The Golden Boy at the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescu

Sarah Grote
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The Golden Boy at the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescu

Postby Sarah Grote on Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:26 pm

In May 2015, Winslow, a Belgian yearling was dumped at auction with umbilical and inguinal hernias. A beautiful young boy with long lashes, and wonderful pedigree, but perhaps the large medical procedures were too overwhelming for the owner; you never know though when it comes to auctions. Since Dr. Golub is an equine vet, we knew that he would be in good hands to take care of this medical case. After fundraising for his bail and surgery, the Connecticut Draft Horse Rescue (CDHR) rescued Winslow, He went to Tufts for his surgical repair and gelding, was on stall rest for over three months, and had constant medical attention by the volunteers and Dr. Golub. At week 3 he started developing some swelling along the suture line of the umbilical repair. We were very concerned since infection in the mesh implant would spell disaster after all he's been through. We monitored blood work and temperature, started antibiotics, and replaced the belly band for support. Luckily, he didn't spike a fever, ultrasound didn't show any pockets of infection, and the swelling has gradually gone back down.

He fully recovered with no physical limitations, and was relieved when he could finally get more time and exercise. And boy did he kick up his heels when he was out of stall rest! He started his training evaluations in October 2015, and loved it; he always had an affinity towards those that rescued and loved him. If other horses were in training, he would always be watching from the paddock fence, hoping that we would be the next one picked to play with his people friends - he never thought of it as work! It didn't take long to realize that there was something special about him. He was lovingly referred to as "the nutty butterscotch sundae of a Belgian", and was also referred to as the Golden Boy, after a painting of him was done with that as the title. At only 3 years old, he is already over 17hh. He shared a paddock with two Clydesdale mares initially, and then also two Shires. It was easy to forget how young he was because he was so huge! Sometimes the only reminder you had was if you saw his little baby teeth, or his silly antics that annoyed the other horses.

One thing we knew was his silliness and young nature. However, we didn't know that he was also a therapy horse! We had a memorial service for two of our Clydesdales that passed away last May, and dedicated a mural to them in the paddock he was in. Winslow, walked up to and stood with each person that was upset or crying, and was there to hug, all on his own. He made us smile and wipe away tears. He was the comic relief and compassionate draft for the CDHR volunteers.

Winslow was adopted this month, and the first CDHR adoption of 2017! It is bittersweet when a horse is adopted; there is so much love and a connection in their whole rescue cycle. We miss him, but the knowledge that he is in a wonderful home with a full, healthy life ahead of him makes us smile with pride and joy. We have already received pictures from his wonderful new family living in New York.
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Debby Thomas (Wed Feb 01, 2017 11:46 am), Kevan Garecki (Wed Feb 01, 2017 5:23 am)
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