Ginny the Lionheart: A Three-Hooved Pony
For September, I am featuring a four-year-old palomino miniature horse who goes by ‘Ginny the Mini’ or ‘Ginny the Lionheart’. You can probably see why she got the latter name in the picture below. 🙂
Earlier this year, Tracy Bailey and her daughter, Sarah, found Ginny through an online ‘for sale’ website where she was listed for ‘free’. The catch? After a terrible barb wire fence accident several years before, the little mare only had three hooves. The owners could no longer afford Ginny’s special needs so they were seeking a good home for her.
Tracy decided she didn’t care if Ginny only had three good feet–she agreed to take her. She hired a shipping company to haul her new horse home, but when the shippers arrived to pick little Ginny up, they found that she was “dirty, matted, underweight, and barely walking”–certainly in no shape to make the seven-hour trip across Ontario to Essex County. So the shipping company agreed to keep Ginny at Freehold Equine Facility in Peterborough and give her some TLC for several days before beginning their westward journey.
Ginny made it to her new home on May 31st. Tracy and Sarah had, of course, known that Ginny only had three hooves, but they were still surprised to see the condition she was in. Ginny’s muscles were weak and her hips were badly misaligned. Her good back leg was twisted inward from having to support all the weight in her back end.
“We never imagined the severity of her disabilities as we were told she could walk and run like any other pony. . . ” said Tracy. “But once my daughter and I saw her passion and determination to carry on, we gave our hearts to her and decided to start a fundraiser to help with funds for a new prosthetic leg and vet bills.”
In a few months’ time, they raised enough money to buy a new prosthetic leg from K9 Orthotics and Prosthetics based in Nova Scotia.
Tracy and Sarah are very appreciative of those who have donated to help make Ginny’s recovery possible, but they could still use some help with vet bills and Ginny’s special diet. In addition, Tracy would like to provide massage therapy and possibly chiropractic work for Ginny.
Ginny lives at a boarding facility called Willow Branch Ranch and Equestrian Centre with her best friend, Alley, another miniature horse. There, the two minis share their own little shelter and paddock.
Ginny is still adapting to her new prosthetic leg and is working up to wearing it full-time.
“She has the sweetest eyes and personality,” said Tracy. “She loves to cuddle and lay around with us.”
“We would love to share Ginny’s story with others to give them hope,” said Tracy. “Whatever hardships they have, whether human or animal, if this little gal can live with her disability, anyone can– as long as you have determination like Ginny.”
Tracy’s dream would be to travel with Ginny in order to share her story with amputees or other people with disabilities.