Tiny Club-Footed Foal Is About To Be Put Down, Then A Midwife Steps In To Save Him

February 7, 2017

The idea of a newborn animal being immediately slated for euthanasia, despite being in good health, seems pretty crazy to us. But that’s exactly what a baby named Trident, who was only a few hours old, faced.

Trident is a horse, and he was born on an Amish farm in Indiana without the bottom three bones in one of his hind legs, which meant he wouldn’t be able to pull a buggy when he’s older. The farmer planned to put Trident down.

But this lucky little horse was saved by someone who knows all about caring for babies. A midwife named Tuesday Lach was visiting someone on the farm for a checkup, and she learned about Trident’s fate and decided to offer a happier alternative.

Lach’s sister, Dawnell Kilbourne, is an animal caretaker at the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary, which cares for animals who would have otherwise had their lives cut short, including many animals with disabilities like Trident’s.

Lach and Kilbourne then reached out to Ronnie Graves at Veterinary Inclusive Prosthetics/Orthotics, which provides mobility gear for all kinds of animals, even elephants, to see what he could do for the little foal.

Graves came up to Indiana from Florida to examine Trident in person and see what could be done. After taking plenty of notes and measurements, he was back off to Florida to fashion him a brand-new foot, and a brand-new lease on life.

[H/T: The Dodo]

Trident’s fate was tragically sealed just after his birth.

His leg was deformed, and as a result, he wouldn’t be able to pull a buggy on the farm as an adult, and so was declared useless.

Luckily, a local midwife stepped in and contacted the Woodstock Farm Sanctuary in upstate New York, and they arranged not only to take little Trident, but also to see about getting him up and running.

Trident was born without the three bottom bones in his back left leg, as well as with a malformed hoof, which meant it was difficult for him to get around, and it would likely only become more difficult as he grew older and bigger.

Ronnie Graves, a veterinary prosthetics expert, was called in to examine Trident. Graves took a cast of Trident’s leg, then used that to create a one-of-a-kind prosthetic for Trident.

The prosthetic essentially finished Trident’s leg and allows him to walk and frolic just like any other horse.

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. Trident might have been born with a disability, but he was born at the right time, when prosthetics technology is reaching incredible new heights for humans and animals alike.

He seemed to take to it pretty well! There was an adjustment period, of course, but Trident was soon trotting around in his enclosure.

After getting his new foot, Trident made the 12-hour drive from Indiana to Woodstock, where he started his new life among the rescued cows, sheep, goats, and chickens who live there. He has the honor of being the sanctuary’s very first horse.

The sanctuary is also home to other special needs animals, like this cow who requires leg braces.

“Trident will live a full life now that he has found sanctuary with us,” says Woodstock Farm Sanctuary director Kathy Keefe. “He will always be a special needs horse, but we will continue to fit him for new prosthetics as he continues to grow and gets older.”

And thanks to his prosthetic, Trident is enjoying prancing and jumping around like never before.

He’s already gained a lot of fans, too, including the vets at Rhinebeck Equine Hospital, who say that his progress is nothing short of amazing, and are equally impressed with Graves’ creation.

This could mean a whole new way of dealing with horses with issues like Trident’s, and could also mean saving their lives.

For now, Trident is busy making new friends on the farm.

Trident’s rescue and his new lease on life were made possible by animal experts, as well as from donations through GoFundMe, all coming together to make the future brighter for one little horse.

Trident seems pretty pleased with the results, too!

Watch the video below to see him in action, complete with his brand-new foot.

You can help out Trident and his animal friends by donating on Woodstock Farm Sanctuary’s website. You can also keep up with the gang on Facebook and Instagram.

SHARE this amazing story of kindness, teamwork, and science saving a baby horse’s life!