Twiggy's Progress. (Pic heavy) - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 01-08-2013, 10:54 AM Thread Starter
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Twiggy's Progress. (Pic heavy)

I really wanted to share this, as I am so proud of my girl. I have a few threads on her already, so some of these pictures may be familiar, but I just had to tell our story over the past year again.

As some of you remember, I adopted a horse from a facility where vaccines are tested. This is the original picture I was supplied with. I think she must be a year-and-a-half here, so its somewhere round June/July 2011.

She arrived home in December 2011. And I got a big fright when she stepped off the truck, she was in poor condition, wild and terrified. She turned 2 years old on Christmas day.

She was immediately quite smitten with her new surroundings and friends.

It took several days before I could touch her. She didn't like it one bit. She would twitch her skin whenever I got near.

A week or so later, she allowed herself to be haltered and led around. She was from the beginning a very sweet girl. Here you can see the condition she was in.

Six months later: June 2012.
She had gained some weight, but had plateau-ed, and wasn't thriving health-wise. Emotionally she was thriving however, she became a happy, kind, gentle horse, who never as much as pulled a Mare Glare (to this day).

We adjusted her feed etc, but soon found out the problem was a bit bigger than that.

to be continued...
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post #2 of 23 Old 01-08-2013, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Very soon afterwards, she colicked. I took this awful quality picture as we were waiting for the vet. She was treated at home, but 12 hours later, when the colic showed no signs of passing we rushed her to an equine hospital.

She had an obstruction in her small intestine, and was gravely ill. I kept waiting for that middle of the night phonecall, letting me know emergency surgery was needed to save her. She was hospitalised for a week, and by the end of it, had lost almost all her condition again.

to be continued...
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post #3 of 23 Old 01-08-2013, 11:11 AM Thread Starter
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Barely a month later she was rushed again to the clinic (in the middle of the night!), as she had colicked again. Another obstruction...
The prognosis was that she had intestinal scarring from having a heavy worm-load as a foal, and that I should from now on till forever, only feed her chopped hay, and long-stem hay was getting stuck in the small intestine where the diameter had reduced due to scarring.

I felt incredibly overwhelmed by now, and was sure I had bitten off more than I could chew, emotionally and financially.

Another week in the hospital, and yet more loss of weight and condition.
I could visit her, and take her for walks, which she really seemed to enjoy.

Luckily, that is where our hard luck ended... with daily lucerne pellet mashes to make sure she got enough water in her, and chopped hay and lucerne and a lot of love, she finally started thriving... and growing...

to be continued...
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post #4 of 23 Old 01-08-2013, 11:21 AM Thread Starter
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So that brings us to now... a full year after she first stepped off that truck.
We still have a while to go, but she has grown almost a hand since recovery, and now stands at 16hh, which I never thought possible.

Despite everything she's been through in her 3 short years, she is the most people-loving, friendly, curious creature, who will not only come greet you everyday, but loves to spend some time just hanging out. She doesn't have an unkind or impatient bone in her body.

And despite everything that I struggled with this past year to get to this point, I can now proudly say, it was sooo worth it!

Thanks for looking!
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post #5 of 23 Old 01-08-2013, 11:34 AM
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She is lucky to have found an owner like you! She's a gorgeous girl and recovery stories like this make me so happy! :) its amazing what a horse can make it through.
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post #6 of 23 Old 01-08-2013, 01:15 PM
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She looks great now! Keep up the good work.
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post #7 of 23 Old 01-08-2013, 01:22 PM
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What a happy ending for a very lucky and beautiful girl!
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post #8 of 23 Old 01-08-2013, 01:40 PM
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She looks amazing! Does she do okay on grass and its just the hay you need to worry about?

Will she be able to be ridden?

She really looks awesome! Congratulations!
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post #9 of 23 Old 01-08-2013, 01:46 PM
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What a great story! She looks like a totally different horse. Good for you for seeing the diamond in the rough.
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post #10 of 23 Old 01-08-2013, 02:20 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your comments!

I must say I felt many times that I lost my 'faith' in my decision to take this on..
That I couldn't cope, that I was spending all my money on hospital bills, and that she would never be the riding horse I wanted anyway. But in the end, she has proved that she is a horse that was worth the chance, just because she is such a joy to have around.

In a moment of doubt, I even asked my vet if she could ever even become a useful riding horse, and she said, 'give her time, she will surprise you'. So yes, she will go for training, and we will see how it goes. I'm going to give her at least another year though to mature and just frolic about.

In terms of grazing, she is allowed to as much as she wants. It won't cause a blockage. But long-stem hay is something I won't risk again. Its not worth it.
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Last edited by muumi; 01-08-2013 at 02:23 PM.
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