R.I.P. Wally

On May 12, our beloved, old gelding Wally died in the pasture where he had lived for the last 12 years.

We purchased Wally in 2010 as a companion for our Tennessee Walker mare Cleo. He was already older – maybe 16-18 years old and scrawny, almost malnourished when we got him. But we got him back in shape, and Laura trained him as a trail riding horse. After a couple of years with us he was a great riding horse with a super smooth gait and a nice rocking-horse canter. The difference is clear between the photo below, right after we bought him, and the one above in 2015 at his peak.

Wally right after we bought him

Wally’s health problems always caused him difficulties. The poor guy was allergic to fly bites, and we tried all kinds of approaches to keep the flies off of him: fancy zebra fly blankets, fans in the shelter (that worked pretty well) and eventually we just started giving him steroids to mitigate his allergic reaction to the bites as well. In 2014, his vet also diagnosed him with DSLD – a systemic disease of the connective tissue. So we had to retire him as a riding horse, but we still kept him in shape with light work. And when we got Madison as a new riding horse for Laura, Wally’s job was to keep the peace between the two mares.

Wally and Laura in 2013 at Peggie’s Cabin

Over the last 2 or 3 years, Wally’s health really started to decline. His fetlocks started to collapse more and more, so that he could barely stand for having his hooves trimmed. He was loosing weight, and he was clearly not digesting his grain really well. In February, he choked really badly, and for several days was not able to eat or drink. So we had to keep giving him IV fluids for a couple of days until he pulled through and was able to drink and eat mush, again. That was a rough weekend for all of us, but especially for poor Wally. After that he seemed to do well with eating senior feed mush and soaked beet pulp, and even gained a little bit of weight. But on May 12 he came down with a bad case of colic, and was not able to pull through, sadly.

We all miss the old boy. Rest in Peace, Wally.

Wally in Feb 2022
Wally in 2015

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