Midwest Horse Welfare Foundation, Inc. ----Discussion Forum

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Maddie - 12 yrs.

Under Evaluation

Maddie is a 12 year old Paint/Arab/Thoroughbred cross mare. She is 12 years old and is a pretty big girl at about 15.2 hands tall. Maddie came to us with a brand new Coggins and we vaccinated and de-wormed her right away. She is a sweet mare, easy to catch, likes attention and seems like a pretty easy-going gal. We do not know much about her past though and will need time to evaluate her, make sure she is sound and see if she rides, etc. We will update her listing as we get to know her better and get some of the questions answered as to her health and training.  

*Note:  Maddie is wet in the pictures because she rolled in the mud after the rain on the day of her pictures and she needed a little bath.  You can really see her "paint" markings when she is wet!  And check out those beautiful blue eyes!  

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Kara B.
Oh My. She is beautiful. <3
Leslie V
Such a pretty mare!  I've come back to look at her several times.  That neck and shoulder....  [love]
Wow... beautiful 😍
She's very pretty!
Chloe R
Ohhhhh no... I’m in love πŸ˜πŸ˜‚
What a pretty girl!  Those eyes are so striking!
My goodness, she’s gorgeous! Wishing you the best home, Maddie. I know Karen and Scott will help you find your person :)
We are thinking about adding a 3rd horse to our little herd. This little lady has piqued my interest!

Sometimes there are updates that are just darn hard to even get the words together and put it in print.  

We have not made Maddie available until we could get a veterinarian out to fully evaluate her for a few reasons.  One of the reasons was we could see she was "off" as soon as she arrived.  Not in how she feels such as with appetite and such, but in how she moves.  The only history of any lameness type of issues we were told was that she had foundered in the past.  We were told that the person who was caring for Maddie before she arrived here trimmed her feet the day that they sent her off on her trip to get here.  We noticed her feet were quite uneven in the way they were trimmed, and while we know how that can cause issues, we needed a full veterinary evaluation on the whole picture.  We wanted radiographs to have a look at those feet to see exactly what we were looking at.  Another concern we had was how her back legs looked "windswept"... and her hocks looked abnormal.  We also needed radiographs of those.  

While there is good news that Maddie is not foundered and there is no rotation in her coffin bones, her hocks are shot.  I don't even know how else to put it, but they are bad and particularly her back right.  Her back right hock is definitely the worst of the two.  It's obvious that Maddie will never be a sound riding horse, but what we are looking at now is exactly how painful she is and what her quality of life will be... 

*Edit to add - there is a good chance that Maddie was born with problem hocks

This is the face that I see multiple times per day...  Maddie is the sweetest...  
Sometimes things are just heartbreaking, and I just don't have the words right now for any more.

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So sad, and so young.  I'm hoping for the best.
Beautiful, sweet girl...I'm so sorry πŸ’”
My daughter and I got the privilege to meet Maddie last week while we were at MHWF while it was cold and rainy. We were honestly impressed with her level head as the wind was making lots of noise that most horses would be frightful of. She was sweet and willing to learn.....and of course beautiful.

Having gone through 2 knee surgeries and rotator cuff surgery, and a bunch of other stuff, I am not nearly the athlete I was in my prime nor do I ever truly have a pain free day anymore. I can't spike a volleyball, or dance for hours on end, or even ride like I used to, but I still enjoy living. I think my personal pain has taught me to fully realize how many things I can do with my horse on the ground. We truly enjoy eachother's company, find games to play, give eachother massages, etc. It truly has deepened our relationship as riding is only a small part of who we are together. I guess what I am saying is, maybe if Maddie could find a special forever home that was looking for companionship she might be able to tolerate the pain enough to still enjoy life. Having that said, I also know there are times that the pain is too much and the lack of quality of life is too much for a human or animal to bear and tough choices have to be made. It is a challenging position to be in where we, as humans, protectors, and care givers, have to be able to figure out what is best for those God has entrusted us to care for. I have faith that MHWF will do their best to figure out if she is ready to give up or not. Thank you for being brave, and your willingness to try to do the very best by them. I imagine it is not easy. God bless.

Thank you everyone for your words of encouragement.  

Dallas, isn't it nice as people how we can have joints and tendons go bad on us and go to a surgeon and get them fixed and replaced like that?  I know a few people who aren't even very old who have had total knee replacements because their knees were shot and there were no other options.  How long would they have survived in the extreme amount of pain they were in and not able to walk?  Who knows, but what a horrible quality of life that would have been for them to suffer through.  The one thing that I don't ever like to do when it comes to things with animals is anthropomorphize.  It's such a different thing as to what a human goes through compared to what a horse goes through, especially with a horse being roughly 1000 pounds on those small joints and how they have to use those joints, and they cannot talk.  One thing we do have to do when a horse has issues such as what Maddie has is be very keen on watching how she is dealing with things and what her level of pain is.  There was a point when you were here and your daughter was trying to make Maddie go around in a circle and Maddie kicked out, not wanting to do that - I believe you said that you read that as "she just didn't want to" because she is probably not used to having to do any work or something along those lines.  I read that as pain - it looked obvious to me that she was moving very stiffly and uncomfortably and she was trying to communicate that she hurt and did not want to do that.  She did wind up complying, but...  that just shows how compliant she is.  

There are obvious things that a person can watch for and see with a horse who has joint problems and pain.  Watch to see if they laying down a lot of the time to stay off of their joints (some days Maddie lays down quite often).  Do they have trouble getting up from a laying down position (I'm watching this closely with her).  Are they hard to keep weight on due to a high level of pain.  Are they having different muscle groups forming oddly or muscle wasting because of pain and way of going and that causing problems.  Of course the obvious, how they are moving and getting around.  You can also see pain on a horse's face.  If you can't recognize some of the grimaces of pain, there are now actually diagrams out there you can look at to see the different ways pain will show up on their face.  

We could see Maddie had issues when she arrived, but we did not want to really guess and like to leave the vet work to the veterinarians, so that is why we didn't throw any guesses out there as to what the problem may be and just did not make her available for adoption until she was thoroughly evaluated by a veterinarian.  I did trial Maddie on bute to see if it helped and to see if there was a pain level there with how she was, before getting the x-rays done.  She improved quite a bit on bute, so there is an obvious level of pain.  

At this point, we are going to put Maddie on Equioxx and see how she does.  There is hope that the one hock will fuse and cause her less pain on that side.  Another thing that is being addressed is getting her feet properly taken care of, and there is a possibility that will help some as well.  Holding her feet up isn't her favorite thing, so we are very thankful that we have an awesome and very patient farrier to work with as well.  

We will update on Maddie as we have updates, and just ask that everyone keep her in your thoughts now and again and hope that she can be comfortable and enjoy some good life.  One thing we are not known for around here is giving up too soon on any horse, and we also always try to do what is best for the horse even if it's not something that everyone can agree on or even something we want to do and do not take those tough decisions lightly, ever.  It's not time to let Maddie go at this point (though there are a lot of people who probably would say it would be the best thing to do just that, and I ask those people to just hang with us on this).  Maddie is playing a big part in guiding us through this and we will not make her suffer needlessly or selfishly, but we need to give this some time to see how she does.  

Thank you for reading and understanding and being with us on Maddie's journey.  

Shayna W.
I will be following the progress! I will pray for Maddie and those sticking with her through the journey. Thank you for loving these animals the way you do!
Wendy W - WI
Poor sweet girl.  I know you will do what is best for her and I know she's in the best hands.  I also know she'll be doted and loved on.......... a lot.  
that just plain sucks...that some of these beautiful honeys have to hurt and feel pain ...makes my heart hurt
While I am really saddened and sorry to hear about Maddie's hocks and probable pain, I am quite thankful she is where she is.  Keeping fingers crossed that the changes being made will make a positive difference for her.
how is beautiful Maddie doing?
Hey Roxie, it seems that Maddie just gets more beautiful by the day.  She is doing pretty well and holding her weight nicely.  She has a farrier appointment this Saturday also.  πŸ˜‰  
I'm so praying that all goes well for this beautiful girl
Brook R.
Oh no, that is devastating to hear. I hope her pain can be managed and she can live out the rest of her life happy.

Just a little update on the beautiful Maddie.  Maddie is really doing quite well.  I think it's pretty obvious she is never going to be a riding horse, but from what we are seeing so far, she seems to be pretty comfortable, does not have a hard time keeping her weight and is enjoying life very much.  I will leave you with a picture of the beautiful Maddie from recent.  She would make a beautiful addition to someone's pasture who would like to add some stunning beauty and grace.  

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Brandalyn Christine Chris
She is gorgeous can not wait to hear how her evaluation goes! What a beauty!
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