Lyn Friel, the sanctuary manager, was contacted by a PSNI constable based in Belfast who was looking for help with a horse in the area. As an experienced horse owner the constable was able to assess the severity of the horse’s problems and after failing to get help from another organisation, they contacted CLAS and arranged to bring volunteers to the horse.
Some days are memorable and for a variety of reasons. This was to start as a memorable day as it was the first day that we used our new 4 x 4 vehicle that had been donated to us by a generous supporter and for which we are truly grateful.
However, the rest of the day will be etched in our memory for very different reasons. Forza, as he was named by his rescuers, was barely able to stand in his stable in a large barn. He was skeletal, completely emaciated, his body score was zero. He was suffering from rain scald,mud fever, was coughing very badly and was riddled with worms.
How could this be acceptable to anyone? The owner signed the frail animal over to the police and Forza was taken into Crosskennan’s care.
At the sanctuary his care and rehabilitation began with his deep shavings bed, tailored re-feeding scheme and veterinary care. His bloods were taken by the vet and a topical treatment prescribed twice daily for his many painful sores. His chest was badly congested and he will be on breathing supplements for quite some time.
We discovered that he also has a dust allergy and have adjusted his hay intake to steamed or soaked hay. He was building up his strength very slowly; he was so weak initially that only very short walks were possible.
Forza needed a rug to keep warm but was so thin that the rug stuck to his bones causing pressure sores. To avoid this happening his rug was regularly changed.
Recuperation was initially slow for Forza but we were with him all the way; encouraging him and providing all the care he needed. As you can see, one year on, he looked like a different horse; he truly humbled us with his ability to connect with people and learn to trust them again.
He and Becky struck up a wonderful rapore and together they continued to excel with his riding career. We were so PROUD of how well he had done!
The PSNI team that were instrumental in his rescue collected feed and donations among their colleagues and friends and visited Forza at the sanctuary. We were grateful for all their continued help and support.
It had been hoped that one day he'd be ready to go to a riding home; it would have be a very lucky person that will be able to enjoy Forza as much as we have - he's a true character.
When we met Forza back in November 2011 his future appeared very bleak. He barely registered a body score, had a horrendous cough and very severe mud fever and rain scald. In a very short space of time with nursing from dedicated volunteers he showed improvement we know this battle we were giving to win. When he improved physically we begun his training and we were delighted when him and Becky went out for their first hack in September 2012. He is not the easiest horse to work with but he has a lot of love for his friends.