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Ben the Unicorn

Published: 12/20/2008
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This is the happy story of Ben
He is the elderly little paint pony owned by Margo Curley at From Away Farm in Bowdoinham.
He’s living the life of Riley now. But it wasn’t always that way…


As told to Maddy Gray by Margo Curley:

It was really, really cold that winter. February of 2005.
I had a friend who knew about this really horrific situation. There were several horses, including a mare and her 12-year old, unweaned foal.
The wife had left and the husband was supposed to be taking care of the horses. It was a divorce situation.
Their only shelter was under the barn, a low-ceiling area full of manure. Just full of it. Plus, the barn looked like it was about to fall down.
What bothered me most? There was no water on the premises. That part blew my mind. There was a shallow bucket. But, of course, it was empty.
What bothered me most? There was no water on the premises. That part blew my mind. There was a shallow bucket but, of course, it was empty.
When I first saw him, his forelock and mane were absolutely full of burrs. His matted forelock stuck out straight and made him look like a unicorn. He was a walking ribcage.



I knew couldn’t I take the mare and foal (Margot had three other horses of her own) but I could save Ben.
I called the owners. It was pathetic. They clearly didn’t care about him, but they didn’t want to give him up. I badgered them every day for days. Finally, they agreed.
His matted forelock stuck out straight and made him look like a unicorn. He was a walking ribcage.
When we picked him up it was 15 degrees and windy. We brought him home and had blood work done right away. The vet told me he couldn’t believe he had survived. He estimated Ben to be “older than dirt,” probably in his late 30s or 40 years old.
He was so malnourished and dehydrated. He had Cushings, too.
I gave him a warm bran mash every night. He ate Trotter, hay pellets, and I supplemented that feed with Sunshine pellets (Blue Seal feed for hard keepers or animals under stress) and got him on Pergolide. We always made sure he had hay in front of him.

He has had a slow rise to health. I think it took two years before he warmed up to me. He really had had no human contact at all.

As you can see, Margo takes wonderful care of Ben. I see him a few times a week and he's a quiet fella who moves slowly around his forever home and is tuned into the routine. He is fed four times a day.

This year, Margo bought a blanket for Ben. Even though he has a thick coat, he can struggle to stay warm on the rawest of days. And, as you can see from the photo, he's a funny size to fit.
After lots of searching,  she finally found a blanket that fits him perfectly. It's pink and purple plaid! You know what they say, you gotta be one tough guy to wear pink and purple!





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3/12/2009 Jo Ellen
Love these rescue stories. Keep 'em coming!

   
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