(UPDATE - Rioya has had her operation, and it went fantasically well! She's recovering now and is very grateful for the support she received. Anna is still unable to ride her, but thanks you all for your help!)
My name is Anna, and I rescued Rioya, an injured horse, in April. Her owner was an awful young guy who was mistreating and totally neglecting her. Rioya is such a remarkably gentle, kind and beautiful horse that I just knew I had to help her the moment I saw her, standing depressed and alone in her bare stable!
Over the past few months that Iíve owned her, sheís proven to have an exceptional temperament; she's almost more like a dog than a horse! She wants to be involved in everything, longs for cuddles all the time, is so interactive itís incredible. She even loves being tickled under the chin (and I have never, in 20 years of horse ownership, seen a horse stick her chin in the air like a cat so you can tickle her!). Because I am lucky enough to have trained as a 'horse whisperer', I know how to communicate with her and we have a truly amazing bond. She has endured the pain of her injury and 5 months of stable confinement with such dignity; most horses would have been playing up and climbing the walls by now. Instead, Rioya has been unbelievably calm and accepting of her situation, and has put up with all the injections, x-rays, examinations and trips to the vet without complaint. She definitely understands that Iím there to help her, and she just puts her head in my arms and lets them get on with it.
When I took her on, Rioya had a leg injury because of the previous ownerís neglect. The vet told me was a simple foot fracture and should heal fine with some time and TLC. She's had lots of love and care over the past few months; she's a different horse now, so much happier in herself. The tragedy is that her leg has not healed properly! I have discovered the vet diagnosed the whole thing wrongly (in human terms, he said the foot was fractured when it was really the ankle). Had I known what was really wrong to begin with, I could have intervened, had the two pieces of bone pinned together, and she would have made a full recovery.
However, because we didnít know what was happening in there, the bones have fused wrongly. Now her leg is at 10 degrees out of alignment. She can walk comfortably and is very happy in herself, but canít trot or canter, or live a normal life out in the field with other horses. The situation is pretty bad, and the future looks pretty uncertain right now.
The vet who made the original misdiagnosis has now brushed me off (in typical ďold boys clubĒ style) and said that there is nothing that can be done; he thinks she will undoubtedly get severe arthritis soon, and that will mean she has to be put down because she will be in too much pain to walk. I havenít slept properly since I found that out!
In desperation, I have asked several vets for their opinions, and have even learned a new method of holistic healing and recruited a local healer (Jane, who gives her time for free) to help me. Amazingly, one surgeon, who specialises in race horses (and therefore leg injuries) has said that, even at this late stage, it would be possible to operate on the leg and pin the two pieces of bone back together and straighten the leg.
I will do anything in my power to give her a chance, because she doesnít deserve to be in this awful situation, with her life hanging in the balance; she is such an exceptional horse, and an exceptional spirit, that she deserves a chance. If Rioya has this operation, it will mean that she will be able to lead a more normal and comfortable life for longer, and that we will have more chance of being able to manage the arthritis. I will never be able to ride her, and although thatís not good news, at least I will be able to give her a happy and relaxed life for as long as possible.
My problem is that horse operations are extremely expensive! I have already spent a fortune going back and forth to various vets, having x-rays, transporting her on lorries etc, and I just canít afford to pay for it. I need to raise £10k to cover the operation and after care. I figure that if everyone could just give £2.50 (£2.00 was my original idea but the extra 50p is to accommodate the Paypal charges) and if I can get enough people to give, weíll have the money to help this gentle horse. None of us would miss £2.50; itís spare change that we could probably find down the back of the sofa, but if we put it all together it will soon add up!
This webpage has been donated free of charge, and I'm hoping there are some really kind and generous people out there reading this and willing to make a difference and join Jane and me in this mission!
If you look at Rioya's picture, you will see from the look in her eyes how kind and gentle she is. I have created a Paypal account so that itís a really quick and easy process to donate. You can just click the button under the picture and donate £2.50 (or specify multiples of £2.50 if you can spare more; itís set up like a shopping basket).
Please, PLEASE help me to help her; she needs the operation as soon as possible, before more bone grows in the joint and makes it impossible to operate. You donít need a Paypal account to donate; it will take any debit or credit cards. If you can tell everyone you know to read about Rioya, then we'll create enough interest to achieve the target. The appeal is for just £2.50 (approx.$4.70!) Anyone who wants to find out more about her or to talk to me can email with 'Rioya' in the subject line and Iíll gladly tell you anything you need to know. Thanks for visiting!
Please take a couple of minutes to click on the link below to give £2.50 (or more). Thank you for helping me and Rioya!