On January 3, we welcomed a very sweet pony to Horses of Tir Na Nog. On December 31, 2023, we had notified by County of San Diego Department of Animal Services that a pony had been rescued as a stray in Boulvard in San Diego’s East County. No one had claimed her and due to various medical conditions, she was due to be euthanized in just a few days. Fortunately, one of our wonderful volunteers, Rachel Sarner, had recently expressed an interest in sponsoring a horse, so we reached out to her. Could she help save this mare? Fortunately, she agreed and this allowed us to make a commitment to Animal Services before the mare’s euthanasia deadline. Josie is now safely at Horses of Tir Na Nog, which will be her forever home thanks to the generous underwriting of Rachel Sarner. Thank you Rachel, and welcome home Josie!
Dr. Harlan believes this pony is about 27 years old. She is definitely underweight, so our top priority is to help her gain weight so that she can manage the winter temperatures easily. Fortunately, she has a very good appetite.
Dr. Harlan spent a lot of time with her on January 5, establishing a baseline and developing a care plan. Dr. Harlan suspects she has arthritis in her neck. This may be causing some weakness in her hind end.
An old injury is suspected to be causing hock arthritis in her right rear leg. This injury has left a scar and crated changed in the leg bone itself. There is thickening in that leg as the result of lymphoedema. She has a splint injury in her left rear leg, but it does not seem to be causing her any issues.
As a white pony, her eyes are going to be a concern, as they are susceptible to sun damage. She also has “allergy eyes.” We are currently administering eye ointment and monitoring her eye lids. She will be one of the ranch residents that needs a fly mask for UV protection year-round.
Dr. Harlan floated her teeth. She had some sharp points that were digging into her cheek. Most of her teeth are worn down to the gums. So, she will need to be on a pellet diet. She can no longer grind hay well enough to pull nutrients out of it. This is a common issue in senior horses and we have a number of horses that are fed pellet-only diets. We’re eager to see her gain weight on her pellets.
We realize that this post might give the impression that there is a lot wrong with Josie. It was the multitude of issues that concerned Animal Services and made euthanasia an option for her. Josie is pretty “typical” of our ranch residents. All of her conditions should be manageable and we should be able to provide her with a high quality of life during her golden years. This is possible because of you and your support.
One thing that was clear as Josie was poked and prodded is that she is a very sweet girl. It is not hard to image that she has been loved by children during her life. How many children did she teach to ride? How many little hands braided her mane and brushed her tail? It breaks our hearts that she ended up along the side of a road in Boulevard and no one came looking for her. What became of the children and families that once loved her?
We are so grateful to all of you for creating a safe haven for horses and ponies like Josie. She now has a forever home where her belly will always be full and where volunteers will brush her and tell her what a wonderful pony she is. Thank you!