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

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Donna M
Gosh, I love this girl. I know that sounds very sappy but I also know forum readers can relate. I try to treat all the horses equally and not show favoritism, but in my heart I know Sugar is my absolute favorite. I'm not sure if that's because she was my first or if her nature is so much different than the rest. They all are amazing animals but Sugar Bear for some reason is just a tad more special to me. She has a kindness and confidence about her that is very endearing yet she can seem like a 1000 lb rabbit afraid of the silliest things. 

A few days ago as I was preparing for this cold spell, I walked out of one of the shelters carrying an empty black plastic bag after dumping the shavings to give them traction and bedding. From Sugar's reaction, she must have thought I was carrying a baby Sasquatch hungry enough to eat a horse. She gave out a yelp of sorts and bolted in the opposite direction. I laughed and continued to carry the plastic bag with me as I went about my business. She settled down enough to let the fear melt from her gaze but she never approached me while I was holding the baby Sasquatch. 

Donna, I think we all have our favorites.
Donna M
First I want to thank Scott and Karen yet again for taking a chance and letting me adopt Sugar Bear. Back then I knew absolutely nothing about horse care, riding, or behaviors. I now realize what a huge leap of faith it was for them to place Sugar Bear with me. This 3 1/2 year journey has been the learning experience of a lifetime. 

The past few months I learned that I love her enough to drag my cold, lazy a$$ outside in the dark when it's 40 below zero or colder just to haul a few hay bales to a place where she can eat out of the wind. I've exchanged colorful language with my husband while trying to deal with frozen water sources and have even resorted to hauling 5 gallon buckets of water up from the basement and out to my little angel(s). On nice days when the temp is zero or above, she enjoys watching me chop, shovel, and haul away frozen poop and will sometimes drop a fresh one if she thinks my hands might be getting cold. And since I love her so much, I do this crazy stuff every day! My hands have been frozen stubs, my nose has formed some interestingly shaped boogercicles, and my cardiac exercise would not be complete without several layers of Carhart and Under Armour. Thankfully winter seems to be behind us for the most part. We did get about a foot of snow a couple days ago but it's almost gone. Good thing I didn't pack away the tank heater! 

I'm proud Sugar survived the first winter in my care and seems to think I'm up for the challenges presented with the arrival of spring. Today I learned how to treat an abscess. Sugar's attempts to spit out the Bute were unsuccessful since it was mixed with applesauce and then added to a bit of grain. While she snacked I soaked her foot. To my surprise she was very tolerant of the foot soaking until she was done eating. After that? Well, not so much, but at least we accomplished the task and she seems more comfortable than yesterday. 


Ugh, abscesses are a pain in the bootski! LOL. I've gone through a few with Haze and they are never fun. I'm glad that she was tolerant for the hoof soaking and that she's getting around okay. If she starts to get tender, if you have a hoof boot, those help keep the hoof off the hard ground. And if that stupid bruise refuses to work it's way to the surface, a mix of iodine and sugar (mix together until you get a paste) smacked on the hoof and secured with a diaper and duct tape, will help draw it out.

I'm so glad you found Sugar Bear! I was in the same boat when I first adopted and what an experience! But we wouldn't trade it for the world! [smile]

Donna M
Thanks Krissy. I was searching through previous threads and saw the betadine and sugar paste recommendation. I even remember reading something about a diaper and duct tape. I would never have guessed something like that would help. Love your pics and updates of Haze. Congrats on him being all YOURS! No more health reports but I suspect you might think you have to send the info anyway since it has become an automatic thing (at least for me). You both looked great on patrol at the fair. 

As it turns out, I'm not so sure Sugar was experiencing an abscess but at least now I know what to do if it should happen. She was noticeably better the day after I first suspected an abscess even before I treated her. Today she is 100% better. Maybe she slipped in the mud and was a little sore. Whatever it was, I'm glad she's better. 
Donna M
Nothing new to report here but per Scott's nudging, here is a brief update. Sugar Bear is doing well and she is still the sweetest, most perceptive horse ever. Next year at this time we will reach our 5 year milestone! How time flies and Lord how she has schooled me in the world of equines. She is my lead mare in my little herd of 4 but knows she can't push me around like she used to. She had a tendency to rub her head on me when I was in the pasture with her. I used to tolerate it but realized she was being pushy. The last time she did that, I gave her a not so subtle reminder to respect my space. She hasn't done it since. 

We've been having trouble trailer loading so I've not been riding her much. We built a barn this year and next year we will put in our arena. The arena will give me the opportunity to focus on refreshing ground work and manners. Since I am not starting from a knowledge base of zero like when I first adopted her, I am confident she will come around quickly. 

Jenni O.
Donna, I expect you'll have very little problem getting her where you want her to be. You've done an amazing job with all of them.
Donna M
Happy 4th anniversary to my sweet Sugar Bear! I hope you are enjoying my retirement plan that I've blown on your tack, trailer, shelter, barn, food, farrier, vet, and playmates. [biggrin]
Donna M.,

You know you love her dearly, otherwise you wouldn't be celebrating her 4th yr. anniversary.  All kidding aside, NICE way to spend your retirement!
Well put Donna and congratulations on your 4th with Sugar Bear.

We raise our kids, finally get ahead and some bug bites us and says; you should not relax or save money, get an equine and support the economy (medical, Vet, construction, petroleum, pharma, marriage counseling and more)  I am sure I missed 300 other indirect cost associated with our friends [frown]
Jenni O.
The ironic part is...they don't care. Selfish animals! And don't forget supplements, grooming supplies, gas for the truck, horse treats, riding clothes...we are a crazy bunch, aren't we?

Happy 4th!

HAHA Love it Donna! You made me laugh really loud!  Happy 4th Anniversary to you and your sweet Sugar Bear!! 

You guys are making me laugh. Read your posts to my husband, he laughed so much the cat fell off his lap. Cat is fine, still has all her 9 lives.

Donna M
'Nuf said [eek]


Lindsey K
Somehow missed this, too funny!
Donna M.
Sugar Bear [smile]

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Donna R
I made a comment on this thread too when commenting on your other photos.  Must have gotten caught in cyber space.  Or could just be me [smile].  I have always loved reading your posts about your Sugar Bear.  She was your first when you were new to being a horse person.  Look at you now [thumb] 
They look like they're having a serious conversation.
Great shots of all your furry horses.  Thanks for sharing!
Donna M
Very serious conversation indeed. Lexi spent some time with us during her Christmas break. The day before this picture was taken, Lexi had given the horses some apples and carrots. Sugar, therefore, considered Lexi the new pez dispenser and was waiting for the goods. 

Doreen ~ they all look like bearded ladies but are warm and fuzzy. 
Thanks Donna. They sure have changed my life or maybe it would be more accurate to say they have become my life. Tomorrow some friends are coming over so we can load Sugar and take her to an indoor arena for some work. I'm sure she will be thrilled about that! [rolleyes]
Donna M
Sugar Bear loaded today!!! First time since October 2014. I've been having problems with her since I adopted Raindancer and Ariel but until now haven't found anyone to help me. Today a couple horse friends came over and were not leaving until Sugar went in. I explained what I had been experiencing so they knew what to expect. Sugar put us through the paces but we did it! We lunged, she bucked and reared. We lunged some more. We made her face the trailer even though she tried to rear, bite, and shift her body to the side of the trailer. We tried a butt rope with two people applying pressure and me holding her head. She stood there with her back foot cocked and refused to budge! We put a snaffle/reins on her, and a rope halter/lunge line. One person kept the line taut through the side door, one person guided her with the reins into the trailer, and two of us used pressure on her butt and sides to keep her straight and moving forward. She would not listen to anyone until I placed myself on the side she tends to move toward and gave her a good smack with the riding whip to keep her from forcing her body into my space. She gave me a surprised look but moved forward. Then we removed the pressure and praised her. A couple more refusals with the same results and she hopped right in the trailer ... not once, not twice but THREE times.

We are going to try again next weekend hoping that it won't take as long. When we get her in, I'm taking her to my friend's indoor arena to work her some more. I've missed riding her but it's been difficult for me without having anyone with horse knowledge to help me over these hurdles. Sugar and I are attending a 3 day trail riding clinic in May at Big Valley Ranch. Between now and then I am going to work very hard to get her head back in the game. 
Great update on your herd!  Congrats on getting Sugar Bear to load too!
Tricia K
  Great update.
Donna M
There were times when I didn't think this day would come. What a learning experience the past 5 years have been. Today I received a long awaited paper in the mail telling me Sugar Bear is now mine. We celebrated by going to a friend's arena and working for about an hour in preparation for our 3-day trail clinic in May. She was awesome! 

Thank you once again, Scott and Karen, for taking a chance on a rookie and for always being there to answer all my questions. 
Scott and Karen: MHWF
It has been our pleasure for sure. I wish we could find more adopters like you Donna. To see someone go from ultra green to someone who takes in all in, learns from it and applies it is very, very rewarding for us both. Always having paperwork in on time, filled out correctly and lots of updates and pictures make it all that much easier and fun for us. Thank you and congratulations!

We are honored!
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