When Morgan Silver moved her horse rescue operation to about 150 acres in Micanopy in July 2001, she was never made aware of the potential problems to come.
The plot of land in northwest Marion County was in the middle of a drought before the Horse Protection Association of Florida began noticing problems with flooding just a couple of years later. And the organization began having trouble again as 2013 rolled into 2014.
“In super wet seasons there were areas that were mucky, but nothing like it has been this year,”said Silver, CEO and Executive Director of HPAF.
Silver said abscesses are some of the more serious potential long-term problems the horses face. These abscesses are small, localized masses of pus found in the hoof and can cause enough pain for the horse to keep that foot from touching the ground — often initially appearing to have suffered a broken leg. Other complications — though typically short-lived — include cracked heels and swollen legs.
In hopes of relieving the horses of these potential problems, Silver has been calling on those who own farms in the area to consider stepping up and loaning their extra spaces for some of the horses the organization has taken in.
A suitable area was found for 23 of the 67 horses about eight miles from the HPAF headquarters on January 15 — adding about $2,000 to the budget for rent. Grants and other donations have given HPAF enough time to operate at the satellite farm until about mid-May before possibly having to move the horses back to the original farm.
“Donations are coming in; not as fast we need,”said Silver. “It’s a pretty scary way to have to live not knowing what will come in.”