The following is an update from HorseChannel.
Back in August of 2015, we brought you a story on two rescued horses, Quest and Rio, who had been discovered after 15 years of neglect. The pair, along with another horse called Piper, had been locked in their stalls with minimal food and most likely no veterinary care. Most striking was the result of their total lack of hoof care. The horses’ feet were measured at approximately three feet long, so overgrown that they curled back on themselves several times over.
The three horses were rescued by the Humane Society of Washington County, Maryland, and Days End Farm Horse Rescue with the hope that it wasn’t too late for the horses to be rehabilitated with the veterinary and farrier care and nutrition they had lacked for so long. Unfortunately, Piper was euthanized at the farm due to the extent of her injuries and neglect. But Quest and Rio moved to Days End Farm to begin their recovery.
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Reversing the overgrown hooves in a case as severe as Quest’s and Rio’s isn’t as simple as chopping off the excess hoof. It took months of careful farrier work to bring their feet back to a near-normal length, and care continues to get them to a condition that could be considered completely healthy. But both geldings are worlds ahead of where they were a year ago. And just this month, Rio got the happy ending that rescuers had hoped for. He has a forever home.
Herald-Mail Media reports that the Mini Horse was adopted by Michelle Marraccini, a Days End Farm volunteer who has known Rio since he first arrived at the rescue. His teeth and hooves are in much better shape and his weight has reached a healthy level. He still has some lameness issues that may never fully resolve, but he’s learning to trust humans and live with other horses.