Charlie is a 20 year old registered American Saddlebred gelding who joined us with his half-sister by the same sire. Both are 20 years old and arrived BCS 1.5; the second photo is a couple of weeks in to his time with us, the third photo is upon intake.
Charlie is living, breathing proof of one wrong turn potentially becoming life or death. You see, Charlie was shown as a young horse – in halter, under saddle and in driving. He has breed show points. He’s not a throwaway horse no one cared about – thousands upon thousands of dollars went into making him. And yet…Charlie was given away last winter to a home which not only had no horse experience, but was completely unprepared to properly feed and care for two high-strung senior ex-show horses through the winter. To make matters worse, law enforcement declined to become involved in the two horses starving to death right in front of them, so it fell to neighbors to do the right thing and get them out of the situation.
Charlie needs a very specific situation in his retirement; one that we know will be hard to find. This horse probably lived the bulk of his life in a stall and is fairly clueless when it comes to taking social cues from other horses, so integration into the herd will take some time and understanding (one quiet gelding would be best-case scenario, although after 5 weeks in his current foster home, he seems to be doing okay in a herd of bossy mares). We are willing to adopt him to this perfect scenario, or we are willing to classify him as a sanctuary horse, where his veterinary bills will be covered the rest of his life.
Charlie is incredibly herd-bound and insecure in turnout – he needs to be on a property with one big pasture. If he is in a situation with multiple fields full of horses, he walks the fence all day, regardless of how many companions he has in his fields with him. He needs a quiet, competent handler on the ground (see also: high strung ex show horse); he is a super sweet, good boy but he becomes very uneasy when someone “tiptoes” around him (he’ll start looking for the boogers you must be scared of – which makes him very reactive).
Charlie is UTD on vaccinations, deworming, hoof trims and has a current negative Coggins. He is serviceably sound and is a lovely mover in the field. We do feel he’s likely going to be best suited as a companion; he has some hind end arthritis that may prevent him from being comfortable as a riding horse at this stage in his life.
He is steadily gaining weight on senior feed, alfalfa cubes and 24/7 access to hay and pasture. Because he is not yet at acceptable body condition, we are blanketing him when the temperature is below 50 degrees. He seems to enjoy the routine of getting all snugged up for the night.
If you would like to sponsor “Charlie” through his recovery from neglect, click here to make a donation.
If you would like to offer Charlie a forever home or a sanctuary spot, please fill out our adoption application and we will be in touch with more information.