The Lily Pond Opens Barn Doors to Horses

We’re overjoyed to welcome two very special horses to the sanctuary! April is a 28-year old Palomino Quarter Horse and Sammir is a 25-year old Arabian Bay gelding. They’re a senior bonded pair who arrived November 3rd from Labrador Hill in New Jersey.

April and Sammir, at The Lily Pond Animal Sanctuary in Ghent NY

It was late August when we received a call from the founder of Twist of Fate Farm and Sanctuary in Pennsylvania, who was working with another nonprofit sanctuary, Rancho Relaxo, to re-home over 70 horses from Labrador Hill in New Jersey after the owner of Labrador Hill was formally charged with cruelty following an investigation into multiple reports of horses living in poor conditions without proper food, water, or shelter. They were able to find homes for many of the horses, but were having trouble placing a senior bonded pair who needed immediate medical attention. We made the decision to bring these two home and began the process of arranging quarantine and transport. All of September and October were spent in a flurry of activity cleaning the barn, repairing fencing in the paddocks, purchasing supplies, and scheduling veterinary care.

The day of their arrival was full of excitement and anticipation. Our knowledgable and experienced Barn Manager, Denise Elmendorf, was here to welcome the horses, leading them off the transport trailer and into the barn without any issues. Once April and Sammir were safely home, we began to notice just how skinny and hungry April was. Sammir had no trouble munching his hay, but April just tossed it around. Denise quickly assessed the problem: April’s teeth had not been properly cared for in years, so she wasn’t able to chew hay or derive any nutrition from it. This poor girl had been slowly starving. Denise mixed up a warm mash of beet pulp, Timothy pellets, Alfalfa pellets, and grain and fed the bucket to April, who wolfed it down. We put her on three mashes per day, and then increased it to four on the advice of our veterinarian, Dr. Naile from the Equine Clinic at Oakencroft. He noted that she needs to gain about 200 lbs. and commented during his exam that “April is lucky she came here because she would not have survived another winter at her weight.”

Sammir does not have the same weight challenges, but Dr. Naile did diagnose a neurological issue in his hind quarters, which is noticeable when he walks. He speculated that this could have been caused by improper handling during his earlier years. However, Sammir is healthy and happy and a very gentle soul. Both horses like people, enjoy being groomed, and are very interested to meet anyone who stops by the barn. How blessed we are to welcome these two wonderful horses to our family.