Our Misfit Mascots
MISFIT is definitely the wrong word for our two non-conforming equine family members, because they actually fit in famously with everyone. Red is right up there in a senior position in our herd of giants - even though she is half their size - and Bugsy is the best nanny and friend for anyone and everyone that needs one at the time. He is so very gentle with all of us and especially kids that come to visit, that often he's their favorite horse here. They are both very special horses to all of us.
Bugsy was born here in 2006 to our Registered Belgian mare Savannah, who later went with her sister Sassy to live with Rod's dad. In 2007, he was sold to be a breeding and working stallion because of his great bloodlines and size, but before he left ODR he got caught in a barbed wire fence and received a terrible bone-shattering, compound, spiral fracture of his right rear leg. We found him on the morning of the 4th of July all caught up in the wire and yet still on his feet. There was a foot long gaping hole from just below his 'knee' down to his ankle and bone was sticking out everywhere. He stood calmly while we cut him out & loaded him up to go to the vet. We were informed it would never heal properly, the bone was shattered, there were bone fragments everywhere, he'd never walk without a limp and definitely never run. But we could see it in his eyes that he wanted very much to live, so we took him home and started a 2 and 1/2 YEAR long mending process.
The nice man that was going to buy him ending up getting cancer and passing away. So we decided Bugs would stay here and be our mascot - he was just a big pet anyway. Now, Luke has ridden him under saddle a couple of times and he seems to like it, but we are very careful with him.
Early in the healing process, our vet had to come out and take a football sized bunch of proud flesh off of his leg. Ann decided to cut out the proud flesh, apply medicine and bandage it DAILY. Then it actually started to close up! Every day Bugsy would come up from the pasture, Ann would open the gate, put on his halter and the routine would begin. Before too long, he'd walk out with no halter, walk over to the stocks and climb in!!! The cutting had to hurt and the medicine had to sting but our Bugs is such a great Belgian that he put up with it all - happy to still be alive and walking.
The leg probably will always be swollen and scarred and there is still a golf-ball sized spot that Ann treats every couple of weeks. But Bugsy does NOT limp, he is alive and well AND our grandaughter Maddison's favorite. Bugsy loves his Maddi and is so sweet with her. In the picture on the left below she is asking her daddy to pleeeease let go so she can sit on him all by herself. (didn't happen) In the picture on the right you can see that Bugsy can run quite nicely - thank you. Especially when he has a new mama chasing him away from her baby. Oh, did I mention he loves taking the new babies under his wing? For some reason he has assigned himself babysitter and caretaker for all the new foals. After a couple of weeks the mama's actually seem to like the break. Right now he, April (our 2009 NASDHA Spotted Draft) and Webber (our 2009 ASHA Shire) are inseparable. His calm, gentle nature makes him the perfect nanny for the foals born here. You can enjoy more photos of our boy BUGSY on our Photo Gallery Page.
In 2006 Ann agreed to have five horses come to our property that had been in Texas and not getting proper nutrition. One of them had been also nursing a baby for over six months and was so emaciated and weak that we worried she might not pull through. Well.......she did! She fattened up, grew strong, well, and quite beautiful. All the other girls also got up to snuff and the owner of the horses gave Red to Ann to thank her for all her work. Of course Red isn't her registered name, but it fits well.
She advanced to Big Red when we kept getting bigger horses and she became the only 'regular-sized' horse on the place. At Christmas in 2009 our daugh-ter (in-law), Kati, got Big Red as her present, since the two of them have grown so close. Anybody and everybody can ride Red and as she's 14yrs. old now - she's pretty gentle for a quarterhorse. Being raised all her life on a ranch, she's a great cattle horse as well. Kati loves doting on her mane, as you can tell in the picture below left. That's baby Maddi with mom Kati on her back. Once again, you can see more of Red & the gang on our Photo Gallery Page.