Pumpkin the dwarf pony was brought to Fate Farm and Sanctuary with some difficulties walking. Despite being the cutest little thing we ever did see, the little pony was struggling with her quality of life due to some birth defects. Ashley DiFelice Twist, who owns the sanctuary, was determined to help her get better.
“Because of the way Pumpkin is bred, she ended up being a dwarf pony.” Ashley explained on a video posted to YouTube by The Dodo. “The family didn’t have the resources to fix her legs, so they surrendered Pumpkin and her mother to us.”
When the little horse walked, her hooves turned inwards. It was as if her ankles didn’t have the strength to support her bodyweight, and it looked painful and uncomfortable for poor Pumpkin.
“When I saw in real life that it was all four legs that were affected, I wasn’t sure if we’d be able to help her,” Ashley said. But no matter how many people tell us, ‘you can’t fix that’, we always try. As long as I see Pumpkin have that will to live, then I want to keep fighting for her.”
Because of her poorly legs, vets recommended for Pumpkin to stay inside a stall for most of the day. Even though she was safer in there, Ashley expressed her heartache that the little pony doesn’t get to explore, graze and do what the other horses are free to do. She decided that the only way to give Pumpkin the quality of life that she deserved was to get her some leg braces to hopefully improve her walking.
Pumpkin was taken to a specialist vets to be assessed before being fitted with her potentially life changing brace. But Veterinary surgeon Derrick Campana warned that there was no guarantee that the brace could work.
“All four braces on any animal is very tough. It’s going to be about her spirit and her will- let’s take it one step at a time.” Derrick said.
After Pumpkin’s initial appointment, Derrick began to sculpt the pony’s braces. These look similar to a plaster cast, and should hopefully support Pumpkin’s legs and allow her to have extra movement.
When the day arrived for Pumpkin to be fitted with her braces, Ashley expressed her nerves, saying that she would have to “make another decision,” if the braces didn’t work. There was a lot riding on these next few moments.
Heart-breakingly, Derrick’s first set of braces didn’t quite do the job. Although Pumpkin took to them well, they didn’t stop her legs from bending uncomfortably. But Derrick was determined to not give up, and rushed back to the veterinary center to make some more.
The next time Derrick came to fit some newly revised braces, the tension was even higher. Pumpkin was running out of options, and if the braces didn’t work, then Ashley would have to have a good, long think about the pony’s quality of life.
But as the braces were fitted and Pumpkin was lifted onto her feet, she did something truly remarkable. Despite never having done it before in her life, Pumpkin began to run.
To the amazement of Derrick, Ashley and all of the other horses in the field, Pumpkin galloped around in her new braces as if she had been wearing them all of her life. You could tell that like the others, she had instantly taken to them. And this time, they were supporting her ankles perfectly.
Ashley was completely overjoyed at Pumpkin’s new lease for life.
“You can just see how happy she is. It’s like she knew that her life had just got better,” she said. “This is exactly what we hoped for.”
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Source: The Dodo