Along with the mental acceptance of gearing up to 'own' Lazarus (I say 'own' because to own a 1100 lb animal is ridiculous, you are actually just agreeing to try and work as a team and to take care of each other), I knew I needed help in getting him back to health. We were entering a brisk fall and winter was soon approaching. Not an easy time to keep weight on typically, and I was trying to achieve to have him GAIN weight.
Now where he was currently dumped off at (from the racetrack), was a pasture board only facility. Here is where things can get complicated and I'm not intending to insult anyone here. I am not saying I don't agree with pasture board, I actually like the idea of a horse being out to graze and roam as much as possible. Along with that, I also like the option for him to be able to have a stall, where on cold/windy, or hot/buggy night, he can lay down and nibble on his own hay and really relax and get a deep sleep in. There is a happy medium, for me/us, and it's where we are at now-currently boarding at my friend's farm, where he is with pasture buddies ( 1 Arab, 3 QH's) to play and herd with but also has a clean large matted stall with cushy shavings, to come in when needed.
That being said, the picture of Lazarus below, was when I adopted him. The Vet had told me; "he is in great muscular shape, he does show signs of early arthritis at at age 7 yrs old, and needs his teeth and hooves to be done and to gain about 150-200 lbs." So, farriers in, vets in, floated teeth, check, check, and whoa..speaking of checks, my checkbook was hit! But worth it to get him feeling good, ordered some needed supplements : Cocoasoya, Yucca, Selenium and E, and a joint supplement. That along with the nutritional aid of Master Cheryl (my friend where he's boarded at) with her graining, bran mashes, wonderful grass hay, and alfalfa mixed hays and extra scoops of Senior Pellets for even more calories, Lazarus is starting to GLEAM.
Like most TB's I'm sure, Lazarus is NOT an easy keeper, he burns fat off quickly, is very thin skinned, sensitive to extreme temp's and is a klutzy pig I'm finding out. Somewhat like me (minus the superpower of burning off fat at a ridiculous rate).
So, below is his "BEFORE" in Oct 2008
Here are a couple shots of "AFTERS" taken by a barn mate, in April 2009
Quite full of himself below as he pushes his 15 yr old Polish Arab, Stormy, around.
We worked hard all winter (yes..freezing ass cold winter, days when it was 20 degrees I found myself saying, wow, it feels almost warm!). The only days he didn't get worked were days when it was 10 degrees or below and 'glass cutting your face 'windy and even on those days, I came in (I live an hour away) to groom and work with him to try and connect who I was in his life.
I wanted him to keep his muscle tone; we worked on ground manners (wow..still learning) and lunging and cues, etc. I have to say, I definitely got the Vitamin D this winter by being outside waaaay more than normal. It was wonderful!
The best was of course, on the cold winter days, when you walk into the barn and 8 faces turn to you with perked ears, and steam coming out of their noses, and you hear your boy, "Nnnniiiccccckkkkkerrrr?!"
Who knew that sound can literally make your heart swell and fill with warmth when it's 10 degrees out, and I have so many clothes on that I have to waddle in the barn?
I guess Lazarus did.