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A Lease Gone Wrong

Is there anything more elegant than a thoroughbred in its prime? Or more heartwarming, perhaps, than a mare who has been raised, trained, shown and loved by one family/one devoted girl her whole life? It stands to reason, then, that if you loan that precious equine out to someone for a few months while life and adulting happen, it BREAKS YOUR HEART when she comes back looking poorly: Under-fed, atrophied, painful; not herself even for being 24. This is what happened to Katy Ryan and her beloved Pursey. But our story has a happy ending, and that is why Dr Madison Bolin was so deeply moved by it. Read on!

Katy faced the decisions many of us did after college: Should I keep my horse at the same reliable, rural Virginia boarding spot, or board them more expensively in the city where my life has ended up happening? After some back-and-forth, Katy put Pursey back in the more affordable, rural barn under the watchful eye of a woman who had leased her and cared for her for years, off and on, “better than I did myself” as Katy said. And yet these things happen. Life happens, even to people we are counting on to be who they always were. In a visit, it became apparent that in just six months’ time, Pursey was suffering and did not have adequate care and nutrition! So Katie pulled her and brought her home despite being decimated by vet bills for other beloved, four-legged family members in the near recent past. This was December, 2022. Dr Madison Bolin came to evaluate her. “Katy got her back from a lease-type situation in poor shape. We worked closely together, testing her for Cushings (and treating!) along with starting Equioxx. She had marked right hind muscle atrophy from a stifle injury, and was lame at a walk. We got her PPID and diet under control, and then injected her stifle twice – once with steroids and again later with Arthramid. She’s made leaps and bounds of progress, including trotting around the field, and using herself enough to build back that right hind muscle atrophy. “. Katy herself says “It’s just been a roller coaster this last year or so. I love this little mare so much, and it broke my heart to see her in that condition after only a few months. I was 9 when we got the girls, and I’m 32 now. I have literally grown up with them and cared for them their whole lives until that short period where I had to make a hard decision to keep them down south temporarily, and she unfortunately paid for that. Although some of that was probably undiagnosed Cushings, some of it was just lack of attention to care those last six months. I know she’s a TB and she’s older, but she’s always held a good body score as she has aged. Now we are getting back on track and her personality is back! She’s spunky, and gaining weight slowly but surely. “. Dr Bolin had steeled Katy to expect a year or more in recovery, and it has been that. But because she is back to her sweet, sassy self, this is Dr. Bolins most impactful case of 2023. Enjoy these photos showing young Katy and Pursey, the shape she got into, and how she has recovered with the help of a year, a great vet, collaboration in her care and treatment, and a fantastic and devoted owner. A happy ending for this new year!