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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Miniature horse born without a back leg galloping ahead in life thanks to a new $14,000 prosthetic limb

By Simon Neville

Midnite was born without a back leg

Life had been bleak for miniature horse, Midnite, all because he was born without one of his back legs.

He was rejected and abused by his owners forcing law officials to rescue him.

Volunteers at the charity ranch he was handed over to were just weeks away from putting him down.

But the four-year-old horse has been given a new lease of life after a local prosthetics company, more used to making false arms and legs for humans, agreed to make Midnite a new leg.

Originally, the staff at Prosthetic Care and Ranch Hand Rescue in Fort Worth, Texas had held out hope that the horse may be able to walk.

But on his second fitting, he stunned spectators by galloping around his yard.

Bob Williams, who runs the rescue centre, said: ‘The first time we saw him run it made us cry. We all cried. It’s amazing that Midnite just had the opportunity to be a real horse.’

His prosthetic leg allows him to gallop for the first time ever

Bob Williams, who runs Ranch Hand Rescue, said he cried when Midnite galloped for the first time on his $14,000 new leg

He explained: ‘One night we were watching the news story and we saw that they were building prosthetics for humans and we thought if it can be done for humans can it be done for a horse?’

Born minus a hoof and coffin bone in his right rear leg, he was unable to walk, but now he can gallop just like any other horse.

Today, he has a third generation leg – costing $14,000 – which is fastened on with Velcro and is removed and cleaned each night.

Williams added: ‘The hope is that he can live to be 25 to 30 and have a full life and just be happy and healthy.’



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