So this is the new mare, Blue Silver Missile, aka Missile...Now shortened to Miss...
I keep wanting to call her Tiny, but that is probably because I referred to her as 'the Tiny Watch mare' for the first couple of months after I bought her because I didn't know her barn name. Miss is actually quite a suitable name for her as she is a complete sweetheart and although she is a 17y/o mare, she is still very dainty and lady-like.
As with almost all of the horses I buy, Miss has a bit of a history. She was a finished, money earning head and heel horse for the person who bred for and raised her and from what I understand, she is also trained for barrel racing. She was well-loved and well-taken care of until her owner died. Rather than sell her, the son of the owner simply moved Miss and her 1/2 sister to a back pen and there they sat, poorly cared for, for SEVEN years.
The people I bought Miss from, had went to look at the 1/2 sister as a potential broodmare for their program and upon seeing the condition of the mares, and being soft-hearted people, they not only took the 1/2 sister, but insisted on taking Miss as well. I doubt I could have left this sweet, sweet mare behind either. Both mares feet were in horrible shape and both mares were thin. These people did the best they knew to do and Miss's 1/2 sister came out fine. Miss?....She's still struggling with front feet issues, particularly her right front.
I ended up with Miss simply due to seeing a picture of a very nice foal. Upon seeing the bloodlines of that foal's dam, I had to ask if she was for sale. They said, 'No, that mare is not for sale, but we do have another one, a 1/2 sister to her' and the rest just happened. I bought Miss sight unseen. Literally. I agreed to buy her based on nothing more than her bloodlines. It was only afterward that I remembered to ask for a picture. I was aware that Miss was not sound, so I cannot fault the people who sold her to me in any way. I do think the reason they agreed to sell her and sell her for cheap is because she was not sound and they didn't really know what to do for her and I promised that I could and would do for her what I can and would be her final home.
Miss did produce a beautiful, little black filly for these people...
Sadly, that darling little filly developed joint ill and had to be put down. Miss was not bred back, and that, I also think was because of her front feet issues. They probably weren't sure that Miss would hold up, the way she was, through another pregnancy.
The minute I saw Miss for the first time, I knew she needed to see my farrier as soon as I could get her there...but alas...he was unavailable before we left for Hawaii. Miss was still the same, kinda lame, but not in trouble, when we got back, but I called and made an appointment with the farrier. It wasn't quite quick enough though because Miss went 3-legged lame a couple of days before the farrier got home. There wasn't much I could do for her, except wait.
The news from the farrier was not what I was hoping to hear. As soon as he got the sole cleaned out of that right front foot, he found that the sole was plumb mushy right in front of the frog. Right where the coffin bone sits. He put a full, hard pad on that foot to give it some protection and gave me two options; wait a week to see if the sole hardened up or get x-rays immediately.
Well, no sense in waiting. We need to see what is going on with Miss's coffin bone. If it was rotated, then the farrier said to call him and he would immediately re-do that shoeing job to provide Miss with some relief.
I left the farrier's, drove directly to the vet's and made an appointment. I also picked up some bute (having run out of my usual herbal anti-inflammatories). Besides a couple of grams of bute to help ease Miss's discomfort, I slapped a Back On Track sheet on her for a few hours to help ease her muscle tension...
The vet's office was good enough to get me in the very next day and x-rays were taken of Miss's right front. And the verdict is...
Old founder, from the years of neglect that Miss suffered have left her coffin bones very cupped, with disintegration at the point.
This is the left front and the better of the two feet...
Here is the right front, and obviously this is the foot that Miss is struggling with...
The poor girl has like, NO sole and there is significant disruption in her coffin bone.
Any thoughts I had about possibly bringing Miss back as a riding horse and seeing what she was capable of on the barrel pattern are over. However, now that my farrier knows what is going on, he believes that we can significantly improve Miss's situation and she can go ahead and be the broodmare that I bought her to be.
Part of me is sorely disappointed that Miss is not already in foal and yet part of me realizes that she was probably in too much discomfort to carry a foal this year anyway. Better to get her fixed up and comfortable, so that when she is bred next spring, she has better odds of carrying a full-term baby. At best, I realize that I may only get that one foal, or if I am lucky, maybe 2 out of her. After all, she will be 19 before she delivers the first one, but with a pedigree like this mare's...One is generally good enough.
So there is my latest project in a nutshell. In spite of the time frame, I still feel pretty darned lucky to have the opportunity to get even one foal out of a mare like this. Miss is not only royally bred, she is a joy to be around and her and Frenchie get along wonderfully, so maybe some of Miss's sweetness will rub off. ;-)