Big-MackBirthdate: Approximately 1991
Breed: Percheron Draft
Color: Black
Redwings Arrival: November 26, 2013
Mack, who we fondly call “Big Mack”, worked for years as a carriage horse in Santa Cruz, California. We can only imagine how impressive he must have looked as he pulled his carriage full of happy tourists through the town. After many years of service it was time for Mack to retire from his duties as a carriage horse, live a more laid back life style out in the country. A non-profit agreed to take Mack and retire him with two other horses in a grassy pasture in San Luis Obispo County.
What was supposed to be a happy ending for Mack was not the fairy tale it was made out to be. Mack and his two new companions only had the nice green grass in their pasture for a few months and once it dried up and was grazed down to the dirt, there was no more feed for them. The woman who ran the small non-profit came into hard times and could not afford the rent on the now bare pasture or hay for the horses. The three once vibrant horses were now starving.
A local woman who loves draft horses offered to give Mack a home when she heard that Mack’s owner had fallen on hard times. His owner refused the offer and said that she had found a way to feed the horses for a few more months. But the hay that she purchased was not good quality and the quantity of hay was not even enough to sustain the horses for one month.
Finally the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s office was contacted and they gave the woman a notice to comply. This meant she had a certain amount of time to get appropriate feed for the horses and arrange for any necessary medical treatment due to their poor condition. After the owner failed to comply she finally agreed to relinquish ownership of Mack.
Redwings was contacted and we agreed to bring Mack to our sanctuary. We determined that Mack was a body score of 2, on a scale of 1 – 10, a normal body score for a healthy horse is 5. This meant Mack was severely underweight.   To bring Mack back to full health we needed to do a lot more than just feed him. His hooves were in bad need of farrier care, his teeth required extensive care, and he needed all his immunizations.
Now three years later Mack has gained an estimated 500 pounds! He has become a favorite among the staff and volunteers at Redwings and Mack is known for his gentle nature and big heart. He has overcome the neglect he suffered and is now thriving.