MAMA TESS UPDATE! IT MAKES NO SENSE TO THE EYE… but it does to the heart of this mare.

The Founder Warrior was here yesterday and when I took off Tess’ bandages, she gasped and shook her head.

I was prepared for her reaction.  I knew Tess’ feet looked bad…

“How could this be?” she said with her mouth open, staring at Tess’ feet.

She didn’t understand how Tess could be so bright, vital and mobile – with feet that look like that.

“How can she be walking?!  She has to have infection throughout her bones…”

As far as the FW was concerned, by the looks of it, MT must have bone infections in both feet (fatal) in order for them to be opening up and oozing.

I could see her point… except… MT isn’t in acute pain or misery or anything close to that.  She is happy, eats like a, well… horse, and spends her day motoring gently around the ranch.

So I say (layman, here) how could MT have a bone infection in both feet yet walk around the ranch?

That isn’t possible, either.

Which is it, then?

I chose to believe what I see before my eyes…  A perky, happy, hungry, lame but healing, willing and mobile, mare.

LET ME SHOW YOU THESE PICS FIRST… and then the feet.

Before I show you her feet, I want you to see the photos I took of Tess today and yesterday.

In fact, I was totally surprised by MT twice this week… the first time was when she had come all the way up to the house!  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing through the living room windows – Mama Tess!  She was trying to get apples from the already fleeced apple tree.

The second time she surprised me was this morning.  I went down to the barn to feed breakfast and she was G-O-N-E.

Not having her in or near the barn was shocking.  Where was she?  I looked in all the stalls.  I opened all the doors.  I looked up the hill, down the drive and out on the front lawn.  Nothing.  Where in the heck was she?!

Of course, once I rattled a food can, she can limpy hopping from waaaaaay far around the pony pen.

Unbelievable!  I told her, “GOOD JOB, MAMA!  GOOD JOB.”

She was very proud of herself, indeed.

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I took this pic after breakfast. She continued to roam around on this cool morning.

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This was yesterday… she was up visiting Finn and when she heard me in the barn she came runny hopping down the hill. She had just come to a sliding stop here and I think she was a bit embarrassed.

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This was yesterday afternoon. I found her visiting Finn. She was eating the hay he had pushed a bit too far out of his paddock.

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From my car this afternoon as I was returning from errands. She was flipping her tail and giving me the, “WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? I AM STARVING HERE!” look. As you can see, she was once again, motoring about. This time up and down the driveway.

AND NOW, HER FEET (please forgive the pics – the Founder Warrior and I were working fast!)

So, her feet do look pretty bad.  On the surface, anyway.

You would never believe that the same horse who was schlomping around the property, has these feet.  It just doesn’t add up with what we’ve been taught.

The left (the bad one) looks the worst yet hurts the least.  A few weeks ago, it opened up right down the center and drained for several days.  Now it is fairly dry.  It looks awful but she doesn’t seem too bothered by it.  She puts total weight on it and uses it as her dominant foot.

The right foot (her good foot) looks better than the left, but hurts more.  You can see (by the arrows) where there are points of ooze coming through her hoofwall – abscess.  But the flow isn’t strong enough to bring her relief.  So even though she puts weight on her right, you can tell that the right foot is the sore one.  But, she’s still not that sore.

She isn’t using the ‘founder stance’, she doesn’t shift her weight constantly, she is not holding either foot up in that, “Ouch, this one is burning” position.  She just makes due and cautiously picks her way around the ranch.

Incredible, really.


This is her left foot – the one that had the coffin bone surgery in February. It had almost healed up, but then it split open a few weeks ago. Since then, it has oozed and then stopped oozing. Now it is drying up. If you can believe this, she puts full weight on this foot and uses it as her dominant foot right now.  (She has shavings on her foot in this pic because we were working fast during the trim.  But usually, I keep it clean, spray it with EquiSilver and wrap it daily.)


This is her good foot – the right one. Except now, it is the most sore. I’ve put arrows where her hoofwall is oozing – in a direct line – but not releasing enough to let the pressure go. So, this is the one that hurts her. But, it doesn’t hurt her enough to keep her from moseying around the ranch.


I’m sure almost every vet out there is shaking their heads right now.    What fantasyland am I living in where I think this mare has any possibility of healing?  Look at her feet, for criminy sakes!

I get that all the time…

No vet can make any sense of this.

They say It is impossible that she is this comfortable with those feet.  I’ve heard sentiments like, “she must have a really high threshold for pain” or “it will all fall apart soon”, or “there is no way she can walk on those feet – is she drugged?”…


Maybe she is the anomaly.

Maybe, just maybe, she is healing.  From the inside out.

Maybe we look at her, the individual, instead of what history, the textbooks and all the other cases say.

Maybe I walk in faith with my mare.

I chose to believe what Sherlock Holmes always said when he was cracking a huge mystery:

  “How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?”

I’m choosing to believe the improbable.

Yes, her feet are a mess.

But, she seems to be quite robust and healing from the inside.

As I said to the last vet who told me that what I was seeing and feeling about Tess, I wasn’t actually seeing…

… That line you keep using, “This cannot be… it has never happened before…!” seems to be the line uttered just previous to something amazing happening.


OVER 80%  THERE!  Our September Bucket Fund is horribly neglected while in someone's care - "Brother" .  You can read his story by clicking the image!

OVER 80% THERE! Our September Bucket Fund is horribly neglected while in someone’s care – “Brother” . You can read his story by clicking the image!

CLICK IMAGE to see new pieces daily!  All jewelry sold in Sept, 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Bucket Fund!  Click here!

CLICK IMAGE to see new pieces daily! All jewelry sold in Sept, 100% of the proceeds will benefit the Bucket Fund! Click here!

100% of Proceeds of JEWELRY WITH A PURPOSE goes to our September Bucket Fund horse, Brother!  (Click on his photo below to read his story!)  New items daily!!  Click here to see the entire collection of one-of-a-kinds!

Special for Brother today is a piece from our artist friend in the UK!  A Raw Amber stone encased in eco-friendly tin in the Tiffany style.  The pendant is beautiful and 2″ (including bale).   The chain is 32″.  Only $42 and from England!

To Purchase UK Raw Amber Stone for the Bucket Fund at $42, click here!

(If link doesn’t work, the item has sold!  -thank you – click here for more!)

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2 comments have been posted...

  1. Stephanie Hobson

    This. “Maybe I walk in faith with my mare.” You don’t give up until and unless she does. Respect to you for doing what you are doing. This battle that you two are engaged in is extremely tough, in many different ways. Many (most?) would have already surrendered. It’s obvious that Mama Tess is not willing to do so.

  2. lelani lundgren

    You are a wonderful person. You are giving Mama the gift of life. When the choices are life and death, you can only choose life. Clearly this wonderful girl loves her life and you and until the day she can’t get up she has told you she wants to live. She does not look like a horse in pain and if she is she chooses to face the day with optimism and happiness. So thank you for being you. xoxox and Mama for being herself xoxox

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