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Saving Sonny

Karen Morang
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Saving Sonny

Postby Karen Morang on Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:58 pm

Blue Star Equiculture, a draft horse rescue and sanctuary located in Palmer, Massachusetts saved Sonny who was most likely a week or so away from losing his life to starvation in late fall of 2014. Sonny, a Mustang/Percheron cross, was just a baby and had his whole life ahead of him. He started receiving proper nutrition at the rescue and was placed in a paddock with a few elderly geldings who took him under their wings, showing Sonny gentleness and how to fit in. Sonny soon became a farm favorite as he began his recovery and his personality started to shine.

As winter approached and ice formed on the grounds, Sonny fell and suffered a life threatening injury. He had fractured his pelvic cup and was rushed to Tufts Veterinary Hospital. Pam, the director of the rescue, rode in the trailer with him during the hour long trip, texting me and keeping me updated on his condition ... she knew that I had a special interest in this mustang cross baby and I began a Gofundme campaign for his expenses. X-rays revealed the severity of his injury but having youth on his side, the veterinarians felt comfortable that he would recover. Sonny was brought back to the farm and given the stall at the door where he could watch people as they came and went for his five to six month stall rest regimen. It took six to eight people everyday to help him to his feet in the morning and to help him lay down for his rest and for the evening. He had a village of people to care for him and an even larger fan base rooting for him. He took to stall rest without much complaint and had a steady stream of visitors and even learned to tilt his head for treats to help relieve the boredom of stall rest.

Sonny eventually made a full recovery and was gelded. Other than being a little less muscular in his hind quarters, you would never know the severity of his injury. He was slowly introduced back into the herd, gaining strength every day. Sonny was full of personality and became known as the farm prankster, one of his biggest pranks was stealing the empty grain brags used for compost made at the rescue and strewing them all over the farm ... no one knows for sure how he got to them but he seemed pretty proud of himself the next morning! He also became best friends with an older Spotted draft named Punch. Sonny and Punch were inseparable and enjoyed each others company daily, playing endlessly and causing mischief as only those two could. They were extremely fun to watch. Sonny brought a special sunshine to everyone at the farm as well as online followers. He grew into a handsome young man proving to all that he was a survivor.

All was going well with Sonny ... he was thriving, enjoying life at the farm with both the human and equine friends he had there. Then just like that, it all came to a screeching halt. I was checking into rescue's Facebook page when I got home after work and saw his photo. It was a post that brought me to my knees in tears .... Sonny had colicked and quickly succumbed to a twisted intestine. Sonny was only four years old. He had overcome so much in his short two years with us and it was a devastating blow to the rescue and it's followers. To this day we still miss him and his enormous personality and there is a beautiful video tribute to him on the rescue's Facebook page. He has left a hole that will never be filled.

Sonny was given the best chance possible and we will never know why he was taken so young but rescue life has and will continue on. There are few draft horse rescues out there and Blue Star takes in severe neglect horses, abandoned horses, sickest of the sick horses, owner surrenders and is also the retirement home to the New York and Philadelphia carriage horses. Pam works relentlessly behind the scenes placing horses before they come to the rescue in some cases as there is a waiting list to get into the rescue. Those horses who are healthy enough do work providing carriage and wagon rides for events or even taking part in parades. Blue Star has a working relationship with the UMASS School of Agriculture using the drafts to teach classes at the school. Blue Star is a 501(c)3 and is funded by donations and grants. They have a Facebook page and their website is http://www.equiculture.org Blue Star is always open to visitors and welcomes all groups from the veterans to scouts and 4-H groups to come visit and not only learn about the horses and their place in history but also about land management, pasture maintenance and organic farming.
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Karen Morang
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Re: Saving Sonny

Postby Karen Morang on Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:11 pm

Sonny, shortly after being saved by Blue Star.
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Karen Morang
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Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:56 pm
Has thanked: 17 times
Have thanks: 87 times

Re: Saving Sonny

Postby Karen Morang on Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:12 pm

Sonny being a super patient during his 5-6 month long stall rest.
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Karen Morang
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Posts: 171
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2013 10:56 pm
Has thanked: 17 times
Have thanks: 87 times

Re: Saving Sonny

Postby Karen Morang on Wed Feb 01, 2017 10:14 pm

Sonny and his best friend Punch
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