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Radar, the Rescue Horse, Part 1

I rescued a horse in December, 2007. It was really quite by accident and totally unplanned. Cathleen Hopkins, the owner of the Forgotten Trails Ranch where I board Lee and Rio, brought four half starved horses to her place when it got really cold last winter. They and about 100 other horses had been thrown out on 400 acres and left to fend for themselves.

Two of the horses were in fairly good shape and after a few good meals and a little training, found good homes. One of the horses, a little black mare, had suffered a broken hip some time back and Cathleen had to have the vet come out and cut the halter off her because it had grown into her face. She was given away for yard art.

Rescue Horse Radar

The fourth horse was a three-year old sorrel gelding with a wide, white blaze, now known as Radar. He got his name when my grandkids, Caysey and Andrea, thought he was so tall so they named him after Radar, the tallest horse in the world.

Radar Rescue Horse

He had the biggest hunk of proud flesh on the front and side of his left rear leg at the cannon bone that I have ever seen. It looked like he had a black, nerf football on his leg. It was huge. Remarkably, he was not the least bit lame.

Radar and the little black mare were kept in the round pen next to my other horses' paddock and every time I went by there I would mess with them. Once the halter was off the little black mare, she became very sweet. Radar was just a nosy three-year old. He was into everything, but no one wanted him because of his leg. Cathleen explained to me that it would take a long time and a lot of work, but given the right treatment, Radar's leg would heal up. He was on the verge of being taken to auction when I decided to rescue him.

That was in December, 2007. Twice a week, without fail, I have taken the bandage off his leg, hydrated it until it bled to keep the circulation going, put a homemade salve on it and rewrapped it. (For anyone interested, it is a mixture of Fura-zone, DMSO, Wonder Dust and a steroid.) I also gave him 20 cc's of penicillin every day for 10 days to help with the infection.

He was put out to pasture as a yearling and we can only assume he got hung up in a fence and injured his leg. No one had even so much as touched him in two years. It's a miracle that he even let me touch it.

He hasn't missed a meal since and has put on about 150 pounds. He still needs another 100 pounds or so, but he's working on it. He's a registered appendix quarterhorse, so gaining weight is slow for him. He's a direct son of Dash to Chivato.

Radar Rescue Horse
To give you a better idea of the nature of Radar's first owner, he was sending Radar and a truckload of other unwanted horses to slaughter. Once he found out that someone had rescued Radar and really liked him, he had given away the horse, but now the horse's paperwork is $500.00! Needless to say, he still has it.

Radar Rescue Horse

The salve is still working. Until just last week every time I cut that vet wrap off, the bandage was heavy with puss and dead tissue. The proud flesh is slowly giving way to healthy tissue and the swelling is about 1/5 the size of the initial wound.

About six weeks ago, Cathleen and I decided that Radar was well enough to go into training. She's a horse trainer and I took Radar back over to her place for 30 days. He took to the ground work immediately. 1st Movie of Cathleen working Radar.

Once he learns something, it stays with him. He did really well under saddle the first time or two and then decided this being a "real" horse wasn't for him. He not only bucked Cathleen off, he launched her! He got in so much trouble for that, he's decided to give it up and do what is asked. 2nd Movie of Cathleen working Radar.

Another part of his training was learning to load in a trailer. Cathleen has a one horse straight load trailer and it only took her 30 minutes to convince him to load up. He loads and unloads easily now.

Cathleen not only did a great job of training Radar in ground manners, riding under saddle and trailer loading, she also felt the importance to teach Jayne to load him, ride him and work him on the ground the same way she does. I truly believe that is a big reason he has progressed as quickly as he has.

Radar Rescue Horse

I'm not going to keep Radar. I am giving him to my daughter, Jayne. She has two little girls who like to ride and we're pretty confident that Radar and the girls can grow up together. His job will be trail riding, he'll get two square meals a day and he will be loved and well taken care of. Not bad for a horse that narrowly escaped the slaughter house and the auction.

May 23, 2009, pictures from Radar's first "official" trailride with Jayne. He never took a bad step!

To Be Continued . . .

2008, Cindy Staudenmaier & UncommonHorseSense.com, posted 9/2008

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