A Rescue Story
This drawing was donated by Julie N. of Equine Artwork
Syracuse, New York. Three Arab stallions and one Arab mare are standing in their stalls, waiting for their lunch.
These Arabs are gorgeous animals with excellent bloodlines and two of them are retired halter champions. Three stallions and a mare.
The mare and two of the stallions are already in their twenties and have seen a lot during their happy days. They were used to caring and loving hands that handled them, brushed them, and braided their long manes. Hands that patted them to demonstrate love, praise, admiration, and reassurance. The younger stallion is almost 6 years old and shares this horse barn with his sire, his dam, and the third stallion. These horses are patiently waiting in their stalls for somebody to come and feed them. Now, ... you probably think that these wonderful animals are happily munching on their hay in their fancy stalls and that every second the door will open and humans will brighten the dark barn with happy laughter, affectionate calling, and with arms full of hay and grain … Unfortunately, you could not be further from the truth.
These four Arabian beauties wait for somebody to come to throw moldy hay in front of their curled feet and to give them some water. These four Arabs have not seen bright daylight in far too many years. These wonderful animals have not had their stalls cleaned in many, many years. Nor have they seen a veterinarian, a farrier, a brush in many years. The 5 year old stallion has never left the barn since the day he was born. He doesn’t know the chirps of the birds, the green of the pastures, the scent of the wind, the flowers … he does not know the scent of life!
On the 18th of March Carpe Diem receives the phone call. Only a few days later Carpe Diem NY rescue coordinators are on their way to Syracuse, NY. The plan is to evaluate the situation, the condition of the horses, and to meet with the veterinarian who was previously informed. After 15 years (!!!) of confinement and hardly any human contact, it is expected that it will take at least a few days, and the help of a professional trainer, to get the horses especially the little 5 year old stallion used to halter and lead rope and to be able to get them on a trailer. Therefore, no final foster home and transportation arrangements have been made for this day…
Our coordinators could not believe their eyes when they arrived at the property. The barn was rotten and partially starting to break down. Although they expected the worst they were shocked by the horrible sights of the inside of the barn, the piercing smell, and the heart breaking sight of the two remaining stallions who over the years had “eaten” holes into their “prison walls”. Lucky Nash, the young stallion greeted them curiously, obviously welcoming the unusual attention. Despite the fact, that Lucky Nash had hardly been handled since he was born, he behaved very cooperative. He was fresh, and with a lack of respect towards humans, but rather in a playful than aggressive way. The sight of the older gray stallion, 23 years old "T-Shells", was heart-breaking, according to coordinator Tanya, “I have never seen anything like this”, reported the long term “foster mom” of Carpe Diem horses, “T-Shells was standing in the corner, coughing terribly, looking out of the dirty window. Because of his poor condition and his heavy breathing we were convinced we have to ask to put him down. And his feet …!!!“
The vet arrived and T-Shells was turned out for proper examination. As soon as he left his dusty stall, his coughing improved and by the end of the examination the vet announced that T-Shells will live. Lucky Nash was in satisfactory condition. Thanks to the fact that their box stalls had been fairly large they had enough muscle tone and therefore were in the physical condition to make the trip. Arrangements were made in record time, and only 3 hours later they were on their way to their temporary foster home.
The same night it was decided to take part of T-Shells overgrown hoof off to make him more comfortable. Without any tranquilizer, and only reassured from loving hands and voices, T-Shells amazed everybody by standing perfectly still when part of his hoof was taken off with an electric saw. His whole leg was shaking, but T-Shells just looked around with huge eyes and took bites of the offered hay and it was obvious to everyone that this intelligent stallion just knew that whatever just happened to him meant something positive. Lucky Nash took a while longer to settle in. Only about a week later he was sent to a veterinarian clinic where he was thoroughly examined and castrated. He was slowly introduced to the real life. The young stallion, now gelding, who never knew the green of the pastures now enjoys nothing more than rolling in his paddock, staring at and exploring his new surroundings and his new life. Understandably, he detests nothing more than any kind of confinement and has to be lovingly convinced with lots of horse treats to return into his stall at the end of a long day out. Sadly, he is also scared of wide open spaces. It is planned to send him to a professional trainer to help this young man with some of the basics. And “Nash” sure is already trying very hard…
It took Carpe Diem about 3 weeks to learn the whole truth of the stallions’ background and pedigree. One of the four surviving Arabians, the mare, who is Lucky Nash’s mother Naddya, used to be a halter champion when she was 3 years old. T-Shells was a promising, intelligent stallion with a bright future ahead of him. Naddya, granddaughter of Arab legend *BASK, and T-Shells, grandson of Arab legend *SERAFIX, as well as 8 other horses where in this family’s possession when the wife and “main owner” died. We don’t know when the other 7 animals died and under what circumstances, but acquaintances of the family confirmed that none of the horses have been outside the stall for 15 years. One trainer stated, “Amazing! I was convinced that these animals had lost their minds.” When the husband died in January of this year, his daughters, now adults, decided to part with the horses. The other 2 surviving Arabs, including Nash’s dam, were saved by the private rescue person who informed Carpe Diem about this tragedy.
Lucky Nash will soon be ready for adoption, and Carpe Diem decided that his father T-Shells, who's name is now “Silberprinz”, will stay with the organization for life. He is too old to be gelded, and everybody has grown very attached to him, and feels overprotective of this wonderful gentleman. From the day of his rescue, he has behaved in a wonderful and very cooperative manner and Carpe Diem feels that he deserves to spend the rest of his life as a “pasture ornament”, who’s only duty it is to enjoy green pastures and human love and attention. He was chosen to be Carpe Diem's spokeshorse, and “CD” hopes to enjoy his companionship for many years to come. His son Lucky Nash will make somebody a wonderful companion. He is a beautiful horse with a big heart. Nash cannot get enough of human attention and he sure is getting lots of it.
UPDATE SEPTEMBER 2000:
Nash's adoption has been finalized and arrangements have been made that he will go to his new home in CA very soon. CA IS out of our adoption range, but in this particular case we made an exception in this gelding's best interest. Nash is now stabled in PA until he is leaving the east coast.
Silberprinz became friends with "Algebra" and "Barney". Old Barney definitely runs the show and Algebra and the Prince became inseperable. Here is a new picture of the Prince and his "harem".
Prinz with his friends
UPDATE MARCH 2002: We moved "the Prince" and our other residents to our new location in Wantage, NJ and we are happy to announce that they are all doing great. Prince is extremely well behaved and loves attention. We are very excited that we found a place that allows us to keep most of our residents together. New pictures will be published soon.