life has been one of great tragedy and overwhelming
inspiration as she has faced some of life's greatest trials
and tribulations, and found the courage and determination to
survive and live on her terms.
It has been over ten years since a little three-legged
palomino pony mare hopped out of the back of a stock trailer
and into a new life, but it has been an incredible inspiring
journey, not only for her, but for her new family.
Left to suffer and care for herself after her right hind leg
was torn off as a baby, Pixie somehow managed to survive on
her own in a mountain pasture for several years before she
Not only had she dragged herself along to find food and
water, but she had endured the attacks of the band of horses
she was left with. With her little stub dangling she would
stand and fight and then hobble away as they ran her down.
But, there was more. At not quite three years old, Pixie was
also in foal to a full sized stallion when she arrived at
her new forever home.
Over the next several months, she grew huge as everyone
awaited the birth of her foal, and hopped for the best. But
tragedy struck again when the full sized filly she was
carrying died during birth and Pixie was left fighting for
As the days passed and Pixie got better her family knew she
had to have a prosthesis if she was to survive, but there
were also more problems as her x-rays showed a sharp broken
bone in her stub that need corrective surgery.
Thanks to the generosity of KMJ Radio in Fresno, California,
and so many of their listeners, Pixie was going to have her
chance. She was loaded in a trailer on a cold November
morning and traveled to a clinic in Southern California,
(over 13 hours in the trailer standing up, sweating, and
pawing through a horrendous wind storm), that specializes in
these kinds of procedures.
Once there, the veterinarian who was to work on her decided
not to do the operation. Instead, she was loaded with pain
killers and fitted with a heavy cast, (that she had to drag
around), while her stub was burned with a caustic powder. It
was left wrapped for days, (and not checked), while her
owners were told she was just fine and that they were only
waiting for a donated prosthesis before they sent her home.
However Pixie was in real trouble and getting worse every
Then her owners received a call telling them what had really
happened. They had experimented on her. Everything the
clinic was told not to do, they had done. Pixie was being
sent home to die and there were thousands of dollars in
additional vet bills owed for a problem they caused. (The
pre-arranged cost of her procedure and stay had been paid in
full by check when she arrived).
Grief stricken, her owners wanted to save her. Pixie had
already suffered so much and never given up, and she wanted
to live. Her regular, (local), vet also wanted to give her
the chance she had earned. So she did Pixie's surgery,
(actually another amputation), on a blowup mattress in the
back yard of her veterinary clinic.
came home right after the operation and stood on
three legs for days fighting while her stub was kept
wrapped and treated. Once it healed, she had to have
a leg if she was to survive. With nowhere to turn
her owners fitted her with a homemade prosthesis,
and off she went. But, it is never easy, as Pixie
always does things HER way, and there are always
complications and adjustments to be made with a
prosthesis, as well as an occasional pressure sore.
prosthesis has evolved and changed greatly over the
years and now she has one (made from parts bought on
EBay, Lowe's, and Orchard Supply) that allows her to
bend her leg at the hock and walk more normal. (This
has to be done to keep her joints from stiffening
and her leg from atrophying).
loves her life. More then anything she just wants to
be like all the other horses and bosses them around
every chance she gets. She is sometimes referred to
as "Little miss you are not the boss of me". She
goes to bed at night and her leg is removed and put
back on in the morning when she gets up. She gives
big kisses and visits with special needs individuals
and groups such a 4-H. If she gets tired during the
day she sits on the couch in her stall. She loves
shavings, and is a world class tail rubber, and
sometimes dirt eater.
Projects has a number of other animals like Pixie.
They would love to network and share information
about the special needs animals they care for with
more pictures and updates, and to contact Pixie
Projects, please visit