The Saving of Blake

By Ashley Furst,

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The story of Blake was provided to the UHC by Anita Markiewicz, President, Hope for Horses, Inc.

Hope for Horses, Inc. is dedicated to rehabilitating retraining if needed and rehoming or promoting displaced horses. Educating the general public and the equestrian public by holding or attending events, participating in shows and competitions, along with providing for exhibitions such as Expos and Fairs is our mission.

On January 12, 2015, I received a phone call from a distraught man about a pony in a family members care.  I was told that the woman who had this pony was on a very limited income, had just lost her husband and was unable to care for this pony.  He had not seen this pony in several months and was in a near panic when he called me.  He told me he got my name and number from a local equine veterinarian.

I had a friend who lived near where this pony was and she was a real pony lover, so I contacted her, telling her that there might be a pony in need for her to take on.  She went to see this pony and this is what she found:



We realized how dire this situation was as, along with starvation, he had Paraphimosis, caused by his debilitated condition. I had to pick him up quickly.  

9am the following morning we went to get him and stopped by the veterinarian who had given my information to the man.  Before he even looked at the pony, I did warn him that we were going to do all we could to save him.  Once he assessed the pony we came up with a treatment plan, and we took him back to Hope for Horses, at the K.I.S.S. Horse Center in Galt, CA.

My regular veterinarian came by to see the pony and we started treating the Paraphimosis, and worked on getting this guy to eat.  Apparently, he had gone without food for long enough that he had very little interest in food.  We offered him the recuperating diet recommended by UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching Hospital. The diet consisted of Purina Senior Feed and Alfalfa hay.  We left the food in front of him because of his lack of interest we kept a close eye on him to be sure he didn’t over eat.  It took him several days to begin to eat normally; at that point we removed his free feeding/free choice and monitored how he ate.  He was in bad shape, we weren’t sure if he was going make it or not.  Once, when he lay down, he struggled to get up and needed help from two of our volunteers, it took several attempts to help him get to his feet.   

Now a name, most of our ponies have super hero names: Peter Parker/Spiderman, aka Parker, Ben Grimm/Thing, aka Ben, so as we were looking for a name, someone came up with:  Donald Blake/Thor, aka Blake. 

Blake responded well to all treatments and was an easy patient. He took 8 months to fully recover from the Paraphimosis;   He is now one of our star lesson ponies and an intricate part of our Therapeutic Riding program.

Blake is one of our demonstration horses at the California State Fair, where he is in our Team Hope for Horses, and is ridden in our exhibitions.


Anita Markiewicz


Hope for Horses, Inc.