Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc. ----Discussion Forum

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Elsie Doll - 19 yrs.

Entered into the 2019 Midwest Rescue Horse Trainer's Challenge - Not Available Until the Event

Elsie Doll is a 19-year-old Pintabian mare who stands about 14.1 hands. She is strikingly beautiful horse who has loads of potential. While she found herself in a bad situation and suffered from severe neglect, she bounced back 100% and is ready to find her person. MHWF took ownership of Elsie in November 2018 and she has been in a wonderful foster who has taken great care of her.  She is very good with the vet and farrier (she does not like to be dewormed at this point).  She loves brushing and attention. The training that the Midwest Rescue Horse Trainers Challenge offers is going to be another important building block on Elsie's journey to a great home. Elsie is looking forward to showing everyone that age is just a number, she's got loads of great years ahead of her.  Elsie will be available for adoption at the Trainers Challenge on October 19, 2019, and please follow her journey and learn more about her! 



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Oh my, she's come a long way and looks amazing! Now, training added to her journey on her way to her forever home ❀️ Perfect!!
Heike B
Elsie looks like she made an amazing recovery!  I can't wait to see her in the challenge!
Barb S
Wow! She is stunning!
Wow!  What a lovely mare!  Bright future ahead of her!
Sue J
She is a beauty, so sorry for her that she landed in that situation but her future looks bright!
Please tell me how you got her to look so good I have a 28-year-old that looks like her before picture and I am working so hard and I just can’t get him to gain, can you tell me what you have her on? I have no idea what to do anymore, thank you for any help
Scott: MHWF
While we cannot take credit for her rehab, we have done a lot of these kinds of rehab and it almost always comes down to two things.....dental work and de-worming.  (keeping in mind that sometimes we get horses into our program at MHWF that are neglected and starved, it is not that someone was trying to put weight on or keep weight on, they are just not being fed or maintained).  If teeth are not kept in good shape, you will not get any weight on a horse, regardless of how much you feed. Without proper grinding surfaces, the horse cannot break down its feed and most of it simply passes right through their system. So, when trying to fatten up a skinny horse, you can spend the money on dental work and get results, or you can spend that same money, probably more, on feed, and get poor results. Kind of the same with de-worming. De-wormers are to be given every 6 to 10 weeks, depending on the type of de-wormer. I cannot tell you how frustrating it is when we hear someone say, well, that can't be it. I de-worm her every spring and fall. Not even close to good enough..... Horses should be de-wormed at least 6 times per year, unless you are doing fecal egg counts.  Follow the fecal exams and what is recommended to deworm with.  You may find that you are using a dewormer that isn't appropriate for the type of parasites your horse has, so the fecal egg counts can help with this.  

On occasion you might find that a horse will not gain weight because of ulcers or even pain, but 9 times out of 10, the problem is in the mouth.  Rule out ulcers or pain issues.  

We also hear from a lot of people who tell us that they are graining their horse to get some weight on it. We ask what kind and how much.....and get a reply like 2 cups, twice a day, sweet feed.  Not an appropriate diet....sweet feed is full of sugar, try something with a little more nutrition it it.....and calories. Also, a human being eats more than 2 cups of food per day and we weigh a fraction of what a horse weighs. Two cups is close to nothing for a 1000 pound horse. When trying to fatten up a skinny horse, we start with the teeth and de-worming and many times they will gain their weight on good quality hay, but if a horse has problems chewing, lack of teeth, or needing extra calories due to age, we will work them up to about 10 pounds of senior feed, twice per day, even more for older horses with missing or worn teeth. Many times it is a mix of soaked alfalfa pellets with beet pulp makes up that ration.  A good fat supplement can go a long way on a hard keeper, once teeth, pain and parasites are ruled out.  Once they have gained the weight, then their rations can be cut back to a maintenance ration.  When horses aren't being fed and are starved like the horse pictured above, the re-feeding protocol is a slow and steady introduction to food, consisting of hay only for a couple of weeks.  We've had horses in their 30s who have barely any teeth left to chew with who have done very well and maintained a great body condition on hay, pasture and 5 pounds of a good quality senior feed twice per day.  

Hope this helps!

Horses are amazingly simply animals to care for most times.  The horse pictured above is not on a big amount of grain or feed, she had her teeth taken care of and now that she's gained the weight, she is on a small amount of feed daily along with hay.
Elsie looks wonderful.  Big thank you to MHWF and the great foster parent who helped get Elsie where she is today.


Elsie Doll is on to her training adventure for the Midwest Rescue Horse Trainers Challenge with trainer, Serenity Hackl.  We hope you all follow along this journey with us, and you attend the final training event on Saturday, October 19, 2019, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, WI (same place as Midwest Horse Fair).  

There will be many updates posted and I will try to cross post them here on Elsie's thread, and we hope you follow along on the Trainers Challenge Facebook page as well.  


Also, here is a link to the Trainers Challenge Website, along with the direct link to the application to apply to adopt one of the Trainers Challenge Horses:  


Here is also a page where Serenity will be posting about her and Elsie's journey on Facebook:  

Here are a couple of pics of Elsie Doll with her trainer, Serenity, from pickup, and one picture Serenity shared of her first day working with Elsie Doll.  

Day one update from Serenity:  
Today was our first day together. We didn't do much other then practice standing still. We worked on standing still for fly spray and tying. She was very nervous at first and wanted to walk all over me so we worked on leading and staying by my side. At the very end she was really calm so I played around with jumping on her back. She didn't like it at first but I just kept at it and would stop jumping when she'd stand still and I'd get off her of she stood still...that was today's theme at least lol stand.
She really is a sweet mare 😁 I like her a lot! I can totally see her showing some little girl how to ride and going to cute little 4h shows with her

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Great update, great team! 

Wow, ElsieDoll has come such a long way, and she is ready for someone to take this girl home and call her their own!  She is the sweetest little mare ever and smart as a whip too!  

Here is a little video of some of the things ElsieDoll has been up to over the challenge period (below).  

If you want to adopt this sweetheart, get that application in!  Here's the link for that:  

How much does it cost to attend the Trainers Challenge on October 19th, where is it and what time does it start?
πƒπŽπŽπ‘π’ πŽππ„π 𝐀𝐓 πŸ— π€πŒ!
Alliant Energy Center, Madison, WI

🐴 Parking: F
🐴 Admission: Free
🐴 Seats: Free
🐴 Meeting celebrity horses: Free
🐴 Horse smells: Free
🐴 Chatting with accomplished Trainers: Free (contact Trainer for lessons if interested)
🐴 Nutrition Q&A with Triple Crown Feed: Free
🐴 Programs: $3 donation
🐴 T-Shirts: $15
🐴 Silent Auction items: Varies
🐴 Food: concessions available for sale

See you there!


click here


Update: 10-20-2019 

Elsie Doll sustained an injury shortly before the Trainer's Challenge and could not participate because of it. She is now back at MHWF and we will update as we learn more. A big thank you to her trainer for taking her in and teaching her these past 90 days. Once she is evaluated and healed, we will then update her listing and make her available for adoption.

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Donna M
How is Elsie Doll doing? She sure is a stunning girl.

Elsie is doing great.  She had the unfortunate incident with getting an injury right before the Trainers Challenge event and had lost a bit of weight due to that as well, but she is healing up great and at this point has gained most of that weight back already.  Elsie got to have a very full vet exam and got full dental as well as acupuncture and myofascial release.  She appears on the Vet Day video that you can watch below.  

or click here

So, I was talking to ElsieDoll about winter and things like that, how the weather gets, things she has had to to endure in the past and I've assured her that we will be sure she will stay warm and dry all winter here.  While she has grown a nice fluffy winter coat, I have had to put a rather ill-fitting blanket on her when it got super cold and damp earlier on.  Dolly said she'd love to put a nice new blanket on her Christmas Wish List, and she'd love it in shades of purple in a size 66.... just like this one! 

I'm complying with Dolly's wishes and putting this on her Christmas Wish List just in case anyone would want to get this for her, especially while it's on sale.  

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Barb S
I definitely will get Elsie Doll her blanket!
Thank you SO much, Barb, you are an angel!!!!!!!  
Thank you Barb!!
Jan N
I wonder how a horse gets gigs as a model? Do the most successful ones have fans/groupies? Do they post frequently to SnapChat or Instagram? How about twitter followers? There is a whole world here in which I do not have my finger on the pulse! Wonder where the pulse is?? LOL
Dr. Jan, that is funny - and I think a lot of horses get into modeling because of photographers.  πŸ˜‰  Too bad what I'm going to share is a quick snap from my cell phone because I think ElsieDoll is prettier than that model above in the blanket picture!  

ElsieDoll (and us) wanted to send a gigantic THANK YOU to Barb for her new blanket!!  It is not only beautiful, but it fits her perfectly!  The junky old blanket we were using not only had a hole in the top in the back, but it fit her horribly (best fitting one we had).  This is such a huge relief, and funny enough I think this is the first time that we've ever had a brand-new blanket!  There's nothing wrong with used blankets, don't get me wrong, but it's just so cool to see this beautiful new blanket on ElsieDoll in a color that really suits her too.  We have a nice storm blowing in and this blanket is doing the job 100 times better than the rickety old ill-fitting blanket was.  

Thank you Barb!!!  [kiss][love]

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Thanks Barb! She looks so cosy and cute
Barb S
Not a moment to soon. So glad that Elsie Doll`s blanket made it here before the storm. it looks great on her! Purple is her color. Happy to do it.
THanks Barb!  Elsie looks comfy and cozy and beautiful, too!
Auntie Barb is awesome! She looks very cute and cozy in her new blanket πŸ™‚
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