Named after Butch Cassidy (not former teen idols David or Shaun!), Cassidy is the ranch mascot!! He’s a combination of possibly the most brave, loving and handsome (in a beautifully noble sort of way) horse you’d ever meet.
In February 2021, a friend sent us a photo of an injured horse nearby that was in need of help. We scoured the hills trying to find him. When we finally did, we saw that he had a horrendous injury to his lower hind leg. The injury was so bad that he could barely put any weight on it and he was obviously in a lot of pain. Dogs usually adapt to their three-legged limitations, horses not so much. Through the neighbors, we discovered that he had had an accident with a barbed wire fence seven months prior. The wound was incredibly infected and swollen and had not been treated in all that time. The owner was found but he refused to sell us the horse, nor would he provide adequate medical care or even allow us to bring veterinary services to the horse there. The state officials were called in, and ten days later the owner finally agreed to sell the horse to us. He notified us of his decision after dark and demanded $800 be paid and the horse retrieved that night or he would be sold for meat in the morning.
We had a few friends already donate some funds in the hopes that Cassidy would make his way to us, but in addition to the purchase price we were not sure how much Cassidy would need down the road in terms of veterinary care including possible surgery. In addition to the initial financial help, two “angel” friends went to get Cassidy and brought him to the ranch late that night. At that point Cassidy’s healing finally began.
The morning after Cassidy’s arrival began with a visit from our revered local veterinarian, Dr. Orfil Gonzalez Moreno. Cassidy was evaluated and treated with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory and pain meds. In the coming months Cassidy was responding well but it was taking longer than we had hoped for the wound to completely heal. He was seen by the vet many times. Each re-evaluation brought a new course of treatment and renewed hope. Cassidy continued with salt water flushes, warm water scrubs, iv’s of dmso and pain meds. He was also treated with several different types of antibiotics, Native American healing tobacco and lots of love. Although not thoroughly, the inflammation decreased and the purulent discharge cleared up somewhat, but there was deep infection and internal scar tissue, and we just didn’t know exactly what else was going on inside the wound. At this time, we still did not want to subject him to a five-hour trailer ride over rough and winding roads to the hospital in Mexicali, as Cassidy was still only able to put ample weight on three legs. Dawn read a recent post on the Horse and Man blog about massive infection from a foreign body. Bound and determined to find out why Cassidy’s infection wouldn’t clear, Dawn finally found a man who offered a mobile x-ray service and convinced him to come and see Cassidy. The x-rays revealed a large wire in the wound which explained why there was so much fibrosis and infection. With an amazing team of helpers, Cassidy made the trek to the Large Animal Hospital at the vet school in Mexicali. Two surgeries followed, the first exploratory and the second to remove the large wire which was embedded in his bone. On December 6, 2021, Cassidy came home from surgery, relatively pain free for the first time in over 14 months. The infection and wounds healed up beautifully. The excruciating pain was finally gone. Cassidy voluntarily and regularly walked about, especially towards his favorite carrot-carrying human friends. On a couple of exciting occasions, he even ran! Unfortunately, due to the longstanding fibrosis and the fact that the flexor tendon was way beyond repair, he was still unable to walk totally comfortably. There was a promising but ultimately failed attempt at a smartly designed harness rigged with a tether connected to a horseshoe on that back hoof that would pull it slightly up and forwards with each step so that the leg would land properly.
It is with an incredibly heavy heart, that we share with you, Cassidy’s passing at, Tina Jo’s Promise Equine Rescue.
We had the most amazing group of people, and animals surrounding Cassidy during his surgery. Below is just a small glimpse with a few videos and photos. Yet, I wanted to give you a sense of the power of love that surrounded him. The magnificent synchronicities, that filled the surgical area along with my heart and spirit . I’m in such gratitude that I was fully present for them all.
Gifted healers, the rush of joy, love and possibilities, than the sweetest release of life on this plane. So many life lessons within those 9 hours.
They say that the two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.
Yesterday, I knew exactly why. The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams. Dawn Stephens and I have built Tina Jo’s Promise to end the suffering of these magnificent animals, yet we have remained small. Now is the time that we expand our minds, and our vision.
Last but not least, a very special thank you to all of the amazing healer’s, friends and family who showed up for Cassidy. And to those of you who have sent prayers and love. YOU made a difference. We are forever grateful.
The Stephens family and support team at Tina Jo’s Promise.