Ani’s road to Happily Ever After

After a year and approximately $9,000, Anastasia has journeyed from slaughter to sanctuary… and Happily Ever After is closer than ever.

20191230_1231457939537734169324786.jpgGenerous donors saved the stunning registered Missouri Fox Trotter from an Oklahoma kill pen in March 2019 and asked if Swingin’ D Horse Rescue could provide sanctuary. She was so profoundly lame, we were prepared to pay for her to be immediately humanely euthanized, so we took her and another painfully lame horse from the same kill pen straight to the vet.

Surprisingly, our veterinarian offered both Chance and Ani a lifeline, saying, in essence, the spark in their eyes indicated a will to live; and if they were her horses, she’d give them a chance (hence Chance’s name). So, we loaded the broken and exhausted horses back onto the trailer and brought them to sanctuary.

Cookie (formerly Kancia – a surrender) and Sheldon (formerly Chance – bailed from a kill pen) discover love after surviving starvation and the threat of slaughter. Today, they frolic together in lush pastures.

A year later, Chance is blissfully living his Happily Ever After with an amazing adopter, and Ani is well on her way.

The images below represent Ani’s progress since she arrived in March 2019. Her neglected feet had grown out from underneath her, thanks in part to metabolic challenges that devastated her hooves and threatened her very life.

The first photo is a normal hoof with no coffin bone rotation. The second photo is Ani’s left (worst) foot the day she arrived. The third photo shows how Ani’s soles deteriorated with just trimming. Had we continued on that course, she could have walked right through her soles. Soon after those x-rays, we began treating her with wooden clogs. 

Using wooden clogs designed by Mike Steward, DVM, the goal is to rebuild Anastasia’s foot by adding sole and lifting (de-rotating) the coffin bone back toward the hoof wall. Ani’s progress is near miraculous.

Why we’re so encouraged

The images to the right are Ani’s latest trim and x-rays (a year later).

For those who are unfamiliar with horse feet, the pointy bone at the center of the hoof should run parallel to the hoof wall and parallel to the floor of the hoof. When that bone (the coffin bone) points toward the ground, it separates from the hoof wall and bruises its way through the tender sole. Untreated, the bone can pierce the sole, which can often necessitate putting the horse down.

Imagine the pain from your bones poking through the bottom of your foot. Ani has suffered several bouts with that kind of debilitating pain in the months we nursed her back to soundness. Several times, we feared we were losing the battle, but Ani kept us fighting. Relatively inexperienced with chronic founder – let alone founder driven by metabolic disease – we went through numerous vets and farriers before finally landing on treatments that stabilized and began to heal Ani.

How Ani is healing

Using wooden clogs, we’re rebuilding Ani’s foot from inside out. As her weight shifts from her heels to the center of her hoof foundation, Ani will return to soundness; and, with proper diet – controlling her caloric, sugar and starch intake – she can live a productive, healthy, comfortable life.


Ani was doing so well with her clogs that after her second set, we decided to treat two more horses (one rescue and one of our personal horses). Each time they were all treated (every six weeks), the bill was $1,100 ($1,300 if x-rays were required). After $3,600, the boys finally graduated with practically perfect feet (watch for before and after images when the doc sends them)! Their mild rotation is gone, and their soles and hoof walls are thick and strong. We have every reason to believe Ani’s feet will fully recover as well.

For clogs alone, we’ve spent $3,000 on Ani (that’s $6,500 for clogs on all three). We’d already spent thousands on veterinarians, early farriers, supplements, prescriptions and building a climate-controlled stall to support her metabolic issues through extreme temperature changes. So far, the cost of Ani’s resurrection is easily $9,000.

Anastasia – living up to her name

For weeks after Ani arrived at the ‘D, we referred to her as “The Unicorn.” We wanted to pick the perfect name for such a special soul. To avoid confusion, we wanted a name that sounded similar to her registered name (White Fawn – we’ve no idea what they called her), but felt she deserved a new title to go with her new life. We finally landed on Anastasia, using Ani (AW-nee sounds like Fawn) for short. Anastasia means resurrection – like a phoenix rising from the ashes. A new life. We had no idea how prophetic that name would be.

Without you…

In the year since we rescued Ani, Chance and Mazi, we’ve also taken in four surrenders. We still have four of those horses, plus the babies and damaged horses we already had. That’s a lot of rescues in one year for a small operation (just me full time, a part-time ranch hand, three amazing volunteers who come a few hours a week, and my hard-working husband who pitches in when he’s not catching bad guys).

In that year, we’ve collected about $5,500 in outside donations. Without that money, we may not have been able to provide Ani with the treatments she needs and deserves.

The vet says Ani is not out of the woods yet, but we’re getting close. He says she’ll require a minimum of 90 days of continued treatment. That’s probably three more sets of clogs (four, if you count today’s) and one more set of x-rays at a total cost of about $1,500 with prescriptions and supplements.

Donate via PayPal

You can help Ani complete her journey to Happily Ever After. Your donations go directly and completely toward the care of our horses.

If you’re not comfortable donating online, you can mail a check to Swingin’ D Horse Rescue at 13937 S. 353 E. Ave., Coweta, Oklahoma 74429.

If you prefer to pay our veterinarian directly, please mail your check to Dr. Jay Ross, Oak Grove Veterinary Hospital, 12949 S State Highway 51, Coweta, OK 74429 and put Anastasia Marler, Acct. 12367 in the Memo line. We’d love it if you could give us a heads up about your donation so we can properly thank you.

Anastasia will be available for adoption to the right applicant with the financial resources and experience to support her special needs. If you believe you’re that person, please apply online.

Times are tough

We know that times are tough with the threat of a global pandemic keeping everyone at home. We understand some people have suffered tremendous financial strain, so we hesitated to even sound the call for donations.

We also know Anastasia has a growing fan club that wants to hear updates about her health and progress. If you’re able to give, that’s great. If not, we wanted you to know how well she’s doing and that we’re still here; still racking up debt; and still working to give mistreated and abused horses the Happily Ever After they deserve.

Thank you for your support!