Mabel’s Transformation

Friday, when Apache and I came back from our lesson, a brown blur appeared. A horse was galloping full speed towards us, then stopped on a dime at the gate. What energy! Who was that?

Not me. Nope.

No, not Fiona. Last July, Kathleen rescued a large, dark bay horse, who we named Mabel. She was in such sad shape, she melted our hearts. She was skin and bones, and had open wounds on her legs.

You could see her spine and her hip bones stuck out sharply.

Kathleen spent a lot of time getting her veterinarian treatment, dealt with severe choke, and tried to get weight on her. It was slow going. she also had ulcers.

Legs all fixed up. She was all leg, hips, and bones.

I admit that I thought she was pretty ugly. Her head seemed huge for her, even though she was tall. She looked mean and upset. Well, she probably was. She had to feel horrible, which would make anyone irritable. I’m sure her back hurt a lot. It looked awful.

It’s hard to see, but her back looked like a roller coaster.

When Kathleen left in November, I took over feeding her horses. I just kept giving Mabel more food, but the winter was hard on her. At least she had shelter. By spring, I decided to try to get her more healthy myself, since Kathleen’s health stuff meant she couldn’t.

Also. One of the other horses but her tail completely off. She was the bottom of the pecking order.

I’ve been giving her the coconut stuff Drew gets to put on weight, and I’ve given her amino acid oil. She’s been steadily putting on weight since spring and gotten noticeably friendlier.

Trixie trying to work on her.

We have fewer horses here now, and they’ve been getting supplemental hay, so her life has been more peaceful. She’s grown fond of Apache, so he’s now her protector. Her coat grew in shiny and bright this summer. And her demeanor is 100% better now that she’s had her teeth taken care of.

Her face is now pleasant. All the pain wrinkles are gone!

Her tail has grown at least a foot, and it’s so thick and shiny! Her feet look better, which may explain why she’s running now. She gets them trimmed by a pro soon and will be on a regular schedule.

She’s shiny and of normal weight! And look at that face!

I look at these recent photos and get all teary. She’s happy, except when I try to take burs out. She may never be rideable much, but I’m trying to slowly help her build up her muscles.

Big and cute.

She will soon start getting bodywork, too. The last time we tried, she wasn’t ready and it hurt and scared her. Maybe now she’s ready! At least she’s got friends, people who care for her, and good nutrition. I’m so glad I could step in and help out!

We’re looking forward to doing more with her. Kathleen is getting better and so is Mabel. These things take time. I’m happy for them both!

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

4 thoughts on “Mabel’s Transformation”

  1. Mabel looks wonderful – just beautiful! Ya done good, m’friend. The weight is perfect on her, and her back looks fine in the photos. One step at a time.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I can so relate to this blog. I rescued one of my favorite horses last November. His then owner had retired him as a companion horse, but life events of his keepers left him without proper care. He was skin and bone and depressed.
    He is 30 years old, but looks like his much younger self now. Proper nutrition, dental care and a safe environment with old friends is making is senior years happy and comfy.

    Liked by 1 person

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