Indy’s Racing Thoughts! The Road to the Roses: Fountain of Youth and The Risen Star Stakes!

Your friend in Racing! Indy
Your friend in Racing! Indy

The Road to the Roses! Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes and the Risen Star Stakes

Dear friends!

A hearty hello from my barn in Northeastern Pennsylvania to you! I hope that you had a great week and enjoyed the races yesterday. Boy we sure did have some great thrillers but the two Pudge and I will share with you are the Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth Stakes and the Risen Star Stakes. Heavy contenders and two magnificent runs! Pudge and I were on the edge of our seats wire to wire each time!

So as they say: “Away They Go!”

First up: The Besilu Stables Fountain of Youth at GulfStream Park
Grade II
Purse: $400,000
Distance: 1 1/16 miles

Orb is now a proven contender as he held off the unbeaten Violence and took the win by a half-length!!! Violence kept it up until just about the very end by the fast pace of the race set up much better for Orb. This talented colt by Malibu Moon gets 50 points on the leaderboard and is now the top point’s leader. Orb takes his share of $240,000 to boot! High hooves to you my friend!

Orb is trained by famed Shug McGaughey and owned by Stuart S Janney, III and Phipps Stable. This race was also Orb’s first stakes debut and boy did he sure show us he has the stuff to be in the Kentucky Derby Starting gate. Coming off odds of 5-1 Orb was the second choice favorite to Violence who was the first choice favorite. Speak Logistics was the show for this race.

Sadly we will not see Violence on the Derby Trail as he fractured a right front sesamoid bone in the race. Instead he’ll be shipped to his owner’s farm to recover. We hope to see him return to racing but that is yet to be determined. Orb we wish you well and please stay in good health! You’ve earned your chance at the Roses with this thrilling performance!

Next Up: The Risen Star Stakes!
Risen Star Stakes at FairGrounds
Grade II
Purse: $400,000
Distance: 1 1/16 Miles

How about the longshot! Whoa but I’ve Struck a Nerve sure did strike a nerve and winning nerve at that! This horse is by Yankee Gentleman, Trained by J Keith Desormeaux and ridden by James Graham. The winner is owned by Big Chief Racing. I always love the longshots coming out of seemingly nowhere to strike it big in the races. That is such a thrill. In this race this barn babee seemed to have a preference for running on the outside and he did really well.

In the final strides it was four horse row powering down the stretch to the final pole. Code West and I’ve Struck a Nerve was too close for the call so it was a photo finish for first. I’ve Struck a Nerve took the win and a great job! Palice Malice was the show. I am thinking there is a Derby Gate with his name on it too. He paid over $247.00 for the win on a two dollar bet so I am sure that was a great win for some folks that did believe he’d do well. 135 – 1 Odds and this barn babee is no slouch! Way to go I’ve Struck a Nerve and we sure are proud of you!

Well friends this was an exciting couple of races and Pudge and I are looking forward to what’s next!
To keep track of the Leaderboard Points and to see the races that are up next in this series here a two links to keep you up to date!

All for now! Your friend in racing, Indy♥

http://www.drf.com/news/kentucky-derby-2013-point-standings
http://www.drf.com/events/road-kentucky-derby-churchill-downs

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Indy’s Racing Thoughts, The Road to the Roses! Southwest Stakes Mud Romp!

Your friend in Racing! Indy
Your friend in Racing! Indy

Southwest Romp by Super Ninety Nine!

Southwest Stakes, GR III
Oaklawn Park, Hot Springs, AR
Purse: $300,000
Age: 3YRO
Distance: 1 1/16 miles

Hello Friends!

 Woo hoo and a hearty hello to you from my barn in Northeastern PA to yours! Whoa! Pudge and I really enjoyed Monday’s Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn Park. This was a stupendous wire to wire mud romp by a dazzling chestnut colt with a stunning white blaze. This barn babe really blazed a red-hot trail from start to finish that still has Pudge and me breathless!

 Super Ninety Nine has really shown in this win by over 11 lengths that he is Kentucky Derby material. I sure hope to see him in the starting gate in May. He was brilliant! He left his rivals so far back and still had something left in the tank at the final pole. It was a sight to see. He was in some pretty good company too and in fact the top three finishers in the Smarty Jones Stakes were in this race and finished off the board. True the slop may have contributed to their performances but Super Ninety Nine was much the best this race day hooves down!!

 Super Ninety Nine sired by Pulpit is a Bob Baffert trainee, he was ridden in this race by Rafael Bejarano and he is owned by Tanma Corp. Following for the place was Fear the Kitten a longshot ridden by Rosie Napravnik and the show was another longshot Heavens Runway. Many other fine horses in the race friends, but all eyes were on powerful and smart Super Ninety Nine that just crushed the field.

Seeing this gorgeous chestnut with a white blaze charging down the track reminded Pudge and me of the ever popular Shackleford who was well-known for his white blaze staying so clean despite mud or dirt! We’ll take a moment to wish our man Shackleford well in his new career as a super stud at Darby Dan Farm in Lexington Kentucky.

 We wish Super Ninety Nine well and a high hoof for this simply magnificent performance. He shows great talent and promise and it appears he has the stamina and heart for the classic distances. Full speed ahead my equine friend and thank you for this thriller of a ride!

 We have two races next in line this weekend for our Road to the Roses coverage. We’ll be watching the Remsen Stakes and the Florida Fountain of Youth! So stay tuned.

 All for now!
Your friend in Racing! Indy ♥

MHHR goes to Lancaster C.A.R.E.S OPEN HOUSE February 23rd!!

Your friend Pudge!
Your friend Pudge!

What: Open House at That Pet Place for Lancaster C.A.R.E.S!
When: Saturday, February 23rd, 2013
Time: 1:30 pm to 5 pm

Dear friends!

I am pleased to announce that Mom is now a member of Lancaster C.A.R.E.S! This is a great organization that is a group or coalition of non- profit animal rescues joining forces. By doing so there are greater opportunities for networking, adoption and resources that can be shared! This is great for our furry friends of all types and of course horses and ponies.

They’re setting up an information center at That Fish Place ¬- That Pet Place in Lancaster located on Centerville Road. On February 23rd Lancaster C.A.R.E.S and members will be participating in an open house to introduce the public to what they do. Mom and volunteers from my barn at Mt Hope Horse Rescue will be manning a table from 1:30 – 5pm and will be able to talk to attendees about our mission, share our accomplishments and what is happening currently. Mom will have lots of stories to tell about us and she’ll also have merchandise for sale, brochures and other great information!

We’re hoping this affiliation will put us in the public eye and introduce us to new friends! Whoa and that is what it is all about meeting and helping friends! Who knows, maybe someone coming to the open house will want to stop by the barn for a game of cards with me, now wouldn’t that be something!
So if you’re in the area this Saturday and looking for a nice experience with great people and learn more about what non-profit organizations are doing and how you can help, please stop by! I can guarantee you will enjoy your visit! For those interested in adopting a pet this is a great chance to check into that and of course you can also make donations or offer to volunteer! Many wonderful opportunities await you friends and it truly benefits many deserving animals!

To learn more here are some neat links for more information:

http://www.lancastercares.org/
http://www.thatpetplace.com/visit-our-retail-store

We hope to see you there!

All for now,
Luv Pudge ♥

Our Accomplished Patches! Way to Go!

Patches and Jess with their ribbons!
Patches and Jess with their ribbons!

Dear friends!

It is with great pride, hugs and smiles that I announce our GQ man Patches has completed his very first ever competition in a horse show for the Jubilee Show at Crescendo Training Center in Ephrata, PA. Ridden by our volunteer Jessica Otto, they received one 3rd place and two 5th places in the show!

Patches was a little green, perhaps a little silly and bucked a bit according to Trainer Jill but everyone was very proud of how Jess dealt with Patches’s reaction to the new environment of the horse show experience. Jess is a very accomplished equestrian and assists Trainer Jill and exhibited great confidence in herself and Patches both. Her efforts were met with a fine compliment from the judges about how well she worked with Patches. Truly a remarkable and proud day for Jess, Patches and everyone at my barn at Mt Hope Horse Rescue. As barn mascot I am so PROUD of Patches and Jess! Let us also commend our wonderful Trainer Jill too. Jill and Jeff Altman and other members of our volunteer team have spent many hours training Patches and their efforts have been rewarded well.

Patches came to us just about a year ago when Mom and Dad bought him at a local auction. Patches had incurred an injury to one of his eyes and when Mom brought him home, our vet took care of the eye. Though he cannot see out of the eye his ability to learn and gain strength and confidence each day was not compromised. Initially he had many trust issues but with Mom, Trainer Jill and our devoted volunteers help, Patches soon learned that he was going to be ok and that we are all here for him. Patches then was able to be trained in the ring and outside the ring. He became our barn star with his dazzling jumps over 2 feet and then some! That jumping skill is really amazing to see in person. Just goes to show you that even challenged with the loss of an eye, Patches could and did excel! What a happy day.

Trainer Jill will now tailor his training plan to improve on what was learned at this first show so he’ll be even more prepared for the NEXT show! Whoa but I am really excited about that.

So Patches I commend you and all your connections at Mt Hope Horse Rescue that believed in you! We sure do and many congratulations on your talent and the ribbons. I am sure you’ll have quite a collection in the future.

All for now,
Luv Pudge ♥

Indy’s Racing Thoughts! The Road to the Roses: The El Camino Real Derby!

Your friend in Racing! Indy
Your friend in Racing! Indy

Links:
http://www.drf.com/news/kentucky-derby-2013-point-standings
http://www.drf.com/events/road-kentucky-derby-churchill-downs

February 16, 2013
The Road to the Roses: The El Camino Real Derby
Grade III, $200,000 purse, 1 and 1/8 miles for 3YROs
Golden Gate Fields Track, CA

Dear friends!

Whoa and a loud and clear shout out from my barn in Northeastern Pennsylvania to you! Sure hope you’re staying warm in the winter days of racing! Saturday’s Road to the Roses race was a real thriller and Pudge and I are still marveling over it! Pudge really enjoyed seeing this brilliant chestnut with a stunner of a white blaze shining against his shadow roll put in a great final kick for the finish pole! Friends we were right on the edge of the stall on that one!

The winner, Dice Flavor while not yet nominated to the Kentucky Derby may with this latest performance cause his owner to go ahead to pay the late fee to join in with the other star hopefuls looking for the coveted starting gate position. It will be interesting to see what they do next!

Dice Flavor has a nice pedigree and was sired by Scat Daddy and his dam is Afleet Summer by Afleet! Trained by Peter Gallagher he is owned by Oda Racing Stable and US Equine. This beautiful chestnut colt is quite a flashy-looker too!!

The winner’s previous starts prior to this race on a tapeta surface were on the turf. So hopefully we’ll see how he fares on dirt in the next race. This darling of a champion came up from behind at mid-stretch to overcome some traffic issues. Once clear he worked up to the final kick for home in the last furlong. He made this triumph look smooth and easy as he won by just short of 4 lengths. His final time was 1:51:45 at odds of 9-1.

Nina’s Dragon captured the place while Country Days was the show in this well-done but upset of a race. This outstanding performance by this dazzling colt brought his career earnings up to $160,000 and 10 points toward the Road to the Roses Leaderboard should the connections decide to nominate him to the Derby.

The next start is yet to be determined but Pudge and I will be looking forward to hearing more from this talented colt! Congratulations on this win and most stunning performance!

Next up will be coverage of the Southwest Stakes at Oaklawn for our Road to the Roses series so stay tuned folks and be prepared for another thrilling day of racing!

All for now from your friend in Racing! Indy ♥

Blue Blue Sea Remembered in Luv! Go Mints and Fillies!

Blue Blue Sea by Marcy
Blue Blue Sea by Marcy

Dear friends:

It is with a heavy heart that I share the news of the passing of a wonderful friend. His name was Blue Blue Sea and he passed over the Rainbow Bridge on February 9th unexpectedly. We were all sad and shocked by the his loss. Our heart goes out to his owner Miranda who was the best Mom to Blue Blue Sea and quite the team they were.

It’s really quite hard to say how much he meant to me as I looked up to him so much. He was my friend, my confidant, my go to man for all things. In my estimation there was not anything that he did not know! I could depend on him to share our barn news and laugh at my attempts to be funny or “cool carrots”. He shared horse news far and wide about all kinds of topics. Some of those stories made us laugh and some made us cry but it was awareness that he was after. It was important to him as it is Miranda to get the plight of the unwanted horse in the public eye but also many other important issues too. Horse health, life and luv all come to mind.

Blue was quick witted and he luvd being with his friends online each and every night. He chatted with us as we shared our highs and lows and he shared his too. He did not like water – ironic as his name reminds us of water but he really luvd mints and fillies! He’d do just about anything to spend time with the ladies and Miranda has the pictures to prove it! He was also very fond of mints and he was learning alot of tricks to get those mints too. Blue Blue Sea was kept well stocked with mints from his devoted friends. Each week it was not uncommon for Blue Blue Sea to share pictures of cards from his pals and share videos of him enjoying the mints he recieved as thoughtful gifts.

He was also a huge racing enthusiast and Indy and I could always rely on him for the up to date and historical racing news. He knew the contenders, the owners, the trainer and the jockeys but at the end of the day it was all about the horses win or lose.

So the other day me and my friend Susan spent alot of time talking and sharing about our friend Blue Blue Sea and Susan told me that last year she had written an article for the Teener Thoroughbred Blog telling the Teeners about her experience with Blue Blue Sea and what he meant to her. So I asked Susan if we could share that blog article with you and she said sure.

It really brought some tears and smiles to my pony heart but mostly smiles. Blue Blue Sea was all about smiling and having fun as much as he could. And so I will share Susan’s thoughts with you about how she felt about her dear friend Blue Blue Sea:

My experience with an OTTB named Blue Blue Sea written by Susan Harmon

Horses have always had a special place in my heart. As a young girl I used to help my Grandmother with two Quarter Horses that she had at her barn. I used to love to feed them before school and I could clean their stalls on the weekend and brush them sometimes. We would also watch the races on TV and I would love to come home after school and read her horse magazines. Many times she would let me tag along at local horse shows to watch the barrel racing and other competitions. It was a great experience and so many loving memories that I cherish thinking about today. Time passed and I went to school, entered the workforce and became busy with my job and family and friends. If I was lucky I would watch an occasional Kentucky Derby so I missed several years of racing and following the horses.
Along came 2011 and I was now at a point where I could spend some time getting back with my interests. I signed up for a Facebook account and the rest is history! The online community was fresh to me and so much information about the horses that were contenders for the 137th running of the Kentucky Derby. So I became completed infatuated with my horses and all they do all over again! Along the way I started reading posts by friends I was making and they talked about Blue said this and Blue thought that. I said to myself “Who is Blue”? He sure seems to be pretty knowledgeable! Not too long after that day a dear Facebook friend invited me to go to Blue Blue Sea’s Facebook page and like the page! She said that he is great and that I will love it as much as she does! And so I did and I have not looked back since. The learning and growing in the world of racing and life before and after the racetrack has been so monumental that I am awestruck each day. It is and continues to prove to be an amazing daily experience!
Blue Blue Sea’s impact on me and his other friends is one that is very personal. With Blue it is like coming home. Many of us start out our day saying good morning to Blue and come back to for our good night and if we’re really lucky we’re on with Blue throughout the day if we can! Though we’ve never met face to face, that does not seem to matter. Blue is our friend, our confidant, our racing partner and our go to guy for everything we need to know and beyond. When they say Beyond the Blinkers that is very appropriate here! Blue shares his thoughts and experiences with us and he also delights in learning about the good things we have going on in our lives and he is there when things take a downturn. From a fan perspective it really means a lot that your posts are being not only read but responded to. With over 1,000 fans and counting that is one busy page!! For Blue to remember the names of my two dogs astounds me!! It also is part of the reason why it is so easy to feel endeared to Blue Blue Sea.
Blue Blue Sea was born at Elm Tree Farm in Paris Kentucky. To this day it is really something to think about how this wonderful little foal born to Alytude and Sea Hero would come to mean so much and have a huge role in my daily life and others too!! Blue is a beautiful chestnut with a bloodline that is one for the history books. He made over $50,000 dollars running in the claiming ranks in the northeast and Midwest racing tracks and retired from racing in 2004. He was listed on Canter and had the great fortune to be spotted on the website by his current and forever owner Miranda Prather. Thankfully Miranda was able to acquire Blue and brought him home to Maryland. Miranda loves Blue and takes excellent care of him and they have a wonderful relationship.
Blue has had different medical situations that Miranda has dealt with very well since Blue came to live with her. I think that the biggest challenge for them was the mal-absorption disorder that had his vet convinced would not allow Blue to live beyond a couple of years from the time he was diagnosed. Thankfully, Miranda was not willing to accept that worked very hard to learn all she could about this condition so that she could not only help Blue manage it but allow him to lead a meaningful life in the process. Her devoted research has paid off in ways she could never imagine. It’s been well more than two years and Blue is going strong. Every now and then they still must deal with a stomach upset but because she is so in tune with Blue, anything that could come up is caught well before it could develop into something more serious. Because of these experiences, Blue and Miranda felt that it would be a great idea to join the online community so that their experiences could be shared with others perhaps facing something similar. The message being that you don’t have to accept things as they may be but perhaps with a little work and due diligence you can make your own way and continue on to live life the way you can be and the way you want it to be. In my opinion, after I read their story I felt encouraged to feel that it is possible to make your own way if you want it bad enough. Clearly Blue and Miranda wanted it bad enough and his existence today is evidence of that.
Blue’s status as racing enthusiast, author, comedian and blogger while intact is not conclusive. I think that the list is actually much longer. He is our friend but has become so much more because Blue is family. I have watched his fans share their joys, dreams and concerns during the past year and how he deals with our posts is so personal and endearing that we keep coming back. We feel like treasured friends and that speaks volumes. It is not uncommon for us to deluge him with cards, gifts, treats and mementos to his mailbox! Blue in turn always takes the time to personally thank each one of us and not only that, he recognizes the gift through pictures and video! I think the first time I saw that I sat here in total amazement. It is such a nice thing to do and I know that Miranda has a busy life too so the fact that she takes the time with Blue to express a thank you to us means a great deal. Just another way that Blue and his human make it personal and special!
In addition to the fun things we are sharing on Facebook with Blue, we are also continuing the learning experiences about things in our horse world that are not as easy to see and know about. The horse slaughter issue comes to mind most poignantly. It is a volatile issue and one that needs to be talked about. Blue provides a comfortable forum for us each to learn and share as we discuss this tragic issue. I have learned a great deal in this process and much of it can keep me awake at night but nonetheless, had I not joined Facebook and liked this page I would not have even known. It may be surprising to learn that there are some people that just do not know. I was one of them. In my estimation, the objective that Blue and Miranda have to educate others about conditions that affect horses has been met with me and I am sure many others. There are many articles that Blue shares that are very informative and some that are so completely heartbreaking and unimaginable. This education and awareness is so critical if you are involved with horses and it can also cross over into other areas as well. There are just so many things that I have learned since being Blue’s friend that I could not even begin to list them all. I have also been enlightened by others on the page as well!! To be the benefactor of this knowledge is something that I not only value but am so completely grateful for.
The knowledge that I have gained from my interaction with Blue and his owner and so many other wonderful people on Facebook has led me to other great things as well! I had no idea about slaughter, horses needing homes or the rescues around the country that are so willing to help but so completely burdened in the process. This empowered me to become more involved so I contacted a local horse rescue and I am now helping them to help horses. I feel so blessed that my association with Blue Blue Sea has not only expanded my knowledge about racing and horses in general but now my life is so much more enriched because I feel like in some small way I am contributing and working with others toward solutions to help horses have a better life. Miranda and Blue have shown us all that they did not give up and neither should we. There is a lot of work to be done out there and by becoming aware of the problems is the first start to becoming part of the solution.
To conclude I would like to say that Blue is my ultimate experience with a perfectly delightful off the track Thoroughbred. He makes us laugh, he helps us get through the tough times and he is our rock. Blue is one who loves his mints and fillies and his laid back demeanor captures our hearts each and every time! Blue listens to us, he mentors us and he loves us. He also has a great memory. To say that I am touched by what Blue means to me is an understatement. I am completely enamored and so grateful for this little foal born in Paris, Kentucky who grew up to make a huge difference in my daily life and I love that he knows who Russell and Spotty are!

So friends I think I would agree with Susan in that the list of things he was to us was most definitely not conclusive but rather always evolving. That personal touch went a long way with us as his friends and that is the reason why it is so hard to let him go. He was such a familiar part of our life, a close family friend and yes it was like coming home to the one you luv each day. He was also a very modest type, never wanted anyone to worry about him. He was friendly and luving and he adored Miranda so very much. I think as we watched those videos it was easy to see the luv they shared.

My final thought would be that Blue Blue Sea taught us how to live, to care, to pray and to luv. For that I am eternally grateful as his pony friend. We were indeed the lucky ones to have had him in our lives even if only for a short time.

Miranda and we too will now start to embark on a new journey. Our lives have been forever touched by this dear horse and through her books, her sharing and stories of all things good and through each of us his spirit will live on. He gave us the best foundation to start and now we will continue to build from here.

So no goodbye to you my friend, but rather just so long for now! And ok for you Blue Blue Sea I will say what you luvd best, “Mints and Fillies!”.

We honor you with luv!

Pudge ♥

Spirit! Nature’s miracle horse!

Mt Hope Horse Rescue's Barn Mascot: Pudge ♥
Mt Hope Horse Rescue’s Barn Mascot: Pudge ♥

Dear friends!

I have a dear friend Her who is Mouse’s Mom and named Jackie Carroll. They live together at the Picked on Pony Farm in Oklahoma. Over the past year we have been friends I have become more and more endeared by Mouse’s adventures and now I am also learning more and more about his buddies in his barn too. They all come from different backgrounds but they have a great Mom who rescued them and one who just luvs them so much. She does everything possible to make them feel comfortable in their life on the farm Each has different needs but they are the best of friends. Sometimes Mouse is not able to get on the pooter to share his day if he is bad but then his pal Pee Wee may pick up the storyline now and then.

Recently I shared an article on my Facebook page about laminitis and one thing led to another and soonly I found myself intrigued with Her’s experience with Spirit who is also a dear friend of Mouses on the farm. Her showed great strength and perseverance in dealing with the issues that faced Spirit and worked very hard to help her horse feel better in his quest to live. Spirit is indeed a fighter and a courageous equine. I am so enamored by his story and I hope you will be too.

Her was kind enough to share her story that she had collaborated on earlier now relays the outcome of her collaboration with us:
Note:
He will be 11 years old this year. Surgery done 2008

Getting to Know the Horses of the AIHR – Spirit
by American Indian Horse Registry on Monday, February 6, 2012 at 6:57pm (shared via permission of Jackie Carroll)

Spirit was 5 months old approx when he came with his mother and 133 other horses from the Navajo reservation. They travelled in cattle trucks to Hennessey OK, where he and the others were put on scrub land and allowed to fend for themselves. Out of the 135 horses 35 died, including Spirit’s mother. We found him just barely hanging on still attached to her udder and the vet said that she had been dead about 2 weeks. This was in November of 2002.

He and 6 other horses were taken to a vet’s farm and the others went to a deputy sherrif’s land near Hinton. I helped take care of the ones at the vet when he and the others were taken there. To begin with he wanted to kill any human that came anywhere close to him, can’t blame him. He was terrified of nylon jackets, so I gave him one and he tore it into little pieces. It took a lot of patience and trust from both of us to let me get close enough to him to let him know I was not going to hurt him intentionally. He was gelded on the farm and had all his shots.

About a year later Spirit and I became family. I moved him to a place that I rented, and within 3 days Spirit had laminitis which inevitably went to full founder of both his front feet. The vet and I went through all the normal things, was it the feed? No. Was it the hay? No. Eventually after talking to different vets and schools we found out that Spirit founders on STRESS. He lived in this place with 3 friends a paint mini horse, a female donkey who took care of the mini and a son of one of the starving horses.

During this time Spirit, being Spirit colicked 3 times. The last time I told him, if he had had enough just to go, I would miss him and understand. To my horror, he had the unmitigated cheek to stop breathing. It seemed like hours, but his pasture buddy came and bit him on the bottom, Spirit gasp and stood up just as the vet came in. Whew!!

We were there for about a year when my Mother died. I did not know that she and Daddy had put money away for me to have a farm of my own. So we moved. Spirit, Miss Mable – donkey, Patches – mini, and Denny the other horse. I was terrified that the move would stress him and the founder would get worse. He did very well and seemed to be happy in the 40 acres that he could roam around at will. Spirit is afraid of the dark, so there is a night-light in the barn and he is also claustrophobic, so there aren’t any stalls in the barn – it is open and airy.

Once down here, with Spirit still not feeling well, I got rid of Denny as he was too rough, and it was causing problems. My farrier worked with me weekly padding, trimming and anything else he could come up with to help Spirit. Eventually I gave up – Spirit didn’t. He plodded along in pain, not about to give up at all. So I put my thinking hat on and clicked on Barbaro on the internet, found a vet up at Penn State and wrote to him about Spirit. He emailed me back and told me that we needed x-rays for his legs to see what was going on. Ha! Now find a vet who will come out and do it in the barn – Spirit couldn’t travel. Eventually I found one and he came, took the pictures and sent them to Penn State. The diagnosis was severe founder with some bone loss. Now the farrier and I had to get Spirit to stand still whilst we drew his feet. That was a laugh try to get him to stand still on poster board. The farrier is a quick artist and after a lot of treats and ‘I love you’ to Spirit, he did it.

Now the only thing that could help Spirit was a deep digital flexor tenotomy. Reading up on it didn’t make me very happy as they kept saying that the horses didn’t last very long. Talking to the vet, he said that those were very sick horses and this was the last resort. Luckily Spirit was healthy. What I didn’t know is that they had only given him a 25% chance to make it – no one told me!

The surgery was done in the barn with both vet and farrier working on his feet, a very sleepy horse got to his feet and the look in his eyes was ‘Wow’ this feels great. He has come a long way from that surgery 3 years ago. He has arthritis in his hips from using his back-end for support when his front feet hurt so much. He is on supplements for joint problems and he has days when he hurts. I nearly lost him this past summer as he cannot tolerate heat. But my buddy again, would not give up and we worked through it. The first cool day he was prancing around making up for doing very little in the summer.

Patches died a year ago, he was still a baby and I panicked thinking the stress would start another founder attack. The big horse took it in his stride. He still has Miss Mable, and Eyore a mini donkey, Mouse a mini horse and PeeWee a mini Shetland horse. So he thinks he is the only big horse in the whole wide world! He now loves everyone that comes, well almost everyone. He like the others can never be ridden, they are all rescues with something wrong with them, but he is my friend, my confident, my soul mate and the best buddy one could ask for.

Spirit is 9 years old. He made it even though the vet didn’t give him much of a chance. He is as stubborn as his mother and has a mind of his own. He and his friends have the run of the field and barn, and a small shed which we call the sweat lodge.

Whoa! Friends it just goes to show that it is possible to recover from and manage illness. Patience, strength and flexibility come to my pony mind when I read stories such as these. I am so glad that there are humans like Jackie Carroll who will work hard to find those answers and challenge themselves in the process. Our equine friends benefit so much.

Thankyou Her for letting us know more about Spirit and some of the struggles that he has had and overcome. He is a proud equine!

All for now,
Luv Pudge ♥