No Free Horses!

No Free Horses!
Shiloh - a rescued horse (date was 7/14)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A Treasure Named Diamond

A few months ago, I took on a foster OTTB (Off-the-track-Thoroughbred) gelding named Diamond.  He, along with 4 skeletal yearlings, was rescued from being sold for slaughter.  When he came to me, he was covered with Rain Rot and had Scratches all over his lower legs.  His ribs and hip bones were showing, but he was not as thin as the yearlings whom he babysat . . . and who ate his tail to above his hocks.  Diamond's rescuer had room for the yearlings, but with all the other horses she owned, didn't have room for Diamond, a 5-year old, dark bay gelding.

When Diamond arrived here, I found that he also has very bad scars above both knees and across the front of his hocks and down his rear cannons . . . probably due to running into a wire fence (according to my vet.)

Diamond's scarred front legs

Ideally, I need to find a home for Diamond, but not many folks want a young TB with badly scarred legs . . . not when there are so many other horses available through online sites and at local auctions.

One of the scars continues to open up, and the vet said that it's a sure sign that there is a particle or piece of something in the wound, and that x-rays and exploratory surgery may be the only ways of finding it.  Today, after arriving home from work, I brought Diamond to the barn to clean him up and work with his feet . . . and irrigate his wound.

Profile of Diamond's left front knee.

First, I opened the wound . . .

then, I irrigated it with betadine.
Diamond was only a tiny bit fidgety . . . but otherwise,
he was a perfect gentleman.

As I scraped off some winter hair and lots of mud, I was happy to see that the Rain Rot and Scratches are all gone . . . and that his ribs and hip bones are well-covered.  He's in good flesh.

The starving yearlings chewed his tail, but it's getting longer!

Diamond has become more trusting about giving his feet.  When I first tried to work with his feet, a couple of weeks after he arrived, he was not very trusting and pulled his fronts away and tried to kick with his hinds.  I didn't saddle him today, but two weeks ago, I finally saddled him and bridled him with my Dr. Bristol . . . and rode him in the round pen for awhile . . . and though he didn't feel "solid" to me, he did okay (considering it had probably been quite awhile since he'd had someone on his back) . . . After some initial review, he gave to the bit nicely . . . Didn't seem to know turn on the haunches, but didn't do too badly with some turns on the forehand . . . And while his scars look awful and the one on his right front seems to limit how much he can flex his knee when lifting his hoof for trimming and cleaning, he moves soundly at all gaits . . .

Yesterday, a friend stopped by to chat, and during the conversation, she mentioned how, years ago, she used to exercise TBs at the local track and work in a couple of private barns . . . but somewhere along the way, she allowed some disappointments in her life to derail her from working with horses . . . and she has been miserable without having them as an active focus in her life . . . SO . . .  after urging her to follow her heart's desire so that she won't have regrets later on, she decided to start coming here regularly to work with Diamond . . . and maybe, just maybe . . . she will decide that he's the prescription that she needs in order to bring horses back into her life . . . and maybe, just maybe, Diamond will have a home with someone who will love him despite his scars . . . and even if she decides not to take Diamond, the interaction will help them both, and will make Diamond more adoptable . . . because Diamond has that desireable "soft" eye . . .

 . . . and a trusting heart . . . and the condition of one's heart is the most important thing.


  1. Poor Diamond... but he sounds like a sweetheart, and also that he's flourishing under your loving hand. :-) I hope it works out for your friend, it sure sounds like it would the most ideal arrangement for both Diamond and her!

    You're becoming quite the prolific blogger... the networking part takes time. Be patient. They will come. Because you've got the makings of a great read here. It takes several months to be noticed, but as more people find out about your blog, it's amazing how much traffic it can garner after 6 months or a year!

  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Suz . . .
    I'm so used to e-mailing with friends the past 8 years, that it feels just like writing an e-mail . . .


Thank you for connecting with me by sharing your thoughts . . . it's one way friendships grow!