At that time the problem could have been fixed, but the breeder chose not to do it. Instead, he gave Danny away telling the new owners he would "grow out of it." He didn't.

Several years ago a beautiful stud colt was born on a breeding farm deep in Missouri Fox Trotter country. Unfortunately, this boy was born with "windswept" syndrome, a condition that caused his back legs to hit together when he walked. At that time the problem could have been fixed, but the breeder chose not to do it. Instead, he gave Danny away telling the new owners he would "grow out of it."

He didn't.

Although the new family loved Danny they could see that he was in constant pain and unable to get his share of the food available due to competition with the bigger, stronger horses in the herd. In December 2015 Missouri Forget Me Not Horse Rescue and Sanctuary came to the rescue. Volunteers from MFMN went to Ava and picked up the most loving and sweet yearling colt. One of the volunteers named the colt Danny Boy the minute he stepped off the trailer.

Surgery for Danny Boy

MFMN found a wonderful vet who was able to remove the choroidal tumor from his leg and give him special shoes. Danny was so happy. He was the official greeter at the sanctuary, he stole hats from volunteers and supervised their work every day. Almost any time MFMN founder Connie Hendrix looked out her window Danny would be looking in at her.

But life turned for the worse for Danny Boy.

Suddenly, one of his front feet started turning over and again Danny was unable to walk without pain. It was thought that his sudden good nutrition may have caused his bones to grow faster than his tendons. Danny was taken to Oakridge Equine Hospital in Oklahoma for special surgery on both front feet. After returning home he developed an infection and had to return to Oklahoma. All went well again for a while but then his other hoof turned over again and he was returned to the hospital for further surgery.

Saying Goodbye

During this time Danny remained his sweet, loving and funny self -- always ready to mooch a carrot. As recently as April MFMN volunteers were able to post a video of him running and playing with little Jessie, who was a miniature donkey rescue. Then the unthinkable happened.

His front feet went bad again. Connie was told by the vets that there were no more options left because further surgery would be futile. For a time the MFMN volunteers were able to keep Danny Boy relatively pain free with medication, but then he started having problems getting up and standing. So it was decided that there was nothing more that could be done for him but release him from suffering. The light had gone out of his eyes and MFMN volunteers knew it was his time to go. The volunteers came to tell him good-bye and pet him one last time and hold his head in their arms, while they told him how much he was loved and would be missed.

God had only shared Danny's enthusiasm and spirit for life for a little while. He was released to go play at the Rainbow Bridge with straight strong legs on May 13, 2017. He was laid to rest on the MFMN property at the sanctuary. He will live on in our hearts. We were blessed to have him for as long as we did. He taught us so much about unconditional love, patience and perseverance.

Run free, dear Danny. We will meet again.