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Chica’s Success Story

 By Dawne Britney


I had the privilege of meeting Michelle Cameron on July 8th up at Triple R Horse Rescue.  Five years ago Michelle adopted her first horse from Triple R – a 10 year old bay Appendix mare named Chica.  And they both hit the jackpot!

The Story:

In 2012 Michelle Cameron decided she wanted a horse – her first horse.  She had adopted rescue dogs before so she thought looking for a rescue horse was the way to go.  She began to look online and found Triple R Horse Rescue.  Triple R volunteers worked with Michelle to determine what type, age, experience and horsenality would be best suited for her.  Together they looked for a year before Chica showed up at the rescue. 

Chica is from Idaho and was bred for barrel racing.  By the time she came to the rescue at 10 years old she had a bone chip and arthritis in her front left knee.  Triple R’s vet said Chica was healthy and sound except for the knee and suggested surgery.  Chica was going to need a special person to care for her.  She was too young, and with a good head, to be limping around in pain for the rest of her life.

Luckily Michelle was interested.  She talked to a surgeon about the recovery program and chances for an active normal lifestyle afterwards.  The probability of a positive outcome was good so Michelle committed to Chica and her surgery.  The long process began with Chica having to pack on about 50 pounds before surgery.

The surgery went well and then the challenging part started - recovery!  Chica had to be stalled for 7 months; three of it in isolation so she wouldn’t move around too much.  Michelle said, “Chica was going bonkers.”  Then she was able to move into a bigger stall allowing limited movement.  After that, Michelle had to hand-walk Chica twice a day for 3 more months.  Chica was recovering well so Michelle was finally allowed to begin very slow, light riding.  They were able to go on their first trail ride together 9 months after surgery.  Today Chica looks great and is able to go on long trail rides!!

Michelle now plays and/or rides Chica four to five times a week and gives her a “spa day” every week.  Lucky horse!  “I’m honored to have her in my life,” claims Michelle.  “Chica is an important part of my life and was a huge confidence builder.”  Michelle now has 2 additional horses and even competes in mounted shooting.

Even though I was not part of Triple R back in 2012, this story left an impression on me.  THIS is the reason I volunteer for Triple R Horse Rescue – helping good horses end up with compassionate people where the resulting relationship is greater than the sum of its parts! 

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