When talking about horses it is not likely that Guldmann slings will come up as a part of the conversation. Our slings are designed to help in many different situations when people need to be moved or mobilised. Sometimes however, we discover new and surprising uses for Guldmann slings.
Near the outskirts of Cleveland, Texas, on 30 acres of land, you will find S & S Ranch, whose tagline is “Saving Horses ... Giving Sanctuary.” The ranch is a refuge for abused and abandoned horses. Stacy Pipkin and her husband, Steve, own the 100 % self-funded equine rescue ranch. They both have a deep and abiding love for horses, and their rescue is their way of helping them.
Stacy has reached out to us to let us know how she uses a Guldmann Repositioning sling to help save the lives of the horses at their rescue:
”Often we are called by local law enforcement agencies to help horses that have been starved to the point they can no longer even stand. When that happens, your sling is crucial in helping them regain their health and move on to a home where they will be loved.”
– Stacy Pipkin
Sometimes it will take days or even weeks, for the horse to regain enough muscle to stand up without help. Until that point, the horse wears the sling and they use a tractor to help them rise. If a horse cannot rise and stand on its own, it has a very little chance of recovery.
Here is an image of one of the horses Stacy has rescued; Ruby.
The image is from the day she was rescued. Ruby was horribly starved, lying down and had no way to rise by herself. Woefully near death. Thanks to law enforcement, a whole team worked together to get her standing.
Everyone worked together to slowly and carefully get her loaded into a trailer. She was provided with straps to help her remain standing for her ride to the rescue.
Beginning with just minutes of hand-walking to help her regain the use of her muscles, Ruby would graze and enjoy a special rehabilitation diet. Still, the horse was exhausted and would need to lie down and rest. With help from the high-quality Guldmann sling, Stacy was able to get Ruby standing with their tractor.
Day after day, week after week, Ruby’s eyes got brighter and would spend more time outdoors standing. Still, she was unable to rise unaided.
Stacy has had other horses at the rescue that needed help standing, but none of them for longer than three weeks.
Those were before they had acquired the Guldmann sling, and Stacy would have to impose on friends to come all the way out to the rescue and help manually lift the horses that could not stand up on their own. That is not an easy task to do with an adult horse, not even a skinny one!
(Stacy estimates Ruby’s weight at intake to be approximately 650-700 lbs. and presently to be about 1,000 lbs.)
Ruby wore the sling all day while outdoors so that they were able to easily and safely help her to stand by using the tractor.
Then finally, on March 13, Ruby got up all by herself.
Tears of joy flowed among the rescue team and since then, Ruby has not needed assistance to rise:
“She is a healthy, happy mare that will soon be adopted by a family who will love her, as she deserves. “
– Stacy Pipkin
Other horses, such as Brandie (see images in gallery), wear the sling proactively in case they are too weak to get up on their own.
We at Guldmann have a deep respect for the great work being done at the S & S Ranch Rescue and we are happy that our Repositioning Sling can be used to save neglected horses.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
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