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RIP Omar’s Wendy, grand old lady of the Iowa 41 Morgan herd

If you've been around long enough, you know that GSH went from being a private, family run rescue to an incorporated public rescue in a hurry, when in November of 2010 we ended up working with a breeder to place 41 Morgan horses who were out of food and out of control.

These were all lovely, well bred horses, and the grand old lady of the herd was Omar's Wendy, an Omar Sheriff daughter. At 27 at the time of rescue, she was suffering from an abscessed tooth, a cut and infected hoof, and had a body condition score of 1 when her adopters talked the breeder into donating her to the rescue and letting her go without his requested $400 fee.

Often, people don't understand that when attempting to get horses to a better place, sometimes you can't share all the details with the public. This was one of those situations - until the horses were signed over to us we were unable to share just how bad their plight was. Being that it was winter, they were very wormy, and they are Morgans with well sprung rib cages and build, it wasn't until the horses started arriving in their homes that people started to realize just how rough of shape they were in. One weanling was lost to her heavy worm load and dehydration, one of the mares the breeder kept was lost shortly after we removed all the horses from the property in a storm. Wendy would not have survived that storm in the condition she was in. This photo was shared by her adopter and truly helped to start to show the world what we were truly dealing with.

Wendy, even though she was old, and thin, and sick, and injured, had a beautiful soul and was truly the grandmother of most of the horses in the herd. Even thin, she was beautiful.

But nothing compared with how beautiful she was a few months later, under her adopters' fabulous care. Wendy not only survived the trip to Missouri and the horrible storm, she went on to live another three years and made it to 30 years old. She lived a great retirement, well deserved after the life she had lived, but I recently found out that this fall her old bowed tendon on the front acted up and made it hard for her to get around, and she could no longer climb the hill to her pasture. Her adopters gave her the same love they showed her when they convinced the breeder to give her up and nursed her back to health right up to the day they let her go rather than see her fail again. We are so grateful for the three years they gave her, and 30 years is nothing to be sad about. Wendy passed this fall quietly and loved, and is buried under a tree on her adopters' property.

These are the "happy endings" that we love, and what keeps us going. RIP Omar's Wendy.