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Inaugural Appaloosa update

We received a note from Geraldine Herman of Douglas, Massachusetts, regarding the saga of “Mouse.” She also sent a copy of an article in the Horseman’s Yankee Pedlar , part of which is below.

‘Mouse’, a ten year old Appaloosa gelding was injured during President Barack Obama’s inaugural parade in January. Mouse and his rider, Deb Fuller, were part of the Southern Ohio Ladies Aside team. They were just entering the parade route when a horse and carriage spooked him. The gelding’s leg somehow slid between the bumper and the vehicle, causing workmen to take the truck apart to free him. Veterinarians were on the scene immediately to sedate the horse. Team member Kate Mitchell dismounted quickly to help hold the startled horse.

Mouse tied up the parade for more than an hour, as he lay sprawled on the street, blocking traffic. Appaloosas really know how to be the center of attention! It took twelve men and women nearly two hours to untangle the gelding’s leg so he could be transported for further treatment.

The Humane Society of the United States contacted Lt. Colonel John Scott of the U.S. Army Veterinary Services to stabilize Mouse. Mouse was then loaded into an ambulance and taken to Prince George’s Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, which had been a staging area for Inaugural horses, where his wounds were stitched. Luckily the horse suffered no broken bones.

Mouse, registered as Brea’s Song (Kiersy’s Kat x Windsong), was field bred and raised byy Dr Kathy Forred of Harper, KS in April of 1998. His nickname was due to his grey foal color. He is registered as a bay but Amy describes him as chocolate with an ever-changing snowflake pattern. Amy met Dr Forred when she visited the local ER (where she also worked) as a patient one night after being bucked off her warmblood and loosing several teeth. She was quite ready to hang up her spurs on the spot. Luckily, Kathy was there to change her mind and invite her out to her place to ride Mouse. She had ridden Mouse before on a couple trail rides and had liked the gelding. Kathy told her to come out with her trailer and just bring him home. She was determined to keep Amy riding!

Mouse was 5 years old at this time. Amy did as suggested and has never regretted her decision. She credits her Appaloosa with restoring her trust in horses and riding. Kathy gifted her with Mouse’s registration papers the following Christmas.

Amy was also getting involved in riding sidesaddle at this time. She had always been interested in horses, history, antiques, social etiquette and playing dress-up so she was immediately hooked. Best of all, Mouse enjoyed it too!

The pair looked for places to promote their passion. They rode in parades and performed at Expos in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. They went on a five day cattle ride across the plains, chasing a hundred head of long horns. They would take trips to Colorado, and ride to elevations of over 12,000 feet and Mouse was never tired! They took part in The Great Western Trail Ride in 2004 ( a ride from Bandera, Texas to Dodge City, Kansas). They did a week at the beginning and the end and Amy was sitting aside the whole way!

Amy and Mouse have moved around a bit; from New Jersey to New Mexico and back to Maryland. They are pictured in several travel brochures promoting tourism in these areas, as well as shining a spotlight on sidesaddle riding.

In September 2007, as they were heading home again to Maryland, Amy’s truck got a flat just outside of Amarillo, Texas. In order to fix the flat she had to unload Mouse from the trailer. Mouse got loose and started to head West in the East bound lanes of Interstate 40. Amy panicked, quickly finished changing the tire and found her horse tied to a fence on the side of the road! Some good Samaritan had caught him and tied him up where he patiently waited. He loaded right back up and off they went.

In September of 2008 Amy took him to the USET headquarters in Gladstone, New Jersey. Liberty sidesaddle hosts an all aside show there every year. Amy had attended several times as a volunteer and was thrilled to finally have her own horse there. She wasn’t planning on showing Mouse but after much encouragement she entered him into a W/T English Pleasure division. She was delighted to find, “My little Appy who I had pulled from the field just two days before won Reserve Champion!! My most treasured ribbons!” You can catch the performance on www.youtube.com if you search for ‘Amy Sidesaddle at US Equestrian Team’

The sidesaddle group that Amy rides with applied to ride in the Inaugural Parade but was not selected. The Southern Ohio Ladies Aside was chosen and member Deb Fuller asked if she could borrow Mouse for the parade. Amy, of course, was thrilled to lend her horse for such a once in a lifetime event. She describes the accident: “Mouse spooked at a horse and carriage that came up through the ranks of the SOLA gals and started backing up. He backed up into a parked SUV and kicked, getting his left hind leg stuck into the winch attached to the SUV. He fell to the ground and according to Deb, just laid there. Enter the Days End Farm Horse Rescue team and the veterinarians from the US Army. The winch was removed from the SUV, Mouse’s leg was treated, and Mouse was assisted to a standing position and loaded onto an awaiting horse ambulance. He was given a full lights and sirens escort out of DC and back to the Prince George’s County Equestrian Center in MD. I was called at work and I met the trailer just as it pulled into the Center. I had called my friends Barb and Tom Thelen on the Eastern shore and they were on their way with their trailer to take Mouse to my Vet. We loaded him onto the Thelen’s trailer and proceeded to the eastern shore. Tom got pulled over for speeding on our way to the Vet’s. He explained our situation and was waved on by the officer. Mouse was treated for multiple lacerations and received 8 stitches. His leg was wrapped and he was home in his stall by 10pm that night. His day had started at 4AM!”

Mouse and his owner, Amy Manny of Annapolis, made a return engagement visit to Days End Farm on February 4th to thank all the folks who worked on rescuing the Appaloosa. His stitches had been removed and the small wound area was closing and healing just fine. His ‘get well’ party was hosted by the Rescue Farm and he was given a ‘cake’ of honey-soaked grain with carrot candles.

The Inaugural Parade included 217 horses. Brooke Vrany, director of Programs and Emergency Services at Days End, was on duty the day of the parade, with her horse ambulance – just in case. Lt. Colonel Scott was on duty as well. Days End takes in abused and neglected horses seized by local governments and provides emergency horse rescue services at local events. This was the second event for Vrany and the ambulance but the first time their service was needed.

Manning, a registered nurse, devised a creative fundraiser for the rescue operation. After Mouse’s incident he was due for a new pair of shoes. Manning framed three of his shoes and added plaques telling Mouse’s story. She put the framed shoes up for auction on eBay where they sold to a Days End patron for $915, and donated the money to the rescue. She kept the fourth shoe, from the injured leg, for herself. One of the shoes will be given to President Barack Obama as a keepsake to remind him of the late start of his parade.

1 Comment

  1. Kathy C Said,

    February 27, 2009 @ 9:24 pm

    I think John Stott is a Colonel (0-6) now, not a Lietenant Colonel (0-5). He is a member of the Army reserves and supports the Old Guard stables at Arlington/Ft Myer

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