Taina is a Paso Fino we rescued from a kill pen, we rarely rescue from kill pens, but sometimes there is a special case. Taina was that case. She was emaciated and pregnant, she was so sickly her skin was rotting off. When she arrived home we weren’t sure she’d survive, she miscarried her foal and was so weak, but when she saw her cozy stall she eagerly dove into the deep, fluffy shavings. We began the slow, painful process of refeeding and getting her the vet care she needed. Her gut had forgotten how to process food, with chronic gas colics and painful ulcers she slowly started putting on the weight. Without any weight on her bones we were able to see her whole story carved in scars on her body. The ligaments in her tail were severed in a way to make a J shape when flagged, as is popular in the paso fino shows, but this is done with a knife and no pain relief, not by a vet. We noticed the whip lines on her legs and scarring on her hips and the sides of her lips from a big bit. These scars are likely from being used as a “dancing horse” which is common in some cultures, including cross-tying a horse, often with a bit, and whipping their legs to make them run or “dance” in place. The first time we put her on crossties she just started trembling in terror. We also noticed her throat had lumps on it, worried they were tumors we got it xrayed. They were spots where her trachea had been crushed along with some white scars on her neck, told us that she had been roped in rodeos. It was lucky she is still able to eat and breath despite the damage.

Taina’s recovery from her trauma has been a slow process, physically and emotionally. As we peel back the layers of her health we discovered Lyme disease, EPM, and chronic laminitis condition. It was a slow process to be able to treat her for each of these and get her healthy and balanced, because she wasn’t strong enough to handle the treatments they needed to be spaced out carefully. Emotionally she’s also been slow to come around, though we can’t blame her, being in ongoing pain sure didn’t help. Bit at a time she’s learned to open up and trust, she enjoys her days exploring the farm, teasing the other horses, and playing clicker games with the kids. She needs her time to process her deep emotions, sometimes she needs to have a moment of attacking the walls to let out her anger, but she’ll return when she feels better, ready to play. This poor sweet soul deserves to be spoiled for the rest of her days. She’s only in her mid-teens, so if we can keep her health in balance, we hope she can enjoy the rest of her days in peace and surrounded by love.

Meet the Rescues: