Behind All That Glitter

Behind All That Glitter
This is the story of CharliK, a registered racing quarter horse.

We can only surmise that CharliK’s training as a racing quarter horse probably began when she was separated from her mother at six months of age.  She suffered through a harsh and cruel training regime.   The foal will be broken!  It will be made to obey commands through fear and pain.  Many horses suffer from various injuries well before their first race.  Tremendous stress is placed on their immature skeleton which causes limb fractures, pulled ligaments and tendons that are strained.   Most of these foals have short lives.   Thousands of these horses are sold to abattoirs in Canada and Mexico.

Running long distances at high speed is not natural for a horse; therefore, it will rebel at this ruthless training.  Various devices and methods are used that give the horse no other recourse other than to submit to the conditioning imposed on him by its trainer.   To force the horse into submission, harsh and cruel treatments are often applied.

CharliK is now about 10 years old.  So what happened in her life to bring her to such sordid conditions?   Law enforcement who confiscated the horse, stated that at one time she had won quite a lot money when she raced in Ruidoso.  Her racing career stopped when she reared up and flipped over on her back.  No further information is available at this time.  The rescue group will look for a possible tattoo inside her upper lip which would be linked to her registration papers. The tattoo would confirm her registered name and the history of her racing career.

CharliK was a seizure by the Sheriff’s Department after her owner died.  The law officers found her alone in a dark, dank stable, extremely underweight.  Her feet and legs were deep in feces and urine.  Pooping sand and wood, an indication of terrible starvation.  Wood chewing can also be an abnormal behavior from lack of socialization.  Her hooves were “bandaged” with duct tape.   She came to the rescue organization smelling of decay.

Above left: CharliK's duct taped hooves. Above right: Fungus is causing loss of coat.

The day after the horse was brought to the rescue organization, the vet paid her a visit.  He examined her in an outdoor pen.   This poor horse enjoying the sunlight for the first time in several months!  CharliK was estimated to easily be 300 pounds underweight and dehydrated. She is a tall horse 16.2 hands.  An average quarter horse is about 15 hands.  The vet removed the tape covering her hooves.  Someone had butchered them by cutting off too much of the hooves.  Both front hooves have large holes draining pus and parts of her hooves have fallen off.  Her feet are so very sore!  

The vet cleaned, packed the holes with an antibiotic ointment and bandaged her feet.  She will require dressing changes every ten days for the next ten weeks.  It will take about six weeks before her feet begin to heal.  She has whip marks everywhere on her body from her days on the race track.  She is losing her coat because of a fungus, a form of sweat rot and has sores everywhere on her body from insect stings.   Her skin is raw underneath the halter she came with which has since been removed.  Her condition is guarded, but she is fighting hard to stay alive.  It will take six to seven months for this horse to regain her health, if she survives.

For now she is fed either oat hay, grass hay or wheat hay with Total Equine, a high calorie feed, but in small quantities every 3 hours.  She is given antibiotics and pain medication twice daily.  She has been dewormed.  Her teeth will be floated at some point.   She is sprayed with a fly repellant called - War Paint!

CharliK is scared, stressed, confused and exhausted!  Her foster mother has fallen in love with her because she is so sweet and gentle.  As CharliK was fed her last meal of the day, late on her second evening at the rescue, her foster mom told her how beautiful she is and how much she loves her.  CharliK just looked at her with her big, soft brown eyes, as if to say thank you for rescuing me.

What has been done to CharliK is inhumane!  No animal should ever experience this sort of brutal treatment or abusive neglect from owners.  But for now, she will receive the love and attention she always deserved and her health will be tended to.  One way for us to help CharliK survive this physical and psychological ordeal, is to donate to her care.  To quote her foster mother:  “Poor girl!  She is possibly one of my greatest challenges!”  

The cost of caring for such a debilitated horse will be expensive.  There is no guarantee CharliK will recover, but this rescue group is committed to bringing CharliK back to her full potential, a healthy, stunning looking horse.  I invite you to be part of this transformation.   Please join me with your generous donation.

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