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Cody is an Andalusian colt who was born on June 13, 2013, completely blind due to his eyes not being fully developed; a condition called Microphthalmos.
Our rescue was contacted by Cody's "birth owners" asking for our assistance in networking Cody for a new home/rescue. After sending out the initial plea for a home/rescue for Cody, we grew deeply committed to ensuring Cody found somebody who would do right by him for the rest of his life and ensuring that he would never end up in the wrong hands, end up at auction, or slaughter bound.
From the time of birth to the age of 2 weeks of age, Cody was handled by his birth owners, but from 2 weeks of age to 7 weeks of age, Cody did not have any human contact and became "feral"; running around in tiny circles in the back of his 12' by 24' stall and bolting when touched by a human. On August 4, 2013, our rescue's founder/president, Kelly, was allowed to visit Cody at his owner's home. At this time, Cody was 7 weeks old and therefore had gone 5 weeks without human contact.
What Kelly was presented with upon arrival was a nervous and very confused foal, who had lost all contact with the world other than his knowledge of 3 simple things: #1 the presence of his mom, #2 the fact that humans were foreign and scary, and #3 that he was "safe" running in very tiny circles in the back of his stall.
Kelly began working with Cody (who, at the time, still did not have a name), trying to get him to stop running in circles. In order to do so, she made her presence known to Cody and gave him the chance to calm down on his own. When it was made clear that calming down on his own was not an option for Cody, Kelly began waiting by the wall of the stall with a long rope while Cody continued to bolt in tiny clockwise circles. When the opportunity presented itself, Kelly took the rope (one piece in each hand) and opened her arms to create loop for Cody's head/neck to go through while he was running. As soon as the rope touched Cody, he would begin to panic, and if the rope was lost (which occurred quite a few times) the exercise was attempted again. Cody grew to accept this exercise more and more (though still not trusting Kelly), and was more open to being curious as to what Kelly truly wanted of him. Using her voice, as well as snapping her fingers, and using the scent of her perfume (Cody picked up this method on his own), Kelly was able to get closer and closer to Cody calming down and being able to be stroked a few times on his neck and back.
After a little over an hour of working with Cody, Kelly had accomplished not only stopping Cody from his frantic circling but was also able to get Cody to stand (somewhat) still with the rope around his neck while being pet more regularly. This was a huge feat for Kelly to have accomplished and it was the first step in the right direction for Cody's hopeful future.
While Kelly's first visit with Cody was a challenge, every visit thereafter also proved to be a different challenge of some sort. From further learning to trust Kelly, learning to have a halter put on and taken off, and learning to be led and "give" to pressure, to being comfortable leaving his stall (an event that sometimes took up to 45 minutes to accomplish), walking on different footings (i.e. rubber stall mats, cement/brick, dirt, grass), and going into the turnout with his mom, both Cody and our founder definitely had their work cut out for them. Not only did Cody learn to do all of these things, but he was also beginning to learn the most important thing of all; how to be a horse. Over time and through training sessions, Cody learned that there was a "safe" world outside of his tiny circles in the back of his stall. He learned that he could walk straight and not have to be afraid of bumping into things.
Over 300 emails were received in response to our initial plea (seeking a home/rescue for Cody) from people offering to take Cody in, helping to network, asking for updates, etc. After a lot of planning, we committed to rescuing Cody and providing him the time, attention, training, and permanent home that he so desperately needed. Cody is now a permanent resident of LEASH Animal Rescue, to further his handling and training, to be able to just be a horse and have fun, and to be safe for the remainder of his life. Cody is with us as a "sanctuary basis", meaning he will never be available for adoption, never at risk of ending up in the wrong hands, and never at risk of landing at an auction or being shipped to slaughter.
On October 10, 2013, Cody was weaned from his mom 2 months early (due to the fact his birth owners were moving and needed to vacant their current home; Cody not being able to move with them) and was taken to a temporary boarding facility where he is currently residing until construction at his permanent facility (newly acquired horse property of our founder's family) is completed and ready for horses to move in.
Cody's story continues on his Facebook page where updates and pictures/videos are posted frequently!
~BECOME AN OFFICIAL MEMBER OF THE CODY CREW~
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