Procrastination just doesn’t help matters…

I guess there could be the excuse that there wasn’t enough money to release her tendons as a tiny foal – when the procedure is usually done fairly routinely – to have saved her feet from progressing to this point.

But, to do nothing and trap her in a stall for three years seems criminal.  Especially because she was at on a breeding farm.  Lots and Lots and Lots of horses…  Yet she was in a stall.


Meet Lucky.

She was born with digital flexor contraction or club feet.

It could have been fixed fairly easily.


Basically, Lucky’s former owners were TWH breeders.

Judging by Lucky’s birth defect, maybe there was a bad gene in the pool… but whatever, the breeding kept on happening while this little filly – and her defect – were locked in a stall.

The owners kept on keeping on… all the while this filly got worse and worse.

She was never let outside of her stall.

She was never allowed to walk on green grass.

She has never run in her life.

Finally, the entire breeding establishment was disbanded and all the horses rehomed – except Lucky.

No one would take her.  She needed a miracle.

That miracle came from SEAL Cares Animal Rescue in Cottonwood, Alabama.

NEWLY RESCUED from her life trapped in a stall, Lucky’s first bath! A beautiful TWH filly! She is happy, attentive and is thrilled to be out of her cage!


THEY COULDN’T BELIEVE HOW HAPPY SHE WAS!  She was joyous! Excited! Thrilled to be in a new place!

When SEAL brought her home, they thought they would be humanely euthanizing her.

Except, the filly was full of life.

She was joyous and excited to be in a new place.

They couldn’t believe her exuberance!  Lucky did her best to dance around and express her zest for life!

No one could believe it….

Everyone fell in love with her.

Within a week, she became the SEAL people greeter!

That was it… they had to try to fix her.

Lucky was thrilled to be on grass for the first time! She loved to graze and be groomed! She has no idea that she is disabled! Everyone loves her!



Upon arriving at SEAL, Lucky was evaluated.

Hmmmmm.  A very, very bad case of club feet.

They took her to a specialist, special farriers and their own vet.

All said the same thing, “Worst case I’ve ever seen….”

But, interestingly enough, they all thought she could be fixed.

It would take surgery, splints, healing and relearning, but they all thought she had a really good chance.  ANYTHING was better than being trapped in a stall with these feet!


Yikes! Bi-lateral club feet (rare) that wasn’t fixed when she was a foal. It is hard to believe, isn’t it… Yet, she survived for three years, and she’s happy! She loves to graze, wander and WATCH everything!


To be honest, I saw the photos and was taken aback.  Wow!

She reminded me of Star, who we had just helped.

Since Star was doing so well, I thought I’d call Lucky’s vet to hear from him the actual prognosis.

I called him, Dr. Wayne Waguespack, Jr., and he called right back.

He said he would love to help her as she was the worst case he had ever seen.   In fact, bi-lateral club feet were rare.  Dr W. said that she could have been helped as a tiny foal and this would never have progressed like it did.

Dr. W. said he planned on performing a digital flexor transection.  Although this is a routine surgery, her case is atypical and very severe.  He said there were no guarantees but he knew he could make her better.  Depending upon how well she did, he would recommend splints or corrective shoeing.  She may heal and not need shoes/splints, or she might always need shoes and/or splints.

I asked him if this was his sister’s horse, would he recommend that she do this surgery?

He said, Yes.

He said he thought this ‘little filly’ was such a sweetheart and had done so well with no help – ever – that he wanted to help her now.

SEAL has scheduled the surgery for November 9th.  This Friday.

We already have money in the Bucket Fund from a generous benefactor who wanted her donation from last month to roll over into this month.  We are starting with a whopping $500!

After just a few weeks, she is the official greeter! Lucky loves people!


The surgery/recovery is $1500.  Shoes/splints…??

If her incredible enthusiastic spirit has touched you like it did me, Let’s help this sweet filly have a life that she’s never, ever known!

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HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth... if you like this, please pass it around!

19 comments have been posted...

  1. Ann Earnest

    I just took in a pony mare that looks exactly the same! Both front hooves! I’m needing to know some info. I’ve looked up seals cares animal rescue and I can’t find them. She is young and happy. I keep getting told to put her down! This story gives me hope. But I’m in Illinois so I’m not sure where to take her for surgery. Can someone get me in touch with the rescue?

  2. Bruce MTthews

    I have trimmed and shod horses foe 43 years. 1year ago I took on a donkey in the exact condition. Numerous horseshoers were unable or unskilled to work or understand what needed to be done
    I now have this donkey standing straight and walking on soles instead of the front of pasterns knuckled under.
    I believe this filly can be helped by surgery on the tendons and corrective shoeing.
    some times it is more humane to put an animal down, but this filly should get this chance.
    my two cents worth

  3. Brigitte Searle

    To Ronnie Graves… Thank you for your comment and for what you’re doing for Lucky! I totally agree with you that no human or animal should be condemned to die just because of a disability.
    Dawn, you know I’m a staunch supporter of your Bucket Fund even though my pennies aren’t always available. The figures that you provided in your comment on 7 November are quite astounding.
    I guess the definition of “useful” for some people = “rideable”? I need to just read about Lucky and see her pictures, as also others that have been featured in the past to feel good, and to me that is priceless. Don’t throw away the emotional and therapeutic value that these animals have in terms of encouraging humans of all ages going through trauma eg amputation and/or any other disabilities or “defects” to persevere. Reference to little “Molly” and others being used in therapy programmes.
    In closure, I am sure that in each rescue case the persons involved make a thorough evaluation of the future of each animal and I’m equally sure they don’t prolong suffering to make themselves “feel good”. To each and every one of us out there, the decision remains with us whether we support/donate or not.

  4. Phebe

    The vet has indicated that this mare can be helped and her pain in recovery managed. That to me is sufficient evidence that she can lead a comfortable life; then what difference does it matter what the cost might be – people have donated the money, and it’s their money to do with what they want. If her head were hanging and she was depressed, then I would consider putting her down. And…yes! I have seen depressed horses – my beloved Shanti was suffering from depression when I took him from a less than desirable stable. If her eyes are bright, and she is anticipating a new experience, then she deserves a chance. The day my darling Shanti was out of his prior home, and introduced to pasture and his herd-mates, he exhibited an obvious new outlook on life, and within months we were “connected” and he was my favorite riding companion. Give the girl a chance!!! Money is worthless if it is not used for good – this is a sentient being with a joy and zest for life.

  5. Ronnie Graves

    Putting a horse like this down, just because she has leg issues, would be like putting a human down because their an amputee. Lucky is such a beautiful example of NOT giving up. I’ve helped many horses and as long as people are willing to help her, she deserves a chance. We have the technology TODAY, to help them. IF her head was hanging and she were in obvious distress, I could see it. She is not though. I personally wil do everything in my abilities to help her. No animal or human should be condemmed to die just becasue they have a deformity. We domesticated them, we have to take care of them.

  6. Kay

    I have to agree with the other people saying to let her go. Give her some loving and some apples and help her go peacefully and painlessly.

    Just look at the way she is standing. Her weight is shifted to her hind and she has to be severely body sore from it, not to mention how painful it must be to put any weight on her front legs.

    The surgery and rehab are going to cause her even more pain and discomfort than she has already suffered. On top of that, more than likely she will never be pain free and she will be very very lucky if she is even pasture sound after all of this.

  7. Catherine Phipps

    You have nothing to be ashamed of! You are the voice of the voiceless. I am sure Lucky is saying thank you! Continue the great work!

  8. Charlotte Jones

    Oh good Lord! Please put the horse down and use the money to help about 3 more. She is never going to be “fixed”.

  9. MET

    She is absolutely beautiful. Great job raising the funds, I’m crossing fingers she has a smooth recovery.

  10. Sienna

    It is unfortunate that many many horse “people” feel it necessary to put down a horse because of something that CAN be fixed as noted by the vets already involved in the case. Reference to the fact that more horses could be helped if money was not spent on this one?! . . . Y’ALL should be ashamed of making that comment.

  11. H.Smith

    Just because you can does not mean you should. There is little to no guaranteeing that this filly will ever be pain free or normal. The kindest thing anyone could do would be to give her equal amounts of love and pain medication and put her down. Why put her though more trauma then shes already been through on a “maybe”?

  12. dawndi Post author

    I received your comment this morning and I was compelled to reply.

    I am guessing that you are not a regular reader and that is fine.
    However, because you do not read regularly, you do not know that Horse and Man runs a Bucket Fund every month
    for horses in need.
    Over the last 2 years, we have helped or saved over 200 horses.
    In January alone, we saved 25.
    I do not discriminate on which horses need more help than others.
    I write the stories and let the reader feel moved – or not.
    No one is required to donate.
    We have collected over $100,000 for horses in need.

    No. I am not ashamed.

  13. Blair

    I will agree with Shelby and shakeytails. How much does she have to go through before you will do the kind thing and let her go? She’s been through so much already, and you’re happy to blow a small fortune to put her through more? It’s not like she’s going to have surgery and magically be comfortable. The trauma of the surgery, more stall rest, pain. And none of this is a guranteed thing.

    From a colder side, you could take care of SEVERAL horses who have a better shot at finding a good home for the amount you’re about to blow here on a horse who probably won’t ever be useful.

    You should be ashamed.

  14. Shelby

    The amount of pain, drugs, and length of rehab this filly will endure will not be humane. Surgery is PAINFUL, and she will be on drugs for months to keep her still long enough for her bones to hopefully heal, granted she doesn’t get an infection that will set her recovery time back. This poor girl has suffered enough. Don’t put her through months and years of agonizing rehabilitation just to make you “feel good” about “rescuing” a horse. This filly should be put out of her misery.

  15. shakeytails

    Just because we CAN save her doesn’t mean we SHOULD. The money that will go into this one animal could save several instead.

  16. Heather

    She’s lovely, a survivor…thank you for helping her. That “breeder” should be paying for her surgery and recovery. It is shameful that they let her go this long.

  17. Jenn

    I want to make a donation from PayPal but I am having trouble. Could someone tell me the email address associated with the PayPal account so I can do it directly from there. Thanks.

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