Charlie’s Story

Watch the video first, then read his story…

His Story Begins — Auction Horses Rescue, Rescues Charlie!

If it were not for a Facebook page run by some amazing “invisible” do-gooders (Auction Horses Rescue), Charlie would be dead.  They photographed him at an auction and put out a plea to help him.  I want people to go to AHR’s Facebook page and see the amazing work they are doing.  There are negative people who accuse them of being brokers who “flip” horses for a profit.  This is absolutely not true at all.

So please, go and show your support and “like” and “share” their page.  Last I checked, they had about 4,000 “like” fans.  Me and Charlie are one — so join us by joining them and let’s get more LIKES for Auction Horses Rescue.

Charlie’s Time Line — He Was Running Out of Time

Charlie had been used the summer of 2012 by a rental barn in Burbank, CA.  Even little kids could ride him because he was so docile.  I can tell you, however, now that I know Charlie and saw him in the state he was being ridden, he was so compliant because he was weak as hell and scared to death.  The reason he did not buck little kids off was because he barely had the strength to walk by the end of summer.  And, he was in more than a little pain.  His front shoes were old and his hooves were overgrown.  He was unshod on the back, and he had suffered a leg injury that cracked his hoof from the tip all the way to the coronet that needed work.  All his hooves were sharp, chipping, and overgrown.  He also had numerous bite marks and cuts from being attacked by other horses, most likely because he was old, run down, and so little food was available they had to fight for every bite.  He had a terrible crush injury on his neck, some unknown front leg injury, cancer on his face, and if all this was not bad enough, someone had carved the initials “TX” into his hide with a knife.  Yes, a knife.  Bastards.

At the end of summer the “camp” program sent an unknown number of their horses to auction.  Charlie was lucky, others sent from the facility ended right back on a truck that took them to Mexico to be slaughtered.  From what I gleaned from Facebook trails, I think only three, including Charlie, made it to safety.

Note:  If you ever see horses or ponies at a summer rental barn, fair, zoo, or carnival, etc. that are thin, sick or injured — report it them.  Don’t accept excuses, like “he’s just old.”  The reality is, some businesses buy up old, sick horses (because they are gentle) use them up over the summer then send them back to auction.  They pay little for them, and get money back (mostly form kill buyers) when they are resold and just make as much money off them as possible over the summer.  These horses are underfed, receive little or no medical care or ever see a farrier.  No horse deserves that kind of treatment and exploitation.

I digress …

Charlie Auction 09 01 2012Rescue Day 1

On September 1, 2012 Charlie was sent to an auction in Ontario, CA.  Volunteers from Auction Horses Rescue were there, as they always are, when new horses come in.   They saw Charlie among the sick, aging, injured, and young, untrained horses in the lot awaiting their fate and posted his picture on their Facebook page.

And that is where Charlie’s rescue story begins …

  • September 1, 2012, Euclid Auction in Ontario, CA.  An post from Auction Horses Rescue with Charlie’s picture read, “My first and favorite love fit the day, this old man — 905. Old qh gelding. Hope he ends up someplace safe.”  [Thanks to Auction Horse’s Rescue, he did!]
  • 4:41 PM Auction Horse Rescue (AHR) reports that when they arrived Charlie was tied up on the other side of the pen away from the water.  When he was untied, you can see his “water” was nothing but a mass of green slime (picture on the right) and this is after the AHR woman cleaned up the water as much as she could.
  • 6:16 PM a Facebook donor sent a donation for Charlie’s bail. [God bless you Amber Reed and anyone else who also helped raise his bail.]

Charlie waiting for his rescuers.Rescue Day 2

  • September 2, 2012.  A kind woman, a local trainer, took Charlie.  I think she may have even contributed to, or paid the rest of his bail.  But she was the one who took responsibility for him and saw that he got immediate veterinary treatment.  The trainer had  a friend (another trainer) who was looking for a school horse and she saw how sweet Charlie was and had high hopes that with time and proper care he could be a strong, healthy horse again.

Charlie, rescued horseA few days later Charlie made one more trip, his third in a week, and ended up at the wonderful barn where my daughters and I were riding and kept our other horses, Far West Farms.  They began caring for him immediately.

He was so starved he could only have hay and in carefully measured amounts and Charlie was not allowed to have any treats.  When a horse is that starved uncontrolled refeeding can lead to terrible medical problems such as colic, laminitis, kidney failure, and even death.  As tempting as it is to just start throwing food at a starving horse, I would learn it is an art and should involve a vet or someone who has experience with refeeding.

Charlie says, “Unfortunately, my new mom (Lahle) lost her own horse, Merlin, just after I arrived at Far West Farms.  She was absolutely devastated.   Far West’s kind barn manager knew how sad she was and let her take me on as a project since she really did not want anything to do with horses anymore and I did not want anything to do with people.  We were a perfect match and bonded quickly, and before long, Far West made it possible for us to be together forever.”

Charlie’s Angels (thanks to those who saved him, kept him alive, and helped me help him with his rehabilitation.)

Charlie 8 Months After Being Rescued

How could anyone throw away (much less abuse) such a sweet, kind, intelligent horse?  I no longer ride and Charlie is no longer ridden.  Technically, he could be ridden, but it would be painful to him and I figure he has been through enough in life already.  And so, I retired him and he is now my BFF and big red dog.