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My Zimbio

This is such a moving story
Equine Amputee
Friday 2nd of May 2008 11:57 AM

If you have not read or heard about this story I would like to share it with our members and friends about Molly the Pony sent by a member of Your Equine Source.

 Molly the Pony


I’ve  written articles over the years about horses who survived amputation surgery.  There was Boitron, the California Thoroughbred stallion who could service  mares after amputation surgery. There were Dr. Ric Redden’s dramatic  cases of founder survivors who galloped around his paddock on artificial feet  with "transplanted frogs". Dr. Chris Colles had the never-say-die  Appaloosa in England with the spring-loaded foot. And who can forget that  paint yearling in India? Or the landmine-maimed elephant amputee in Thailand? Longtime Hoofcare and Lameness Journal readers will remember them  all.

So when I first heard that a pony had survived amputation surgery at  Louisiana State University ’s (LSU) equine hospital, I didn’t run  to the keyboard and beg for photos. A few weeks later I did, though.

Meet Molly. She’s a gray speckled pony who was abandoned by her owners  when Katrina hit southern Louisiana .. She spent weeks on her own before  finally being rescued and taken to a farm where abandoned animals were  stockpiled. While there, she was attacked by a pit bull terrier, and almost  died. Her gnawed right front leg became infected and her vet went to LSU for  help. But LSU was overwhelmed, and this pony was a welfare case. You know how  that goes.

But after surgeon Rustin Moore met Molly, he changed his mind. He saw how the  pony was careful to lie down on different sides so she didn't seem to get  sores, and how she allowed people to handle her. She protected her injured  leg. She constantly shifted her weight, and didn’t overload her good  leg. She was a smart pony with a serious survival ethic.

Moore agreed to remove her leg below the knee and a temporary artificial limb  was built. Molly walked out of the clinic and her story really begins there.

“This was the right horse and the right owner," Moore insists.  “Molly happened to be a one-in-a-million patient. She’s tough as  nails, but sweet, and she was willing to cope with pain. She made it obvious  she understood (that) she was in trouble.” The other important factor,  according to Moore , is having a truly committed and compliant owner who is  dedicated to providing the daily care required over the lifetime of the  horse.

Molly’s story turns into a parable for life in post-Katrina Louisiana .  The little pony gained weight, her mane felt a comb. A human prosthesis  designer built her a leg.

“The prosthetic has given Molly a whole new life,” Allison Barca  DVM, Molly's regular vet, reports. “And she asks for it! She will put  her little limb out, and come to you and let you know that she wants you to  put it on. Sometimes she wants you to take it off too." And sometimes,  Molly gets away from Barca. “It can be pretty bad when you can't catch  a three-legged horse,” she laughs.

Most important of all, Molly has a job now. Kay, the rescue farm owner,  started taking Molly to shelters, hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation  centers. Anywhere she thought that people needed hope. Wherever Molly went,  she showed people her pluck. She inspired people. And she had a good time  doing it.

“It’s obvious to me that Molly had a bigger role to play in  life,” Moore said, “She survived the hurricane, she survived a  horrible injury, and now she is giving hope to others.”

“She's not back to normal,” Barca concluded. “She's going  to be better. To me, she could be a symbol for New Orleans itself.”

This week, Molly the Pony, a children’s book about the pony who  has already inspired thousands of people around New Orleans , has been  published.

It’s not a book about amputation or prosthetics, it’s a book  about people and ponies. But the photos you see here are from the book.

Maybe Molly won’t make the vet textbooks, but she might reach more people  from the pages of this book for children. If you know a child, a library, a  hospital, or maybe a therapeutic riding program that can use a lift,  here’s a book that can do that. And you can explain how the leg and  hoof work!

HOW TO ORDER: This book is an oversized, square "laminated" (so it  wipes clean) hard cover book. Hoofcare Publishing is proud to offer it for  sale to you at the price of $15.95 each plus $6 post. A portion of the sales  price will go toward Molly's fund. To order, send check or money to Hoofcare  Books, 19 Harbor Loop, Gloucester MA 01930 Telephone orders to ( USA ) 978  281 3222. Fax orders to ( USA ) 978 283 8775. Email orders to Visa  or Mastercard accepted; please supply account number and expiration date.  When ordering, please give phone and/or e-mail details.

You will LOVE this book--and Molly!  


This  is Molly's most recent prosthesis. The bottom photo shows the ground surface  that she stands on, which has a smiley face embossed in it. Wherever Molly  goes, she leaves a smiley hoof print behind!  


Response 1
Monday 5th of May 2008 02:00:49 PM
Submitted by: Wayne Anderson
Thank You! Your Equine Source I was truly moved by this story.
Response 2
Thursday 26th of June 2008 10:15:12 PM
Submitted by: Bob and Carol Pastore
We have an older horse that has three sound legs, but, the left front knee is protruding outward causing him severe pain. His arthritis is the result of a confirmation problem from birth that has gotten gradually worse. We saw the prosthetic lower front leg and the story about Dr. Allison Barca. We desperately need a hinged brace that has most of the properties of Dr.Barca's equine prosthesis, fitting the leg above the knee similarly, but, supporting his lower leg, not, cutting it off. We sent a negative cast to NTD Equine Braces in Manteca, Ca ( Tim Niswonger ) paying in advance, but, have not received a brace in almost 3 mos. now. We use this horse as a therapeutic riding horse. We don't want to put this wonderful horse down if we can stop his pain and let him walk normally again. We use him to introduce 3 to 6 year old autistic children to horses by mostly having them mostly groom him and sit on him, so he never needs to be actually ridden. He's very health otherwise and the type of children's horse that is hard to find.
Response 3
Tuesday 14th of October 2008 01:49:17 PM
Submitted by: Kady Boe
Go Molly. Lets help this Filly have the same success!!! $3 from 5,000 people and we will have met our goal. i need a rescue to help back me. I am deperate and really need to meet our goal to save her. if you can not donate please just spread the word!!
Response 4
Tuesday 2nd of June 2009 06:11:14 PM
Submitted by: John Silveira
I agree - this is amazing . One of my good friends recently put down her first foal as it had broken it's rear leg , they tried to give the leg a chance to heal but never really took. Was so sad about it. Seeing this pony still getting around is certainly inspiring. John

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