Life Lessons From A Three-Legged Pony
I remember seeing the story of this three-legged pony years ago not long after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and surrounding areas in Louisiana. It moved me to tears then when I read this horse’s amazing story. I had nearly forgotten about it. It was still in the back of my mind somewhere, but recently came to my e-mail inbox again.
I found the story just as moving as I did the first time I read it years ago. There are so many lessons that we can take away from this small little horse’s journey. We can accomplish anything if we have the right attitude, believe in our own abilities and have the will to push through adversity in the light of incredible odds. It is very inspiring to see how one life, one tiny creature, one act of selfless generosity, can influence the lives of many in an incredibly positive way.
Molly was found after being abandoned by her owners when Hurricane Katrina hit Louisiana. She had apparently been on her own for weeks by the time she was found. While at a rescue facility she nearly died when she was savagely attacked by dogs.
Her right front leg, which had been horribly mauled became infected. Molly was taken to LSU by her veterinarian to see if they could help her. As you can imagine, the veterinarians at LSU were already completely overwhelmed with cases. Since Molly was a welfare case she was not high on the priority list.
But one veterinarian, surgeon Rustin Moore, took stock of this brave little pony. Upon meeting Molly in person, he noticed how she handled herself and allowed people to help her without complaint. She was very smart and instinctively knew to switch sides regularly when laying down so as not to get sores and she constantly shifted her weight careful not to overload any one of her remaining good legs. She obviously had a strong will to survive and Dr. Moore decided to take a chance on Molly.
Molly’s right front leg had to be amputated below the knee and she was fitted with a temporary prosthesis. You would think that would be a pretty difficult transition for a horse to make. But Molly continued to amaze everyone with her recovery from an injury that would have killed most other horses.
She lets her caretakers know when she wants her prosthesis put on or taken off by holding her leg out politely and patiently. She has just taken everything in stride and made it part of her new routine. The owner of the rescue farm that took Molly in has found Molly’s true calling in life. She takes Molly to animal shelters, nursing homes, hospitals and rehabilitation centers where Molly can inspire those that need it most.
Molly’s latest prosthesis has a smiley face embossed on the rubber sole so that her hoofprint leaves a trail of smiling faces behind her.
I was unable to find information on obtaining permission to use any of Molly’s photos in this article, but I found this YouTube video which is a compilation of photos of Molly the three-legged pony and her prosthesis.
Are You A Victim Or A Survivor?
So often people get caught up in a victimization mindset that leaves them in a never-ending loop of self-pity, anger and disappointment. So much research has been done about the power of positive visualization and how a strong positive outlook can make the difference in recovery from major injuries.
To have a purpose in life is what keeps us going, motivating us to do better, go farther than we’d ever thought we could…knowing that we make a difference, however small, in another’s life. We have the choice to either take what life has thrown at us and use it to learn, grow and become stronger for it, or we can choose to take the negative slant on life and be slowly consumed by our negative thoughts and feelings.
Our character is defined by how we deal with what life throws at us. It’s very hard to feel sorry for ourselves and our lot in life when we see how one little pony overcame incredible odds to live on and inspire so many people who needed just that little glimmer of hope.
So the next time you feel overwhelmed or you think life has thrown you for a loop, picture the smiley face that this amazing three-legged pony leaves behind wherever she goes. So are you a victim or are you a survivor? Join the conversation on my Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/HeavenlyGaitsEquineMassage.
Lisa Carter is a Certified Equine Massage Therapist (CEMT), with multiple certifications from several different equine bodywork schools. She incorporates her knowledge and experience with Parelli Natural Horsemanship, equine bodywork and as a veterinary technician to provide her clients with the resources they need to make informed decisions for their horses. She encourages and facilitates network building between equine health care professionals, working together to find the best combination of therapies to meet the needs of the “whole horse”.
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