Nevada’s Christmas Gift

Nevada’s Christmas Gift!

In December, 2004 we received a shipment of wild horses from the State of Nevada.  In the group was a 4-5 month old bay filly, which had front club feet, we thought!  Not only was this a surprise to see come off the trucks with the big horses, it had not been treated before transportation.  At least the feet should have been splinted before shipping to help protect this little one.

Well, with all the news media, TV hype and just a few phone calls later, we were able to find this extremely beautiful filly a home.

First, we had called our Ferrier Kenny Kleinsasser to evaluate the little filly.  Immediately we made temporary splints for her legs to prevent any further immediate damage.  (Important-when you find a Ferrier that you trust and can work with, do your best to keep them, they can make your horses life much easier.)

Well, lets see, we get a surprise email and a phone call from a Veterinarian, Dr. Wagner.  She calls to say she will be out of town until December 10th, and will stop by and visit when she returns from a conference.  So now our curiosity is up!  Dr. Wagner’s visit turned out to be a blessing for the little filly named “Christmas Gift”.

Below you will see how the Wild Horse Foundation took extremely care and concern over this little filly.  We called the State of Nevada and placed serious concern on her condition during shipping.  Our concerns were heard by the State of Nevada and the Foundation is well respected for the decision we made regarding this little filly.



After Dr. Wagner had performed the surgery on Christmas she gave us the good news.  The baby had contacted tendons from being born.  The contracted tendon is rare while being carried by the mare, it happens for many reasons but the best one was that the mare womb was small and Christmas could have been a big baby in her. Therefore she was developed with a curl in her feet and thus being the reason.  We are extremely greatful for Dr. Wagner and her support.  Christmas is doing excellent and walking normal and having fun with the other horses at Dr. Wagner’s.  What a great adopter. Dr. Wagner has told us that another follow up surgery to correct this will be required over the next few weeks to a month so that all tendons and growth are able to achieve maximum healing.  In the horse world they’re angels and Dr. Wagner has earned her wings many times over. She has my most deepest appreciation. Is it wrong to place Dr. Wagner in one of the greatest Doctors of all time.  Of course this is my personal feeling and at this point this is what counts, period

Now, the famous Dr. Wagner stepped in.  She was also attended the same convention with the Texas A & M vets.  When she returned she stopped by the Wild Horse Foundation to evaluate the bay filly.  For some unknown reason, I could see her starting to like this one.  She gives us an immediate response and we did not accept it.  Then she decides to really step up to the plate; returns to the Wild Horse Foundation to x-ray the filly’s front feet.  Three days later Dr. Wagner performs tendon surgery to correct the bay filly’s front feet.  After the surgery is complete she stands up and asks if she could adopt this filly.  We responded, of course! We had also called Texas A & M Veterinary School for assistance for the little filly.  All they could tell us was it would cost approximately $3,000.00 for this surgery.   We asked them why and the lady told me that, “We are a teaching hospital and we do not do surgery for free anymore”.  We did ask to speak to one of the Veterinarians and was informed that they were all at a convention in Colorado and should this be an emergency, to call our regular veterinarian.  We informed her one of our other Veterinarians told us to call you!   We were back at square one.

After Dr. Wagner performed surgery on the little filly, which was appropriately named “Christmas Gift”, we received the good news.  The baby had “contracted tendons” from birth.  Contracted tendons are rare in horses but happen for many reasons while being carried by the mare.  The best explanation from Dr. Wagner was that the mare’s womb was small and she carried a big baby.  Therefore she developed with a curl in both front feet.  We are extremely grateful to Dr. Wagner and thankful for her support.  Christmas Gift is doing excellent, walking normal and having fun with the other horses at Dr. Wagner’s ranch.  What a great adopter.

Dr. Wagner informed us that another surgery might be possible over the next few weeks to a month so that all tendons and growth are able to achieve maximum healing.  Dr. Wagner has earned her angel wings many times over.  She has our deepest appreciation.  The Wild Horse Foundation places Dr. Wagner in the greatest of all Veterinarian categories for her caring and compassion to help this little filly named “Christmas Gift”.

 The day before Christmas, Dr. Wagner pulls up with her trailer and we walk the bay filly named “Christmas Gift” into the trailer.

I am extremely grateful for Dr. Wagner adopting this filly.  We know that the recovery and rehabilitation will be done properly and “Christmas Gift” will have a wonderful loving home.

While some of you may have some concerns over this filly, rest easy, this little girl has one of the greatest homes a little filly could have and a doctor as a “mom” to boot.

In the future should you ever need a caring and compassionate veterinarian, I have one for you.  Dr. Wagner’s heart is truly the size of Texas!

The Wild Horse Foundation sincerely “Thanks You” Dr. Wagner.

The moral of this story is that the Wild Horse Foundation never gave up on this little filly.  We tried every avenue possible to find the resources to correct “Christmas Gift’s” front feet.

Ray and Susan,

NEVADAI thought you might like this photo as an update of how Christmas is doing.  She is out in the big paddock now – fully enjoying herself as you can see.


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