In February and March, 2003, an internet friend in a neighboring state, helped us acquire three horses as we began our
journey into owning horses. (We bought our forth from our trainer at the time.)
Doc Tari Zebra, a beautiful 4 year old grullo gelding, registered with the American Paint Horse
Association, was the third of the horses that our friend helped us to purchase from
a friend of his. Apparently, though, Doc was as lame as lame could be when we purchased him.
He had advanced bone spavins in his hocks. The veterinarian who diagnosed his condition
stated that she had never seen so advanced bone degeneration at all, let alone in a horse
this young. This site is here to encourage others who may
face a similar hardship.
Upon arriving at home in California at the end of April, Doc's true condition quickly became clear. The pain he
was in resulted in stress levels that caused him to colic. Managing the pain levels of such intensity of such
a young horse with large doses of "bute" wouldn't be a life of any kind of quality. The decision was made to
euthanize Doc on May 24, 2003--to put an end to his suffering and to his endless changing of hands. (He had been sold 4 times
in as many years.)
God intervened...and on May 27, 2003, Doc had his hocks "drilled." "Double assisted ankylosis" is the
veterinary medical term for it.
Questions of what Doc's future would hold assaulted us from all directions...Would this surgery make any difference? Would he be pain free?
Would he ever be a trail horse? What would we do if not? Could I, as a brand new horse owner, manage his post-
surgery care? Were we in over our heads?
June 9, 2004: While the road has been long and appears that it may not always be rosy, I
can attest to the fact that God answers prayers. Doc is today, bucking, playing, rip-roaring, snorting,
farting up a storm with the best of them. He is carrying me (not a light rider by any means) on some 2 hour (plus)
trail rides and seems to be feeling just fine. He is doing terrific!
THANK YOU DEAR INTERNET FRIENDS, for your prayers and your support! I could NEVER have made it through
this past year without you and hope you will be along for the "ride" in the next!
For those of you who may want to learn from some of what we went through, I have included the gory details on the
pages listed below. Some of the pages celebrate, some of them are heart wrenching. I invite you to walk
with me through one of the most difficult trials I have ever had to endure and know this...God cares.
For those of you who like pictures, we have those too! :-) Click on the underlined text as it appears in our "story" in
the journal pages!
Fall, 2005: This year, I over faced Doc (and me)...meaning, I pushed him too hard emotionally. Since he took me all over
hill and dale last summer with nary a complaint, I expected him to do that this year without his buddy Breezy along. Well,
Doc took to bucking. He bucked me off this past spring on our second ride out (first one out alone since last summer).
I deserved it! LOL!
But the problem is, I taught him that any time something concerns him, he could get rid of his biggest problem--ME! He began doing
the bucking thing as a matter of course. Whether it was a creek to cross, mud to go through or a turn he wasn't convinced
was the best path, he would get high headed and let me know the buck was coming. This totally eroded my confidence in myself and
in him and it eroded his confidence, too.
Doc and I haven't been riding since the second time he dumped me on the trail. Just after a successful muddy crossing! Bummer!
Add to that...a friend who was helping me out had a wonderful ride on him late this past spring, but upon entering the trailer
to return home following a great ride, Doc misstepped (thanks again to me) and punctured his head just below his forelock. His cranium
had a hole punched in it and he was rushed to the emergency room. It was at that time that his Yahoo group began and folks
again rallied to pray for him. I am convinced he is the most "prayed for" equine in the world! LOL! Again, he recovered marvelously.
Thank you, again, internet family. (The link for his yahoo group is below.) If you would like to see things we have been up to be sure to
check out the links below under "More Doc Stuff" as I have recently (October 2005) added those links for people who are looking
to follow up our story. Thank you for caring!
February, 2008: We are uncertain about Doc's future. We have had a lot of body work done on him
to help him be more comfortable. It is clear that he is in a lot of discomfort. He is nine years old now. I spread the hay around the hillside
pasture as much as I can to encourage Doc to move, knowing that he feels better with some movement. In the spring, we may try to pony him out on the trail behind
Harley or Breezy...and see how that goes. I still dream of a miraculous healing...and that he will one day carry a rider again.