We originally saw the handsome Belgian gelding standing in a narrow auction stall. As we peered over the top rail, we saw the side of his back hoof, the entire side, sticking straight up in the air. It looked painful, and he held the hoof up as he balanced on his other three legs. We wrote his number down, determined to watch for him when he was run through the auction. Many times I am afraid of losing a horse in bidding to a meat buyer. Often they will run the price up when they realize that a rescue group is bidding on a horse, just because they can. Number 1488 was coming up next, and we watched as the big guy lumbered into the arena with a limp. It was obvious he was having difficulty walking, and no-one wanted him. He couldn’t work, and therefore, he was a useless piece of machinery. The value of his life? An $85 winning auction bid. He limped away and was taken back to the tie stall, where he would stand until we could load him up in one of our rescue trailers. Woody will need his hoof x-rayed and will most likely need corrective shoeing and trimming to remedy the injury to his back hoof. Otherwise, Woody now is in good spirits, friendly, easy to work with and should make a wonderful trail horse as his hoof issue heals.
Update May 23, 2013: Woody has been moved to a new foster care home!
Update July 17, 2013: After a visit from farrier, Steve Hebrock, Woody has been deemed completely healed! With a few more trims he will have normal feet. None of this journey to healing has affected Woody's spirit or demeanor. He is gentle, willing and a complete people lover! This is all good news as not only am I the web gal, but my husband and I are Woody's new foster parents. We have had an amazing time watching him settle in and finding out just what he knows how to do! He has turned out to be a great trail horse and we are enjoying the ride and companionship that he brings to the table.
September 19, 2013: Just to make it official, Woody is being adopted by his foster parents! He is too good to lose and will live his days at the facility with his 10 acre pasture complete with pond. He enjoys playing "King of the Hill" as many of you have witnessed and is shaping up to be a trustworthy mount on the trail.