Star, our Bucket Fund pony for August, saw the Specialist yesterday!

(If you missed Star’s story, click here.)

The Specialist and several vets gathered today to determine if she needed an amputation or a prosthetic device, and the best method for success.

Well… after reviewing all the XRays and examining her again, they feel all that is needed are two prosthetic devices.  One for the turned under right foot, and one for the support leg.

This is great news!!

Star will not have to undergo any surgery and recovery.  She will only have to adapt to braces – which has got to be easier than adapting to 3 years of overgrown hooves digging into her ankles…

After three years in a stall, Star’s hooves had grown backwards and into her ankles causing permanent damage. But she didn’t give up. Star was loaded with parasites, had maggots in her ankles and eyes and could barely walk, but she was alive and fighting. The humans stepped in to help her.

This was Star’s face the day she was rescued. Those dots are fly eggs. All over.

From being trapped in a stall with 3 years of overgrown hoof, her front right foot is permanently turned under and she walks on her ankle. She needed a prosthesis or a prosthetic device. We didn’t know which – until yesterday.


Everyone was so excited with the decision that the Prosthetic maker, Dr. Graves, cast both of Stars legs right there and then!  The devices should be ready within 2-8 weeks.

Oh, and in case you didn’t notice in the below photos, Dr. Graves is an amputee himself.  He knows what it feels like and he understands the mechanics of prosthetics.

Isn’t it heartwarming to know that this man has turned his misfortune into helping animals with their limb issues?!

I will keep you posted on Star’s progress with Dr. Graves!

Dr. Graves is working with Star to take casts of both of her legs for braces. She won’t need an amputation! NOTICE that Dr. Graves is an amputee himself!



I received notes from those caring for Star:

Today was a great day for Star! Dr. Graves can help her and we wont have to amputate the leg!  He went ahead and cast her today and he is doing a brace for both legs to also give support to her better leg. He will be able to create a custom brace that will distribute her weight  throughout various points of her leg. Dr. Graves is an amazing man and has done animal prosthetics around the world.  He has worked on several cases like Star with success. Star had a long day but handled it all great from loading into the trailer on her own, having both legs cast and even grazed on grass when she got back home and out of the trailer.

Here is Star loading for her big day!

Star is really a happy pony and even tries to get away from us if she isn’t ready to go back into her stall while grazing,  She gave us a little fight yesterday going into the trailer but then jumped right up there herself when she was ready J I think a lot of times her pictures look sad because she has these big brown “puppy dog” type eyes which I know is hard to explain to someone if they haven’t been around her.

The other amazing part of Star is her ability to adapt.  When we first found her, she shouldn’t  have even been alive, let alone moving around but since she couldn’t move her front legs in a forward motion, she would actually plant her front legs then rotate her back legs to the side and pick up her front again and rotate her back legs until she got to where she wanted to be.  Once the farrier (which is Dani’s husband) got the hooves cut down it took her about a week to realize that she could move in a forward motion with her front legs.  Star had also not had a lot of interaction with people handling her so she also adapted to that as well during this process. She now comes in and out of her stall to graze when she wants and when they made the temporary brace so that she would have some grip on the bottom of it, she took right to it.  She will also let you know if she is not happy when you put her back into her stall when she is not ready to go back in J. Dr Graves is going to make the one brace higher than the other so that she can get straightened back out as well which will also help!

Casting the right leg

Star now loves to be groomed and especially loves you to rub her eyes, which is odd for a horse (At least my horses J).  We are thinking because they were so itchy when the fly larvae was in them. She is extremely trusting despite all that she has been through.

We can not wait for her to have her braces! It’s going to take that weight off her bent foot and let her be able to walk without her bending over due to the shortened leg.  She is happy at this point but we realize that without something this would eventually take a toll on her body.

Casting the left…

And from a junior volunteer at the Rescue:

I did help doll her up for her photo shoot this past weekend. I’ve spent a lot of time with Star out at the rescue and am greatly inspired by her strength and courageousness.

She is a very determined and smart girl.. and a true fighter! Any obstacle that has been thrown her way, she has easily adapted to it and adjusted her lifestyle to help benefit herself more efficiently. For as much as she has been put through, she holds a lot of trust in humans. She has the kindest look to her face and is full of so much life. She loves her food and LOVES attention! If you rub her face, she will be your best friend.. we believe this is because of all the maggots and larvae that was “caked” on her face when she was first brought to the rescue. Nothing in this horse yells surrender.. by being with her, you can tell she wants to keep fighting and wants to try new things; she’s a very curious creature for as limited as she is at the moment.


We are almost to our goal!  Today is another opportunity to put a drop in the bucket… so far, all the drops have created 75%  of what she needs for both of her braces!  Wahoo!  Only a bit more to reach our goal for this lucky pony – who was incredibly unlucky for 3 years of her life.

        If you receive this post via email, click here to donate!


Fundraising Thermometer


Thank you!



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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

5 comments have been posted...

  1. Joseph Peterman

    This story was a very heart-warming one….Brings back good memories of the Animal rescue I was part of once upon a time….

  2. Kathy

    Hard to believe this is the same horse! So happy for her. She deserves this after what she has endured. It is a miracle she was still alive. Kuddos!

  3. RiderWriter

    Wonderful news! From that shiny coat and happy face,, it’s clear she’s getting the best of care. :D

  4. Jalkr

    No higher honor than to have the love of that dear and courageous pony. I’m so glad you ignored all the critics, and listened to the horse and Dr Graves, instead.

    All the critics ought to be ashamed of themselves, and sit on their tongues next time they think of speaking out of turn.

Post a comment!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *