Horses and Donkeys
Our horse Ginger is a breed called the Haflinger, a horse generally used for pulling carts or riding. At Westmoor, Ginger’s job involves being groomed by kids in our programs, and smiling a lot.
Several years ago, Ginger was diagnosed with Cushing's disease, a life threatening condition. Equine Cushing’s disease is primarily a problem with the pituitary gland, located inside the brain. This gland is the control center for hormones and chemical mediators that control many vital body functions. Horses with Cushing’s disease have a breakdown over the control of the pituitary gland; it literally doesn’t shut down and over produces its hormones and chemicals. Cushing’s is an easily recognized and treatable disease, but unfortunately it can’t be cured yet. When caught early, treatment is very successful in reducing clinical signs and allowing affected horses to live almost normal lives.
Ginger’s veterinarian has prescribed a health management plan for her that includes a diet of low-sugar low-starch hay, a daily dose of Pergolide mesylate, and regular exercise. Because horses with Cushing’s disease are highly prone to Laminitis, a life-threatening condition, she is restricted from eating fresh green pasture grass which will be high in sugar and known to trigger episodes of laminitis.
Recently our veterinarian approved the use of a grazing muzzle for Ginger so she can be let out to pasture to run and exercise in the afternoons while still limiting her ability to eat the grass that would make her sick or kill her.
Mac is another Haflinger pony. He is a young gelding, with a pretty blaze and flowing mane. Mac is full of energy and loves to run.
Olive & Peaches
Olive and Peaches are a mother and daughter pair of miniature Sicilian Donkeys. Olive is the mother, born December 2002 with the all black nose, and Peaches is her daughter, born September 2012, with the white nose.