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The earliest background history we have on Delfinia, is her career as a child's show pony. Here is a link to a short video showcasing her work in her early days: https://youtu.be/LbS1tP9XRu0
Delfinia came to Lift Me Up! in 2011 from a private owner in VA who had bought her as a trail horse. Unfortunately, Delfinia did not share this career path vision for herself and proved to be a little more than the new owner bargained for. Happily, LMU has a passion for Fjords, so Delfinia found a home with LMU and joined their Fjord gelding - Finn. Delfinia quickly proved herself a typical Fjord and began testing boundaries with instructors and volunteers, but she never put a hoof wrong with the little TR riders who fell in love with the beautiful Disney "Frozen" pony.
Over the past 11 years that Delfinia has been part of the LMU family, she has proven herself a priceless addition to the herd. Her game of "drag the volunteer/instructor to the grass" is a small price to pay for the amount of pleasure and joy she has given to so many of LMU's riders. Many of LMU's youngest riders have had their first lesson on Delfinia, and learned their basic equestrian skills with her as their patient teacher.
Delfinia faced a metabolic health issue in 2020 and we were faced with some very difficult decisions. After several stays at the Equine hospital to take care of her continuing colic bouts, and many unsuccessful tests to diagnose the cause, LMU was faced with a hugely escalating veterinarian bill and a very sick pony. Delfinia's illness was a huge blow to all of us who love her, and along with the steadily growing bill for her veterinarian care, LMU was in a desperate situation. With the approval of the veterinary team, it was decided to bring Delfinia home from the hospital and provide her with around the clock care to try and get her through the crisis. During this time, one of our volunteers put out the word to the Great Falls community, asking for help with Delfinia's vet bills. The generosity of the Great Falls community and the outpouring of love and care from our LMU staff and volunteers resulted in a pony on the mend and the ability to pay for all the medical care necessary to save Delfinia's life. Although we still watch her very carefully and monitor her care, she is on her way back to being the feisty little pony we all love.
Below, is a detailed outline of Delfinia's battle to stay healthy last year.
Delfinia is continuing to recover at home after a long road of ups and downs since her return to the hospital. At this time, we are happy to report that her condition has stabilized, and we have been steadily reducing her pain medications over the last two months and returning her to a normal diet. She is now allowed a mixture of a soupy grain and alfalfa hay, as well as turnout with her friend Finn in our indoor arena. Corrective shoeing has helped support healthy hoof growth, keeping her pain-free as she moves around during the day. She has also fully returned to her usual energetic spunky self!
As Delfinia's condition improves, our next goal is to wean her off the pain medications entirely and gradually introduce outdoor turnout. In severe cases of laminitis like Delfinia's, it can take an entire year for new, healthy hoof to grow back -- Delfinia first foundered (got laminitis) in October last year, so we are hoping by late fall she might be able to begin light exercise again too.
We are still accepting donations to continue Delfinia's care at LiftMeUp! including restorative farrier work, veterinary checkups, as well as her medications and dietary supplements. Thank you to everyone who has contributed so far and made Delfinia's rebound possible!
Delfinia is finally back home!
We are so excited to welcome Delfinia back to the barn, but she has a long road to recovery ahead of her. We are continuing to accept donations for her continued treatment at home. Delfinia is currently on a number of different medications given every 4 hours, and will need regular check-ups from her primary veterinarian, all of which will continue to add to our vet bills -- so we still need your help and contributions! Help is also needed to defray the costs of our other horses' medical expenses this year, so if you haven't yet please consider a donation using the button above!
We have been absolutely humbled by by the outpouring of love and support from our community over the past several days. Together, we have raised over $9,000 for Delfinia's treatment!! THANK YOU!!
We are optimistically hoping to bring Delfinia home tomorrow, where she can continue to be treated in the comfort of her own home surrounded by those who love her at LiftMeUp!
She has a long road to recovery ahead of her. Your ongoing support will help us continue to afford her medical bills as she heals.
We are heartbroken to share news that Delfinia had a relapse of colic yesterday at the hospital, just as we were hoping to bring her home. Fortunately, the vets were able to treat her right away, and we are anxiously awaiting an update on how she is doing today.
We cannot express enough our gratitude to everyone who has donated to help with her medical bills and spread the word in the community. We are already over halfway to our goal of $8,000 toward covering her medical expenses! With this unexpected relapse, however, the bills are continuing to add up and every donation helps immensely.
On Thursday, April 8th, Delfinia was rushed to the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center after coming down with a serious case of colic (severe abdominal pain). Although the vets were able to relieve an intestinal blockage causing the pain, she was moved to an isolation unit for treatment for diarrhea, lack of appetite, and ongoing pain in her feet from laminitis (inflammation in the hooves). Delfinia was in the hospital for 9 days, as expert veterinarians worked around the clock to stabilize her digestive system, restore her appetite and manage the pain in her hooves.