STAR GOT HER BRACES TODAY!!!! Thanks to you!!

We did it!

You readers are wonderful.

If you missed Star’s story, you can read it here.  Basically, she was kept in a stall for 3 years.  Her feet were never trimmed, they grew back into her ankles and deformed her.  She was covered in lice and fly eggs.  Yet, she ate and drank every day…

What a difference you and the people from Hope Equine Rescue have made in the life of this sweet and deserving mare. We did it! Every day for her from this day forward will always be better than from where she came…


Rescued by Hope Equine Rescue, it was determined that after farrier care, with braces to support her, she could regain the upper body strength she once had.  Once her strength was back, she would walk close to normally with the brace support.  She would no longer need to hop with her back legs and drag her atrophied front legs forward.

Today was the first step in her new life – thanks to you readers!

The specialists think it will take about 6 months to get her into condition again.  Today was Day 1.  The braces fit.  She did not fight it – in fact, she embraced the support and grazed happily.


So, time is on our side…

I will keep you updated on her progress!

We are all hopeful that her incredible journey (and future improvement) will help educate and encourage other horses with horrible deformities created through human neglect.

Here is our receipt for the funds raised and donated to Star.

Horse and Man’s Bucket Fund donation to Star paid for her braces – totally. All Paid. WONDERFUL!



Here is the email I received from Hope Equine Rescue today after Star was fitted:

It went remarkably well!  The prosthetic designer, Graves, said he was really impressed how well Star did with accepting the braces.  He said a lot of horses pull back when he puts them on and have a hard time getting used to them. Star stood there like a little angel and never even tried to pull back from him.  She moved around in her stall a little and then came out and grazed for about 30 minutes. She walked back to her stall and actually moved all four feet in a forward motion and didn’t have to stop and pull her bad let with her and then let her back legs catch up. She laid down and got up a couple times as well and when she got up she actually put both legs in front of her and pulled herself up instead of getting up with her back end first! When we took them off she stood there and shift her weight to her good leg and held her other leg up like ” why did you take it off?”

We will be spending the next couple weeks getting her accustom to the brace. For the first week she will wear it for 2 hours then take it off for 2 hours and repeat throughout the day.  The we will gradually add 15 minutes to the wear time and take 15 minutes off the off time.

Graves put several Stars on her braces to customize them for her and he even cut out a star at the bottom of the brace so that she can leave her mark wherever she goes.

Prepping the new braces.


The amputee human fitting the pony mare…


Star is thinking about it, but pretty happy… and receptive.


He said that each horse was different but by the way she was responding to it, she should be straightened up  in a couple months.  He added 4″ to the brace on the bad foot to straighten out her shoulders but it would take the muscles a couple weeks/months to get used to not being bent over.  That is the reason that he gave us a strict program to slowly break her into the brace as not to make the muscles too sore at first. She has had the braces on and off 3 times today and did really well every time.


Up close… her legs are straight!  Notice the stars applied to her brace.  Cute.


Yes, she looks skinny and hunched… but remember that she was stuck in a stall for 3 years with a front end that couldn’t work. Her muscles had atrophied. But, they will come back. And, the Specialists required that she keep the weight off until her legs were stronger. Look at her ears. She is OK!

The bottom of her brace.


Star left this mark while she was grazing.


As awkward and uncomfortable as this photo appears, she was actually moving faster and more straight than she has in the past 3 years! The DRs say it will be approximately 6 months before her muscles remember and return to health. For the first time today, she moved by placing all four feet like a normal horse – not hopping or pulling her front legs around. Success! It will only get better…


Graves feels that Star should have a very good quality of life once her muscles in her back and shoulders get straightened out.  She was already moving quicker today than she ever has.  We are also going to start her on massage sessions so that will help also to loose up her muscles that have been hunched over for so many years.  We all feel really good with the outcome!


By the end of her first outing, she looked much more straight as she headed back to the barn. Ears alert! She wears her braces for 2 hours every 4 hours. Slowly but surely … What a terrific outcome for this sweet little pony mare who had been horribly neglected by her caregivers…


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

6 comments have been posted...

  1. Ronnie Graves

    While I might appreciate the elevation to DR status, I must let everyone know that I, Ronnie Graves am NOT a DR of any kind. I am a Licensed Prosthetist and Orthotist in the State of Florida and certified nationally by two different agencies. I am not now or ever have been a veterinarian and do not want to step on their toes.
    Please correct the article to reflect this!
    I’m also very proud to have helped Star!!!

  2. storm

    when she is healed as much as possible will you send her to a special needs Equine support facility for children to interact with?

  3. Pam

    I was looking at her stance and wondering if she might have EMND
    It is very rare however we rescued an older mare graded out at about
    A 1.5 and she too was stuck in a stall for many years and developed this.
    I thought I could give her some groceries and find her a new home…
    EMND like a horsey version of ALS but it is caused by a lack of vitamin E.

  4. Lisa

    Dawn – Just wanted to say thank you to you and everyone that gave to Star’s Bucket Fund. Without you all it would not have been possibly to give Star the second chance that she deserves! We will continue to keep you all posted on her progress!
    Hope Equine Rescue

  5. Sharon

    Thank you for giving us an opportunity to be a part of this beautiful pony’s healing!

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