Toro's Story



Toro of Seven Springs


Toronado, a seven-year-old Standardbred, came to us in late March 2004. His tendons had been fired at some point in his career and he was three-legged lame after a stint at Pocono Downs.


According to his former owner, he had so much heart he would keep racing despite being injured. That lead to his wearing out the cartilage in his left front fetlock joint. He received two rounds of hyaluronic acid injected into the joints. Each injection served to slightly extend his racing career. When that remedy no longer worked he was injected with silicone.



Toro of Seven Springs


Here you can see that the silicone left him with a permanently enlarged joint. No one has been able to predict if there will be any long-term detrimental affects from the silicone.



The silicone cushioned his joints, further extending his racing career. He received two of these treatments and was dosed with Bute (an NSAID), as needed. When it was determined that he could no longer race, he came to Seven Springs to be a pasture companion.


He settled in very nicely and, despite being very lame, he managed to romp around the pasture and enjoy himself. Our vet xrayed the joint to see what we were dealing with. His diagnosis: "Bute for life." The xrays showed significant ossifications around both the fetlock and knee. With no expectation of soundness, our goal was to make him comfortable.


In the beginning we administered White Willow Bark to help with the inflammation and discomfort. His front hooves had very long heels. It almost looked like he was walking around on tuna cans. Over a period of weeks the heels were brought down to achieve ground parallel coffin bones. Between the 24/7 turnout and improved hoof angles he became more comfortable and no longer needed White Willow Bark.



Toro of Seven Springs

Toro of Seven Springs

Toro of Seven Springs


Before and after pics of the "tuna can" heel.



This was the status quo for several months until we added a customized regimen of supplements. They helped him detox from whatever drugs or chemicals he received on the track and supported his digestion as well as soothing Bute-induced ulcers. By October he had put on a bit of weight, his topline was improved and his coat was glistening.



Toro of Seven Springs



Next we added a therapeutic dose of a joint supplement. We still had no expectations of soundness but wanted to give him every chance to heal as much as possible. Incredibly, by February 2005 he was walking soundly in pasture part of the time.


Delighted with his progress, we decided it was time for his first backing (ride). It lasted all of ten minutes but we were thrilled. Standardbreds have a reputation for being easy to train to saddle and Toro certainly proved it to us. Carrying a rider made him gimpy so we held off on further riding at that point.


Through the summer of 2005 he became increasingly sound at the walk. We were able to reduce the joint formula to a maintenance dose as he continued to improve.


August 2005 he was moving well enough to carry a rider. When some young, novice riders came for a visit, Toro was put into service along with Flash. What a day that was! He enjoyed himself immensely and progressed from leadline to beginner lessons. One of the adventurous kids even snuck in a short lope. From the five year old to the sixteen year old he carried them all, moving well and acting as if he were a seasoned lesson horse.


Toro is one incredible boy and we are so blessed to have him. He's become the herd leader and revels in that role, yet he's sweet and affectionate with humans. He's taken responsibility for exercising Little Jasmyn and can be seen chasing her around the pasture at least once a day. The extra movement has undoubtedly contributed to his healing.


At this point we believe he might actually be totally sound one day. Meanwhile he's ready for light trail riding and the occasional lesson. Because Toro responded so well to the supplements we've been experimenting with the human version. Our results have been equally impressive.


October 2005


Toro is trotting soundly in pasture!! He has been zipping around, neck arched, looking so proud and happy. Zing went the strings of my heart!


View video clips of Toro before and after.



Update — Summer 2008 — Great horse looking for a great home.


Toro is doing so well and really wants to work. If you’re looking for a sweet, intelligent horse for trail riding, 4-H or low-level dressage, check him out. He has much to offer.


Toro of Seven Springs

Toro of Seven Springs


Patiently sharing himself with rank novice riders, which he does well in smaller areas like the round pen. On the right also pictured, Flash and his young rider.



He needs an intermediate or better rider as he likes to go, and easily transitions to canter. We've worked with him a bit on stopping and standing and he's doing great. He's smart and sensitive and learns quickly. Someone's dream horse in the making. The young ladies in the picture above right are huge fans of Toro.




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