Testimonial: Go And Play Stable

Rudy The Rock

We first heard of the Marie Dean Horse Protection Initiatives – Canada in early 2018.  We had a mare who was struggling and needed extra feed, care & treatments that our funding just wasn’t able to provide at that time. It was brought to our attention that we could apply and have the opportunity to be granted funding for monetary assistance towards vet, farrier, feed & alternative therapies.

An application and a quick approval process allowed us the opportunity to not only help this mare live an amazing last few months of her life before her physical limitations caught up to her, but it gave us the chance to spoil her with as many extras as she allowed massage, extra veterinary procedures to get a thorough diagnosis in to her issues, as well as supplements that helped to bring her calmness in her final months.

Without the MDHPIC funding, this mare likely would have been euthanized months prior, and would have left us still struggling to come to terms with what was wrong with her and not be able to help her the way we wanted to.

Roly’s Girl (Molly)

Not long after, we rescued a gelding from the auction lot that was skin & bones, with big ankles, and seemingly struggling to get through daily life. The one thing he did have, a spark in his eye. While many of his previous owners, caretakers & people who cared about him stepped up to assist with the initial costs of paying his bail funding, and his quarantine stay & it was clear that it would be a long financial stretch to get him back to health. Enter the wonderful MDHPIC team once again. To have them come to our aid twice in one year was a true miracle & and both horses would have never had the opportunities that they have gotten, if it wasn’t for the additional funding from this amazing program.

One thing we often struggle with, is people who come to us with horses who are elderly, injured, or suffering. They don’t have the heart or the financial ability to euthanize them, and they don’t want to see them end up at auction either. Euthanasia is not a cheap option, however it is often the kindest one. Unfortunately we often turn away these horses because we simply don’t have funding available either.

Programs like MDHPIC are truly god-sends because the opportunity for individuals to have the chance to get funding to assist with emergency veterinary costs, or to help towards the cost of a humane ending for their beloved companion & we need more programs like this one in our region!

Please consider donating towards this fantastic program, they have helped many horses & including our two amazing horses, Roly’s Girl  (Molly) and Rudy The Rock.  I look forward to seeing this program help many more horses in the future as well!

Go and Play Stables

Natural Farrier Help For Foundered Ponies – Before & After

Foundered horses and ponies need regular trimming, proper diet, exercise, and horsie friends. Here are some before and after pictures of a foundered pony who is now quite sound. The pictures are from Summer of 2017 when she was very lame and on grass. The 2nd and 3rd sets of pictures are from after she was off grass, and receiving regular trims. The initial pictures may look as if this pony might never become sound, but she has and is! This is a series of before and after pictures. The notes for each photo explain the stage that the hoof is at.

Front left hoof, note the extreme overgrowth of the hoof wall, and the very long heal. The excessive hoof also traps bacteria and moisture. Summer 2017 before trimming.


Sumer 2017 front left, after trimming – the heel is a much healthier height, the hoof wall is trimmed, and a lot of the softened white powder left by moisture and bacteria has been removed.


Summer 2017 hind left before trimming – notice the angle as the hoof is very underslung. This puts pressure on the joints, tendons, ligaments and the back of the pony as she tries to stand in a way that is balanced and relieves pain.



Before picture of the front left again. What a difference a trim and exercise make! The heel is a much healthier height, the hoof soul is stronger and not full of bacteria, the hoof wall/lamina (connective tissue) are stronger, and the heel is not so contracted. This is a before picture, we still trimmed to make sure she is on the right path to full recovery.


Second trim, after. Heels are better, hoof wall/lamina connection is tight and healthy. The frog needs to recover, and will do so in time as now we have a healthy foot and a sound pony who will walk around on hard ground and develop a frog.


Second trim, hind left – before – but much healthier. Notice, however, that at the toe and quarter area the hoof wall is pulled away from the soul – proper trimming and filing removes the mechanical force of a long toe pulling on the ground when the pony walks. By filing we remove the mechanical force that pulls the hoof wall away and we allow the natural healing to occur as the pony walks around on hard ground.


Second trim hind left after – the toe is filed, the hoof wall and soul are loading when she walks without the long hoof wall pulling. The hoof needs more time and more trims to fully rehabilitate. There is still a gap at the hoof wall. She will need a few more trims, every 3 weeks in order to ensure that the hoof wall grows in with a strong connective tissue. Frequent small trims ensure that the pony does not ever go through major hoof adjustments that the earlier pictures showed. Frequent small trims also ensure that the hoof wall connective tissue remains stress free and can become stronger. This pony is sound, she walks on gravel without discomfort.


Compare the front hooves – the left one is trimmed, the right one is not. We can see that the left one still has pressure at the coronary band and tension. Even though this left one is trimmed, it still needs to rehabilitate. To rehabilitate this pony needs to walk around and get circulation moving in her legs and hooves. The right one is overgown and underslung. You can see swelling at the hairline from a hoof that is not functioning properly.


Both front hooves after the 2nd trim. The swelling at the hairline of the front hooves is gone. Blood flow improves with proper angles from trimming. Movement also helps with circulation. There is no undue pressure on he tendons, ligaments, or joints. Much happier and healthier.