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The Beautiful and Resilient Ivy


Who would have thought that a 550lb, emaciated, and week Arabian mare could make a believer of us all over again.


In late April 2013, the ERL received a call from an Animal Control Officer notifying us of a possible seizure involving a malnourished Arabian mare. We offered our help by sending the owner money coupons since she was not ready to "give up" her mare and was willing to comply with Animal Control.


Then the call came in. This time the AC Officer informed us that he was going to seize the animal and press charges if the owner did not give up the mare. The owner, rather than face animal cruelty charges, turned the grey mare over to the ERL.

Ivy arrived June 5, 2012 at Promise Kept Farm. For the entire 3 hour trailer ride she stood, bracing herself against the trailer wall with her weak, emaciated body. How she stayed on her feet still amazes us to this day. She stepped off the trailer and found herself in a deeply bedded stall, surrounded by caretakers who were quietly saying prayers. We honestly did not think she would survive that first night. Our only glimmer of hope was when she ate the first mash with gusto, followed by the second, then the third, and so on.

And so the slow recovery began. Ivy stayed on her feet for six days, knowing that if she layt down her frail legs would not allow her to get back up. On the seventh day of her recovery, we made our way down to the barn and found the little bits of shavings clinging to her body. She had lain down during the night! We laughed, we cried, we cheered, and we prayed even more. Till this day, that mare has not missed and definitely not refused one single bucket of mash!

Upon her initial veterinary exam, besides being diagnosed as a condition 1 on the Henneke Body Condition Scale (where a score of 5 is normal and a 1 is near death), Ivy was also suffering from a heart murmur. Not knowing if the heart murmur was causing the poor condition or the starvation caused the heart murmur, her condition was listed as guarded.


By Day 18 of her recovery, Ivy's heart murmur was gone and she had gained 35lbs, completely amazing our vet, Dr. Raymond Q. Hyde. We bathed her, groomed her, fed her, and watched her true personality shine through. She is as tough as they come, even by Shetland Pony standards.

Ivy was eventually turned out with two other mares from a different starvation case who arrived at PKF shortly after Ivy did - and, of course, Ivy rules the field. Sixty days into recovery and this amazing mare has gained 136lbs. Keep shining Ivy, you make the world bright!


Two years later, Ivy weighs into at a whopping 840lbs. She continues to amaze each one of us with her resilient and determined spirit. Ivy now lives with her doting husband, Bruno, and runs the barnyard. This remarkable little grey mare is available for adoption to the right forever home.


Side Note: Ivy's ex-owner never faced animal cruelty charges - she claimed she was feeding the horse three times a day. The Animal Control Officer has been notified of the wonderful progress this mare has made.

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