My name is Ruth. I am a 10 year old chestnut mare, born in a stud dedicated to breeding thoroughbred horses for horse racing. The person responsible for my care died leaving me and 40 others at risk of being sent for slaughter.
Luckily a woman worked hard with a group of others to find us homes. I was challenging. Although a pretty girl with a lovely nature, I had an ugly disfigurement to my hind leg. At some stage I had caught my leg, probably in a fence, and the resulting ‘flap’ had not been moved and with wound attended to. The flap reattached leaving me with a functional, but unsightly leg. I also had a growth on my left eye.
A rescue group took me in, and I was given the name Gift. At the time many people offered their support to help with the vet care I needed. A vet came to help me and decided to remove the old flap wound, leaving a large wound bed that would require care and bandaging for at least a year until it was healed over.
My leg hurt a lot and I hated it being touched anymore and I would kick out in protest. Eventually my carers, fearing for their safety requested a new home be found.
I went to a new home and was seen by a new vet that day. I was sedated and old bandaging that had constricted my leg was taken off. My leg hurt so much. On that day I was given my new name, Ruth.
Gradually my leg started to heal but then the vet looked at my eye and realised it was an unusual case of squamous cell cancer. The best hope was to have my eye removed before it spread. The specialist vet looked at my leg and said it needed skin grafts to make it heal stronger. So i stayed in hospital and had surgery to remove my eye and take skin from my tummy and put on my leg.
I came home to a loose box and stayed there for nearly three months as it was very wet and I had to keep my leg dry. I was so upset about my leg that every week the vet would come and give me IV sedation so the dressing could be changed. Ruben was a great friend staying outside for hours to keep me company. My eye had gone but I adjusted well.
The great day came when my bandage came off for good and I went back into a paddock. It was a small paddock with no branches as my leg was still open and very swollen. But with time it healed well. I then moved to a new paddock near the house so I could start learning to have my leg handled again. I even had a lovely lady from Switzerland come help me overcome my fears
Then I had an adventure with my new paddock mate. We found an open gate and went exploring in the olive grove. Then unfortunately I caught my leg, and ripped it back to the bone. So back almost to square one, except a local horse trainer donated his time to assist, especially with IV sedation that I need for each dressing.
Once fully healed, I will wear a protective boot as we cannot risk another injury.
I have found a great new friend in Sophie, another chestnut thoroughbred mare…we are twins……