November 26, 2014
In November 2014, Redwings received a call from Santa Clara County Animal Control. They had just seized 38 horses from a neglect case in Morgan Hill, and for one of the horses, it was already too late. She had died from malnutrition. The owner was a horse trader, and all the horses in the herd were in various stages of physical deterioration. Some were near starvation.
The day before Thanksgiving, most of the staff took two trailers and headed north to Morgan Hill. We originally planned to bring three horses home, but once there, we agreed to bring five horses back to the sanctuary. As we began to evaluate the horses, a curious little dun mustang colt followed us around like a puppy. The little colt had a noticeable limp, and his right hind leg turned out at an odd angle. His hoof on that leg was horribly overgrown, which made his limp even worse. We quickly decided that this cute little colt would be one of the five that would return to Redwings with us that day.
Once we got all the horses back to Redwings, we called out our vet to evaluate the five horses from Morgan Hill. The vet determined that the colt most likely sustained an injury to his right hind leg early in life. The lameness is mechanical, which means it causes him no discomfort. Next, we needed to get him castrated since Redwings doesn’t allow stallions and get him some much-needed farrier work. We took x-rays to make sure the farrier knew how much hoof he could remove, and after a long farrier appointment, the hoof looked almost normal.
One of our ranch hands brought his children out to meet the new horses, and his oldest son asked what their names were. We told him that we had chosen names for 4 of them but were undecided on the right name for the sweet little colt. Once he got to know the colt, he suggested we name him Hiccup after the character in the popular animated movie How To Train Your Dragon. The staff all agreed that it was the perfect name for the colt.