept Helen to see her through her pregnancy.
Surprise! Helen had a normal birth and a beautiful, healthy colt! We named him Sullivan, Sully for short, after Helen Keller’s teacher. Helen proved an excellent mother, grew to trust people much more, and raised a very handsome fellow. After weaning, Helen was adopted by a generous supporter who had also taken in another blind horse from BAHR. The two live peacfully in big grassy fields together. Sully was adopted by one of our volunteers who grew attached while watching him grow. She has trained him from the start and he is already proving to be a super trail partner.
Trooper on intake
Trooper was part of a large scale rescue in 2014, of purebred Morgan horses by the Wayne County Rescue group. All the 22+ horses were unhandled, malnourished, and never had any sort of care. There were 9 stallions in the group, including Trooper, who were all together with mares and babies from previous years. Trooper had an open, draining sore on his face, which under examination proved to be infected teeth that had been left untreated for years. BAHR accepted the responsibility for Trooper, since his condition was the most severe of any in the group.
The following year was a series of exams and treatments. Antibiotics were minimally successful, so Trooper went to Cornell for many visits, including two surgeries to remove teeth and the surrounding dead tissues. Of course, he was also gelded and treated for the neglect he had suffered. While recovering, he had training done with Shane Ogden of Macedon, NY, and he proved to be a smart and quick study.
Trooper was a great example of how many volunteers and different people it can take for a rescue success. Everyone wanted to help and so many people played a part in his recovery and eventual adoption. Trooper is now very loved and adopted, he is riding under saddle and bareback, bitless. He is truly a miracle, thanks to the community of horse lovers that support BAHR.
Laag's Girl on intake
Laag's Girl at the sale
This beautiful gray mare was discovered in the kill pen at the Finger Lakes Livestock exchange in September 2014. Her forlorn expression, depressed demeanor, skin stretched over her bones, and dull, dry coat, described a horse who had given up on life. But something about her spoke of a glorious past and we took the chance with $75 to bring her home. The mare had a lip tattoo, but searching the usual Thoroughbred data base produced nothing. Being a gray, we did not assume she could be a Standardbred, but eventually that search revealed her past.
Laag’s Girl turned out to have been a war horse of Standardbred racing, winning races for more than 8 years with combined purses over $100,000. She went on to produce more winning offspring for her owner for many years. Her loving owner was dedicated to giving this mare a deserved retirement home, but unfortunately she unexpectedly passed away. The family thought they found a good home for Laag’s Girl to be loved, but she was passed on within months and within the year ended up in her poor condition facing the most unpleasant of fates.
Thankfully, Begin Again Rescue intervened and with the power of Facebook, revealed this amazing story. Within a few short months, an adopter fell in love with Laag’s Girl, who the rescue had renamed Crystal, and now she is named Claire. Claire is pampered, groomed, and loved. She has recovered well and now shows a spark of the racehorse she used to be. She will never be hungry, cold, or discarded again.