On May 1, 2021, Salsa, a palomino mare in her mid-teens, arrived with a gelding named Chip at Mountain Valley Horse Rescue (MVHR) foster home. Although MVHR was full at the time they were taken in by the rescue as staff knew they couldn’t turn the pair away—the horses were not being fed and perhaps had not had a good meal in quite some time.  In an effort to get these two horses to safety as quickly as possible, they were moved to their foster home to begin their recovery while they waited for space to open up at the MVHR ranch.

Salsa 6 months in beginning training. Photo by Marlene Hopkins.

Upon arrival, the pair’s emaciated condition was immediately apparent. Re-feeding began,  however, another issue was soon observed. Both horse’s hind legs were literally collapsing or knuckling over at their fetlock joints when they walked or stood. Presumed to be a side effect of severe malnutrition and muscle loss, several therapies and a number of vitamins and minerals—including vitamin E to help them restore normal muscle and bone function of their lower limbs—were added to their treatment regimen.

Within weeks, both Salsa and Chip began to show improvements to their weight, overall appearance and lower limb lameness. Chip in particular responded quickly, soon returning to full soundness.  

[More from A Home For Every Horse]

Salsa 4 months into recovery. Photo by Marlene Hopkins.

Salsa’s recovery was more gradual and continues to this day. At the MVHR ranch, she made a miraculous return to health and comfort. Preliminary evaluation seemed to indicate that she did not have much prior experience being handled on the ground or under saddle. Salsa’s gentle nature lent itself to interaction and she was quickly under saddle and enjoying light rides. 

Salsa’s recovery and training helped her recently find a loving home who will care for her and continue her recovery.  She left the ranch mid-January after an almost nine-month recovery journey at MVHR—an amazing result considering her condition upon arrival!

Mountain Valley Horse Rescue

Mountain Valley Horse Rescue (MVHR) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization committed to rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming abused, neglected, abandoned, and unwanted equines. As one of the only horse rescue organizations on the Western Slope, we cover a lot of territory. Though we are making a small dent in the need, we make an everlasting difference for those equines we can save.  And with help, we know we can save many more. Learn more at mountainvalleyhorserescue.com

A Home For Every Horse

This content was provided by A Home For Every Horse, a resource for nonprofit horse rescues, sanctuaries, and care facilities. Rescue organizations involved with A Home For Every Horse are eligible for many benefits from program sponsors. Learn more at ahomeforeveryhorse.com.

It’s only thanks to our generous sponsors—Purina Horse Feed, Absorbine, WeatherBeeta, and Tractor Supply Co.—that A Home For Every Horse is able to provide necessary resources to more than 600 horse rescues per year. 

What did you think of this article?

Thank you for your feedback!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Horse&Rider provides all you need for today’s Western horse life. Learn from top professional trainers, clinicians, and horsekeeping experts.

Related Articles

HR_23BON_Travel_Franklin TN Mustangs 02

Travel to Franklin, Tennessee For the Mustang Makeover

Make your way down to Franklin, Tennessee, to watch selected trainers showcase their previously untouched mustang in a variety of events.
Read Now

Having an Attitude of Gratitude

Even the most mundane of chores becomes a cherished action, when you are suddenly unable to do the things you've always done.
Read Now

Horses We'd Like to Own: Reba

A piece of the American West, this gritty mare has proven her worth time and time again, and even stared death in the face.
Read Now