Abandoned Draft Horses Need Help

This is Jack and Walter they are both Belgian draft horses that we met a month ago. Our names are Lindsey, and Jess, and we were lucky enough to come into these horse lives. They were abandoned in a small nearby pasture, and were without care from their previous owners for quite some time. We came to be involved with these horses through the community’s concern. They hadn't been properly fed, and Jack, who we have found out is the older of the two, is very underweight because of this.  They both badly need to see a farrier, to get their feet done. They both have severe cracks in their very overgrown feet. We had the vet come out to do a general checkup and we were told they need their teeth done as well. The vet will be coming out next week for their teeth, we are hopeful that Jack will gain weight after his dentist appointment.

We briefly spoke to their previous owner and he couldn’t tell us much about their history. We don’t know their age, although the vet estimated Jack to be 25 and Walter to be 12.  They seem to have had very limited handling, as Walter is very nervous and becomes fearful when introduced to new things. His fear was often misconstrued as aggression by his previous owner who was very inexperienced with horses. Leaving the horses neglected and ultimately abandoned.  Word traveled fast in our little community about the aggressive abandoned horses, and no one was up for the challenge. After meeting them, and working with Walter and Jack we saw them make progress and felt they weren't a lost cause, so we decided to take them on. Not realizing the financial challenge of 4000 lbs of horse.

These two guys are very big horses around 2000 lbs each. We moved them to better pastures and started feeding them grass hay, along with soaked alfalfa pellets mixed with supplements for weight gain and joint pain as Jack is old and has an old injury in is right hind leg which gives him trouble. They have been staying with us for over a month and they have eaten the pasture down to the point that we have started feeding them about 70 lbs of hay a day. 

Our goal is to return them to good health as we work with them on their manners and get them to a place where they can be easily handled. Our hope for them is to find them a forever home, however we feel there is quite a bit of work to do beforehand. We have been working on their table manners and they are quite pushy. When we first met Walter, he hadn’t been haltered in over a year and we have been getting him to a place where he is comfortable with us putting the halter on, lunging and giving his feet. All scary things to him.  Baths are still something he worries about.

We are trying to raise money for their feed for the winter, and for their upcoming vet visit. As we continue to work on getting them ready for their forever home. We want to have food stored for ten months, as we have already started feeding them hay, our hope is to rehabilitate and rehome them by the spring.

 Hay for our winter season will cost $1882.
(A 100lbs bale of hay cost $9, they eat 70lbs a day)
The vet visit for their teeth will cost $430.
Their alfalfa will cost $920.
Their supplements will cost $600

Thank you taking the time to read our story and consider these boys. Any donations are helpful and greatly appreciated!


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Lindsey Wittersheim 
Fort Bidwell, CA
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