Mikey, a miniature horse, had been neglected for years until he was taken from Frederick County, Maryland, and transported to Days End Farm Horse Rescue (DEFHR) in Woodbine, Maryland, in April 2022.
After Mikey’s arrival to DEFHR, workers said that his overgrown feet resembled ram’s horns rather than hooves. Furthermore, his teeth were exceedingly sharp with excessive tartar formation. Mikey’s curious and upbeat attitude was evident despite the physical mistreatment, and that would give him the fortitude to heal.
There is a phrase among horse show competitors that says, “No hoof, no horse,” which refers to the importance of proper hoof care for the wellbeing and performance of equine athletes. To keep their hooves properly maintained and allow them to live happily, domestic horses fundamentally need human assistance. The length of Mikey’s feet revealed that he survived two to three years without receiving the right farrier treatment.
Rehabilitation & Training processes at DEFHR
The first step in Mikey’s recovery at DEFHR was a veterinary examination that included x-rays to more thoroughly assess the internal anatomy of his foot. The veterinarian and farrier for DEFHR created a plan of action based on this information. Mikey had a two-week trim cycle after his initial trim. This gave the farrier the opportunity to make very minor adaptations to the fresh hoof to aid in the foot’s development in a balanced and proper manner.
Mikey joined DEFHR’s Training Program, after his rehabilitation and once he was in good physical health, which aims to teach horses to be decent individuals before being provided for adoption. He enrolled in the program in June 2022, and under the direction of DEFHR trainers as well as a tolerant and skilled intern in DEFHR’s Equine Training internship Program, he enthusiastically started some light groundwork. His trainers could see right away that his intelligence and eagerness to learn would help him advance through the program rapidly.
Training began with making Mikey more at ease with picking up his legs. As soon as he could walk without difficulties, bathing, loading into the trailer, and obstacle training were introduced. Staff of DEFHR wanted to make sure he possessed the necessary skills before being available for adoption.
Final step – Adoption
While Mikey was still in training, he was making speedy progress, and it was obvious that he would be ready for adoption in a very short time. It was fortunate that Mikey’s availability coincided with a request for a miniature horse from a potential adopter that DEFHR had received. The goal was to locate a compatible partner for their retired competition horse, who had excelled in the junior jumper category. It became obvious after speaking with them that Mikey would be the ideal match for them! The little gelding was formally placed up for adoption in July, and he was able to meet his future owners a few weeks later.
Horses go through rehabilitation and training for an average of one year. Due to Mikey’s optimism and persistence, he underwent the transformation process within a few months. Despite his miniature size, his immense personality grew stronger as he recovered physically and continued his training.
The best things come in small packages, and Mikey may now live the rest of his life being loved for everything he is.
Source: Horse Network
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