Road to Recovery: Beau the Belgian draft horse

One horse’s long road to recovery with support from Purina Horse Feed and A Home for Every Horse rescue organization. Story Courtesy of Purina Horse Feed.
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One horse’s long road to recovery with support from Purina Horse Feed and A Home for Every Horse rescue organization. Story Courtesy of Purina Horse Feed.

Shoreview, Minn. [July 15, 2016] – The lights had gone out.

Purina

Randy Hanshaw was in the darkest trenches of the horse world, a kill buyer’s lot. Hanshaw, a long-time horse enthusiast, and operator of Pasture Time Equine Sanctuary in Fredericksburg, TX, a participating shelter in Equine.com’s A Home for Every Horse program, was on a mission to save a horse and give that horse a home.

He wanted to buy them all, but he could afford to save only one draft horse that day. Hanshaw had already identified the horse to add to his rescue: A Belgian draft mare to be named Corinna. Corinna was standing next to an emaciated Belgian gelding. When Hanshaw looked into the horse’s eyes, he saw nothing but a vacant expression – the lights seemed to have gone out. Hanshaw mulled the decision that so many horse lovers have to make; he didn’t know how, where, or even if he could afford to save both horses, but he knew he must also save the nameless horse. He bought both the Belgian gelding and Corinna, making room in his trailer, his barn and his heart for two more horses.

Like so many horses sold at auctions, the Belgian gelding’s history was lost in the shuffle. The only detail that remained was that the horse wound up in Louisiana, headed for slaughter. Without a past name for the horse, Hanshaw names his new friend Beau. Beau’s first matter of business was to get checked out by Hanshaw’s veterinarian. The veterinarian had bad news: Beau looked very old, perhaps 25. Though he stood 17.2 hands, he was 500 pounds underweight and had a severe upper respiratory infection.

“He doesn’t have long to go,” Hanshaw’s veterinarian said.

Beau-Before

Beau-Before

Despite the grim prognosis, Hanshaw decided to try and save Beau. He looked at what it took to protect his health, introduced him to the other horses, and found a diet that could put some weight back on the horse. Hanshaw had hoped that good old fashioned country living could help Beau recover and, if not then, at least he’d be comfortable in his final days.

Corinna had similar dire health problems. Much like Beau, she was severely underweight and getting worse. Corinna had severe diarrhea and was refusing all food including hay. Trips to the veterinarian produced only temporary results, and everyone was preparing for the worst. Nevertheless, Hanshaw was confident he could help his horses recover.

Shortly after having his teeth floated, Beau was able to start eating hay again. The changes helped the horse return to a normal fed consumption level. The color also started to return to Beau’s coat, going from muddy brown to a brilliant roan color.

The transformation took just six months. Today, Beau is at 100% of his proper weight. Hanshaw says the lights are back on in his eyes, and he has a new romance in his life. An older Belgian mare originally from Pennsylvania has taken a shine to him.

Beau-After

Beau-After

Hanshaw attributes both Beau’s and Corinna’s reversal of fortunes to a loving home, pasture mates, veterinary care, and Equine Senior® horse feed.

Randy’s story is provided as an individual’s experience with Purina® horse products and is not a representation of actual results that can be guaranteed. Because of factors outside of Purina Animal Nutrition LLC’s control, individual results to be obtained, including but not limited to: financial performance, animal condition, healther or performance cannot be predicted or guaranteed by Purina Animal Nutrition LLC.

For more information, visit www.purinamills.com/horse-feed.

Purina Animal Nutrition LLC (www.purinamills.com) is a national organization serving producers, animal owners and their families through more than 4,700 local cooperatives, independent dealers and other large retailers throughout the United States. Driven to unlock the greatest potential in every animal, the company is an industry-leading innovator offering a valued portfolio of complete feeds, supplements, premixes, ingredients and specialty technologies for the livestock and lifestyle animal markets. Purina Animal Nutrition LLC is headquartered in Shoreview, Minn. And a wholly owned subsidiary of Land O’Lakes, Inc.