Lynette Mayeda saw something in the aged ranch horse’s eyes that led her to believe he wasn’t through yet.
She paid the meat price for Sterling and brought him home.
But then it seemed as though nothing would stop the Quarter Horse gelding’s drastic weight slide.
Time to let go, people said. Then Lynette found FOCUS SR.
New Life for an Old Hand
“Put at least 30 candles on his next birthday cake,” the horse dentist told Lynette Mayeda when he checked her Quarter horse gelding. She was shocked. His sellers believed the ex-ranch horse was twenty-ish. The warm-hearted bay was supposed to be her husband’s first horse. Now she was frantically trying to stop a drastic weight slide and save his life.
The vet, horse dentist, and feed rep visited. They checked for overall health, worms, tooth problems, and put on him a high-fat senior feed. Nothing helped. “Somehow something just was getting lost and he was not gaining weight,” Lynette says. “He didn’t act sick but the vet kept telling me he was not doing well.” As Sterling steadily lost more than 300 pounds, the vet gently prepared her to let him go.
Lynette refused to give up but didn’t know where else to turn for help. Then she saw an for Focus SR promising benefits for older horses with weight problems. Here was hope! Lynette called SOURCE’s 800-number and poured out her heart. Suzanne Birks responded quickly to the desperate plea and soon Sterling was on FOCUS SR.
Sterling was running again before he was finished with his first bucket of FOCUS SR
Sterling’s energy came back first. “He’s arthritic in both front legs,” Lynette notes, “but one morning he was running in the pasture for the first time all summer.” By the time Sterling’s first bucket of Focus SR was gone he was gaining weight. Even the vet agreed he looked better. Lynette comments that Sterling also seems to need less medication for his arthritis now.
“Sterling has now been on Focus SR about a year. He’s peppy again, says Lynette. The feed rep advised doubling his senior feed and weaning him off the supplement but Lynette won’t mess with success. “Even if we feed them well and give them good hay, they need something food and hay can’t give them,” she says. “Whatever Focus SR has, he needed that and wasn’t getting it anywhere else.”
Wait! Sterling’s story is not over yet!
Sterling’s Second Career
Here at SOURCE headquarters in Connecticut, we try to present ourselves as sober, serious, business folk. The truth is, we’re just old softies when it comes to animals. That’s not really surprising. After all, SOURCE was originally created to help Hull and every other horse have better lives through better nutrition. And everyone who has joined our SOURCE family through the years has been genuinely dedicated to the welfare of creatures large and small.
So Sterling’s continuing story warms us to our toes and even brought tears to few eyes (though no one will actually admit this if you ask).
With his health restored, Sterling has become a schoolmaster for Lynette’s 2-year-old daughter, Brittany. “He knows she’s small and wouldn’t do anything to hurt her,” Lynette says. That might be quite enough for most elderly equines but not for Sterling.
He also helps out the local Equine Specialists handicapped riding program. Two local youngsters who are part of the program visit Sterling to brush and groom. Since the vet gave a thumbs up to riders under 75 pounds, one child even hops aboard for a leisurely walk around the pasture. “Once a week, Sterling is there for them,” says Lynette. “He really loves the attention.”
“I’m glad I didn’t take other people’s word that he was through,” she continues. “He’s at the point where he can still give a lot.”
“We’re keeping more older horses,” Lynette points out. Thanks to her commitment, Sterling is living an older horse’s fairy tale come true. And while our old friends may not be able to live happily ever after forever, here at SOURCE we believe many of them can live happily longer. That’s why we created FOCUS SR.