AERO received a call about Valiant, whose owner signed him over to a caretaker. He needed urgent medical attention. Although AERO did not have funds to bring him in immediately, volunteers started helping him where he was located. He is an approx. 14yo Mustang from the Navajo Nation originally, that has passed hands many times in his short life before coming to AERO. He has a very severe and difficult condition to overcome in his front feet. He is only 770 lbs (should be 1100 lbs) which happens when an animal is in extreme pain and unable to metabolize their food. Our initial goals are to minimize the pain with painkillers (which he has never had) so he can stand more and to retrain him to use his right front leg so that the bone and tendon feel normal stresses which will allow them to heal. Valiant is a testimony to sheer will and determination to hang in there during the 7 years it is suspected he has been suffering with this condition without medical care. Special thanks to Dr. Lucas and Dr. Robertson and all the staff at Southwest Equine for helping us, yet again, with one of our most difficult cases.Special thanks as well to Dr. Gryl and Dr. Crabo for their tremendous help from Chaparral Hospital.

AERO diaries are kept with the most recent events at the top for those that like to visit often. If this is your first time you may want to start at the bottom to read in chronological order so that you can catch up on what has been happening. Click here for Valiant's Photo Gallery of hospital visits.

10/24/06 - Here we are several weeks later and we still can't get a vet out to assist us for Valiant's feet. One veterinarian was able to show us how to nerve block and provided us with sedation so we could do this ourselves. This resulted in 1.5 hours of us getting Valiant in the sling, his nerves blocked (one black eye later) and sedated but not enough. The entire operation was unsuccessful and the sling was too risky because in the temporary barn it is at a slight angle causing Valiant to slide too much. Our next plan of attack is to build a better sling holder in the new barn so that he can't slide as easy and to see if we can talk a vet from Arizona to come out for a fun visit to Santa Fe one weekend! Our barn is started none too soon....the cold is making Valiant achy even with his blankets but he has a good coat and his weight is remaining steady. Taking off his shoes has set him back quite a bit so if we can't get his sling working then we'll have to knock him out for it.

10/9/06 - Valiant really needs a shoe back on the foot that is missing the coffin bone but unfortunately the veterinarian who was going to assist us this weekend cancelled. That vet has agreed to provide the medications for us to administer on our own so that we can schedule the farrier who is only available on the weekends. In the meanwhile it was so cold this morning that we found Valiant sleeping out in the morning sun with frost on his blanket....we had to double blanket him last night because of a severe storm that blew thru and dropped the temps. Our barn is scheduled to start this week and it will be none to soon for all of the horses.

10/2/06 - Our boy is doing well....he is still gaining weight (it seems about 7-8 lbs/wk) and we have added tendon repair and pain killer formulas into our chinese herbal regime. He is getting a shoe put back on his stabilizing foot this coming Saturday and we see that as a big step towards helping him. After trying it barefoot we think that the shoe actually helps support, cuts off circulation (which in his case is a good thing), and numbs his foot so he doesn't feel the P3 joint fracture. He is still eating like crazy (getting into the hay area is his new entertainment, helping himself to grain) and he spends an hour or so standing at a time. He definitely is not as active as he has been and he is more camped out barefoot and less stable barefoot on both fronts.

9/26/06 - The flies are back at biting at his legs since the weather warmed up a little. He was back into mischief today knocking down garbage cans and looking for goodies. A nice fuzzy coat is coming in and he's shedding out some old coat and some of his bed sores are shrinking on his elbows. He's taken to laying closer to the stalls now and staying in the 'breezeway' area.

9/24/06 - Valiant is continuing to gain weight while on his herbs and we've ordered some more really great system support from globalceuticals.com but it's time for him to get his feet done again. It's our belief that he does better with a shoe on his right front where he doesn't have a coffin bone so we're going to talk to the farrier about that change and get his sling installed so we don't have to knock him out.

9/21/06 - Last night was a long night for everyone - the temperature dropped 14 degrees from teh night before and there was a terrible storm but Valiant cleverly moved into the breezeway to stay out of the wind driven rain. Our permanent barn will come none too soon. We double blanketed Valiant but all that standing when he's normally sleeping meant that this morning he was sprawled out in the sun dozing. His coat is getting very soft on these chinese herbs.

9/20/06 - Valiant was walking all over the property today and standing much of the day. His tendon is very swollen because we decided to take off the wrap so but that didn't stop him from being active. We'll wrap his leg at night only so he can build up some strength in his tendon again. He is using that leg more and more while he walks. He is also eating us out of house and home so to speak.

9/19/06 - Valiant was out and about this morning when we woke up but came running back in to get breakfast. When we stepped away from the barn for a minute he ran into the grain area and started his grain bucket before we were finished adding all the supplements. He loves getting away with this and judging from his trail of messes he spent most of the early morning hours wandering around instead of laying down. This is great news.

9/18/06 - Valiant has been really active again. He has been sunning in several different spots around the yard and he came back into the barn early to get more food. He is eating himself out of his stall and getting into mischief again. His coat feels softer and his bed sores look like they are shrinking a bit. It's been 60 degrees during the day but he is staying plenty warm without any blankets, etc. We've even taken off his fly sheet since the flies are hibernating. He's feeling good.

9/17/06 -Valiant taped in 8 lbs heavier than when he started the herbs putting him at around 807 lbs. This is great news since he had lost a little weight. He's also been wandering around more which we always like to see.

9/15/06 - Valiant stayed by what we call the meditation tree because we put our prayer flags in it (it's a cherry tree)....it's a shady area that he enjoys. He has gained approx 8 lbs and is walking better but doesn't like to walk on the rocks across the driveway. Once the barn is built he won't have this but that is why he has not been going across to his hill so I think his feet are tender. One of his bed sores looks like it is softening and getting ready to resolve on his elbow - the other we continue to treat with Eclipse. He is eating very well and is drinking more than usual.

9/13/06 - Valiant was in good spirits today since we were able to get a dumpster finally to remove some of the hay/shaving piles we had been making. He likes his area very much. He was wandering around in the middle of the night to watch the other horses that had gotten loose (they pushed a gate but all came back when we called). He is eating alot and we're feeding him several times a day. The herbs seem to be raising his body temp which is not surprising as we can smell some warming herbs in there. He is not distressed by this (as a matter of fact it is helpful for the cooler temps at night) and his spirits are very good.

9/12/06 - For the first time in awhile he didn't come back to his stall during the night....this morning he has managed to wander all the way down the hill along our dirt road. It's always a good sign when Valiant starts to go farther out. He usually doesn't do this unless he's confident he can get back for dinner.

9/11/06 - He got up half way thru the day and started his wandering....he loves the original area we put him in when we arrived...under the trees by the guest house. He hung out there most of the day once he had gradually grazed to that location. His coat condition is good but when he wanders out we watch him for dehydration.

9/10/06 - Well this busy boy is starting to wander out more and come back in for breakfast. The flies are bad right now so we're trying to make sure he's protected from them. He rests his one foot on it's toe while he grazes but he uses it briefly when walking. This is really great progress since he stopped using it a month or so ago. Since he is still on the herbs we are continuing to monitor for abcesses. He looks like he had one that resolved on one of his heel bulbs but we're most concerned about pus that comes out of a weakened area in the front of his hoof. We have not seen this for several days. His spirits are definitely good!

9/9/06 - Valiant is showing improvement every day with wandering out farther and farther and walking on all four feet much better. We are definitely seeing changes in his demeanor on his new supplements and he comes running in for dinner to get his herbs. Mark was here trimming the other horses and Valiant got up out of a dead sleep to come over and see him. He really likes Mark and I think he wanted to thank him for helping his feet.

9/7/06 - Valiant started his newest supplements from 'For the Love of the Horse' which includes Total Immune Health, Laminitis and Hoof Ailments. He has been extremely hungry and active today and he really does like the taste of his supplements (I never think chinese herbs are 'tasty'). He has been trying to use his left front foot more and we'll be working on a sling for him so we can get his feet done again in the next couple weeks.

8/23/06 - He is starting to use his new feet and looks much more comfortable. He is even willing to try to use his bad foot in little steps. We have to remind him to take small steps using all four feet. He is off and wandering again. We've blocked off the hay area so we don't have a repeat and his back leg cuts healed very quickly despite how deep they were. We are grateful to not have to wrap his back leg anymore since he was not cooperative. For a horse in his condition you would never know it.

8/20/06 - Valiant is detoxing the anesthesia out and his skin feels terrible. We are using some flushing techniques to get his body to recover from the toxins. by the end of the day his fur is feeling much better and in a couple days we'll have his system back on track. He rests most of the day and is not eager to test his new feet. He slammed into the stall walls pretty hard getting up yesterday so he is achy and sore. Shelly bids him farewell today and hopefully we'll see her again on another visit!

8/19/06 - Valiant's left tendon has contracted and he is not using that foot and his other foot has been abscessing. It's been too long for him to go without a trim. We finally have all the stars aligned and get the latest xrays so we can knock him out and do his feet. He is losing the tip of his other coffin bone due to the rotation and the false heel that is gotten so high. Mark finds a large abscess in his right front that he cuts out but there are more. The right front has a false bottom and we can't trim his heel down without causing a problem. Valiant's weight is back down to 800 lbs partly because he is abscessing again and not as active. He is more muscled in his chest and his hind end because he is climbing up and down hills of his own accord. Everyone is amazed that he has hoof structures and a healthy hoof wall in spite of his xrays. He has a hard time coming out of his anesthetic and falls several times.....he doesn't want to stay down long enough to get his wits about him so we move him out of the confined area and have three people stabilizing him while we get peppermint oil to wake him up. Shelly, a volunteer, has come to visit us this weekend and thank goodness she is here! She is our official essential oil assistant during the process! His feet look better all the way around so this was a much needed procedure but we've got to structure a sling as soon as possible as the anesthesia is very hard on Valiant.

8/17/06 - Valiant, in his wanderings, decides that the hay area is the place to be. We come out to find him badly cut up on his back legs because he walked on the pallets of hay and broke thru them with the wood cutting deep by his fetlocks. For a horse that cannot use his fronts very well at the moment this is really hard on him. We treat the cuts immediately and wrap his leg (which he fights) - our standard care is to get the wounds cleaned out and then put lavendar and helichrysum essential oils on them asap. I also put some Eclipse product which we use to close his bed sores.

8/1 - 8/19/06 - We are having challenges getting a vet out when the farrier is available....we have made appointments to meet them in the area but finally found one that will meet us on a Saturday. Because we are not confident in the structural integrity of our temporary barn, we choose to anesthetize Valiant (knock him out so he's laying down) and Mark is able to trim this way because of his zoo experience.

7/6-7/31/06 - Valiant does extremely well in his new location with the exception of biting bugs. We have put a fly sheet on him to help - he is very happy with wandering around and has found a favorite lookout spot over the hills. We need to get his feet done so we've started the process to find a vet to assist. As luck would have it we have an incredibly competent farrier that lives next door to us. He used to do all the exotic animals at the colorado zoo and he has offered to help us with Valiant. That is a huge relief. He has a four year degree from the UK in farriery and is a wealth of knowledge. Inthe meanwhile we have the temporary barn built with 24x48 stall for Valiant to wander in and out of - he comes back for shelter in the storms but loves his hill. The rains started after the first week of being here and everything is very green.

7/5/06 - The spot on Valiant's neck is doing really well. He is very happily exploring our neighbor's property (with their permission of course) and everyone who travels down our dirt road is starting to get to know him. We have had several people stop and tell us he was loose or ask about him so he's been breaking the ice in our new neighborhood. We put his neon yellow sheet on so he is visible and he wanders farther and farther over the hill to graze. His path looks like a family circle cartoon he is so active. Dehydration is still a big concern as it is hot and he's not been staying close to a water source so we've been wheel-barrowing water to him wherever he goes. It's time to say good-bye to Alex and his family who have been incredibly helpful in getting the barn built and taking care of Valiant.

7/4/06 - We are concerned because a lump has formed on Valiant's jugular where his catheter was....we try calling an emergency vet in the area but don't get a response so we phone back to Dr. Gryl and luckily get ahold of her. Based on our description she feels that it's just some irritation from the catheter moving around in his neck for a week. We put some DMSO on this area and keep watching it. It should resolve in a couple days.

7/3/06 - Karina gives him one last session before she has to leave as well. Valiant is really grateful as he is starting to feel the effects of the trip a bit. We remove his catheter and put the remaining IV bags away. Since he is wandering all over we're following him with buckets of water and hay but he's happy as a clam grazing. His coat is starting to show the strain of the week by getting sticky and coarse. All the other horses are doing well and are loving the open space.

7/2/06 - It's my birthday but there is no rest - we need to construct the barn as soon as possible so the horses have shade. The temps are very warm and there is no breeze giving us a break. Valiant is doing well on his IV and his catheter looks good so we keep it in one more day to be safe and we let him out of his stall for part of the day. He wanders across the dirt road and starts grazing on the hill. Karina donates an equine cranio-sacral treatment which helps him get less stiff. (after all that driving too - thank you!) We unload Karina's trailer and bid farewell to Sheri who has to get back to work! Everyone is doting on Valiant and we're all stunned that he looks as good as he does after the trip.

7/1/06 - It's midnight and Karina comes to hook up her trailer full of the rest of our barn equipment. Alex & I have had 2.5 hours sleep and when we check on Valiant he is standing and says he's ready to go. He went thru a period of anxiety during the day that a friend of ours picked up on and called - we told him we would be following the horses in our car behind the big trailer and that he could communicate with us during the trip and he was fine again. Joe, our hauler, has a nice 8 horse slant trailer so we can take the whole herd together and Valiant will get the last two stalls in a nicely large space. We load Cheers, then Zeph and go on down the line. Everyone loads fantastic although Zeph is a little excited and starts kicking in the trailer. When it comes time for Valiant to go on he marches down the runway and runs right up the ramp. We encourage him to lay down but he refuses. We pull down the driveway hoping the movement would encourage him to lay down but he doesn't. We stop again at the end of our dirt road....again at the freeway....again at Black Canyon City. He is adamant about standing so we give up and head on out. It's around 2am and the AERO barn is completely empty with all of our remaining gear packed in Karina's trailer.

Joe stopped and watered the horses once before daylight and everyone is doing well. Valiant and I have an agreement that he'll get my attention by making a sharp pain in my neck if he needs something....he makes contact about 4 hrs into the trip and says he needs some pain killers and so does Solstice. We stop and they are both grateful for the Bute and we get Valiant some water. Everyone else is doing well but the trailer is already getting hot and humid. We're about half way there. Alex has been a huge help during the whole process.

We stop just once more before arriving. Towards the end the horses are getting anxious to get out and hot. Valiant is still standing and is our connection to how everyone in the trailer is holding up. We arrive at our new location around 11:30am the next day and see that Sheri and Carol are putting the finishing touches on a nice large turnout - they have hustled all morning to get the panels set up. It's a warm sunny day when we open the back door to the trailer and I tell Joe to just open it up and let Valiant out. He looks at me funny that I would let a horse loose but realizes that Valiant will stick close. As soon as the door open Valiant twirls around in the trailer....a horse with a virus and temp the morning we left who normally hadn't been standing for more than a couple hours at a a time is still standing after nine hours in a trailer (a trailer ride is like a forced walk)....he amazingly doesn't look distressed but has a slight sweat. He looks around at the new place and his eyes get big - he hops off the trailer and immediately starts to graze! Now all the other horses are jealous so we have to unload them quickly and they all decide immediately that the grazing made the whole trip worth it!

It's a hot day so we let Valiant graze a bit but are eager to get him back on IV's - we quickly construct a temporary pen under some trees, hang his IV bags in the trees and ask him to come back (he's gone quite a ways now) to this area. We have to keep him in a small area so he doesn't pull his IV Line out. He finally lays down to rest and eat looking very happy.

6/30/06 - The big move day....Carol pulled out with the big trailer at 7am, the house is completely empty, the barn is mostly packed. Sheri comes at 7:30am to pick up the little trailer with more barn equipment. The horses are scheduled to pull out at 1am in the morning to avoid the summer heat as much as possible. Valiant temps at 103 degrees - his fever is peaking and he is still on an IV. Dr. Gryl is came out at 3pm to check his catheter and adds more stitches to keep it in place. The fan borrowed from our neighbor, Kim, is running and we're soaking his sheet for the evaporative cooling effect. Our holistic vet comes out for one last treatment and we all agree that Valiant is quite confident he'll make the trip and his fever comes down throughout the day. We are stocked with IV fluids for the other side and keep him on a slow drip all the way up until 30 minutes before we load. Alex, another youth volunteer, has been helping all day in getting the house and horses ready for the big trip.

6/29/06 - We cancel the foot trim scheduled for today and let Valiant rest. He is very feverish today which is a good sign that the virus is moving around and out. Thank goodness for his holistic treatment yesterday. His blood panel came back with infectious indicators which Dr. Crabo felt was rare but probably related to his feet. We understand where these results are coming from and are concerned about travel the following day. He does not recommend travel and so we make alternative plans in case one of us needs to stay behind with Valiant. It's been a crazy week with the heat, all the semi-trucks taking barn equipment and moving the house, and organizing all the horses for their trip. Valiant remains on his IV and the doctors will come tomorrow to check the catheter and provide more fluid bags right before we go.

6/28/06 - Our holistic specialist confirms our suspicions that Valiant has picked up a variant of the severe virus Solstice had. She performs some work and gives us some protocols to follow treating him as aggressively for the virus as we did with Solstice. (colloidial silver, aloe vera gel, mushrooms, and homeopathics) After she leaves Valiant is very tired and naps the rest of the evening wtih his IV fluids, a fan in his stall and wet towels draped on him. It's been a challenge keeping him cool in this 110 degree weather!

6/27/06 - Valiant is extremely dizzy and dehydrated again. Dr. Crabo came out to perform the tenotomy but when we looked at Valiant's hoof on that leg we see a large abcess resolving. Now we wonder if that is the reason for his latest issues. Dr. Crabo takes bloodwork for a complete panel and holds off on the surgery. We soak his feet and put him on IV fluids with plans to keep him on them for the rest of the week. He is supposed to travel to our new location on Friday and the weather in New Mexico will definitely help the situation but the trip is our biggest concern. We are calling in our holistic specialist to assist.

6/26/06 - Valiant has his IV fluids taken out but the catheter is left in. We have scheduled Dr. Crabo to perform a tenotomy tomorrow because he thinks it will help Valiant travel better. We are monitoring him closely because it still isn't clear why he is having trouble staying hydrated and a virus is still on our suspect list.

6/25/06 - Valiant is showing signs of extreme dizziness indicating severe dehydration. We called in Dr. Crabo to put in an IV line because with the extreme temps of the summer we have not been able to stabilize his hydration level. We did pour ice water on him to bring his temps down. We are now suspicious that he has the virus Solstice had (we think it was EHV-1 neurologic) based on other symptoms we're seeing.

6/22/06 - We did one more trim on Valiant to bring his heels down. It seems to be a little much and he may have needed more time to adjust. However the foot without the coffin bone is doing very well without the shoe and he is fully weighting it. The tendon is a concern and it has been recommended to do a tenotomy (cut his deep digital flexor tendon) to see if that gives him any relief. It has been scheduled for next Tuesday as Valiant feels this will help. In the meanwhile the heat has been hard on his bed sores....the hot sand is burning them open more. (he likes to hang out in the arena sand). We have created a shade area for him out there to relieve some of the problem. There is also a wonderful product that we have purchased called Eclipse which does wonders for bed sores made by BeluMedX. They were kind enough to send us some samples as well! Really outstanding company and product!

6/15/06 - Special thanks to Jon Thomas, a natural trim farrier, Dr. Gryl of Chaparral Animal Hospital and Craig, a dedicated volunteer for their work with Valiant today. We are making significant progress with Valiant's feet. This morning before we did the latest trim Valiant was standing for the first time in a long time without being tense with pain and actually did a ballerina stretch for his back (something we've never seen him do). We took an enormous chunk of toe off his bad foot (so much that it took a hacksaw and alot of work) and this evening he was standing for an extended period of time - his tendon was painful which is expected but he was so pleased with the change that he demonstrated how he could walk on all four feet with a short stride. May not sound significant but for those that follow Valiant's progress know he walks primarily on his back feet and this was his first attempt at normal movement. His muscles will have to catch up but his stability is much much better and his feet and back are all returning to normal angles. Very important for an arthritic horse and probably the most exciting improvements we've seen since we started this adventure.

6/9/06 - Valiant had his teeth done and his feet done this week so he is adjusting to so many changes at once. He is having some trouble with his foot change but after he adjusts we feel he will have a better long term prognosis. His xrays showed increase in bone density in his coffin bones and still plenty of sole. The heat is taking a toll on him and his spine has been very sore from arthritis...all the changes in angles on his feet affect his back greatly. Updates to Valiant's diary will be happening every 2-4 weeks due to our move.

5/23/06 - It's been awhile since we've entered in the Valiant diary but that doesn't mean lots hasn't been happening....Valiant has taken a minor down turn and desperately needs his feet done. He is very sensitive to when his feet aren't doing well. Thanks to Craig, one of our volunteers, we have successfully set up the equine sling and have had Valiant in the sling several times with his weight supported (and no adverse affects on the barn). However we are still testing and perfecting the sling. This will be critical to our next farrier visit as it is really hard for Valiant to stand when work is being done. We are hoping this gives our farrier a much better chance of working on his feet. Although this sling will probably not serve us long term it is an important improvement and we'll schedule a trim as soon as we get Valiant comfortable in it. In the meanwhile the Mylanta is helping his bed sores and he continues to play in the arena....the heat has made it more difficult to keep weight on him so we're bumping up his calories significantly.

5/12/06 - Valiant was asked to stay in his stall today because the arena needed to be attended to.....we started using Mylanta on his bedsores and are already seeing a difference. The heat has been hard because the flies are increasing.

5/10/06 - Valiant has been happily walking around today since his body feels so much better after his massage. He was quite playful even though the temps were thru the roof. Craig, a volunteer, rigged up the sling today so we'll test it with a horse when he comes next Monday.

5/9/06 - Valiant was worked on by the massage students from the Arizona Institute of Equine Massage Therapy and Kineisiology tonite. They were able to get him much more comfortable and Tiana Smith (who had a severely foundered horse completely recover) recommended Mylanta would heal the bedsores. She also gave a natural formula to help ease the discomfort in his feet and convinced Valiant that the magnetic bell boots were a good idea! (something I hadn't convinced him of at all). He looked terrific!

5/7/06 - It was a lazy day today with a light breeze and Valiant decided to head to the arena early on and stay out there all day. He usually comes back to his stall pretty late at night. We're careful to keep the hay area closed off since he can make quite a mess in there and Tenacity has started her nest in the hay. Tenacity is a quail that lays a nest every year in our hay and she's up to seven eggs.

5/5/06 - It was a windy day today so everyone had their fly masks kept on. Valiant wandered to the arena this morning and stayed out all day wandering to the farthest end of the arena during the day. His bed sores show progress in healing and although he's not as active as he has been in the past he is staying standing properly. We'd like to lop off his toe more to ease the pressure on his stress foundered foot.

5/3/06 - Valiant has been staying in his stall the last couple days to rest up a bit and has had a healthy appetite. We tried doing a trim today to get the toe back but he was too stressed out to let us work on him. His coat continues to be in good quality and he is gaining weight again. We have the equine sling and are now trying to determine if we have strong enough supports in the barn to hold his weight.

5/1/06 - We kept Valiant in his stall today to give his leg a rest and let the other horses play in the arena. He's been standing most of the day. His equisling should be in so we'll get the straps to rig it up for his foot work.

4/30/06 - We retreated Valiant's leg last night and put a temporary wrap on it. The leg wrap was too tight and caused some edema around his coronet band so we'll redo it today with a different process. He also needs more impression material to support his frog since he walked so much the other wore out. In the heat he likes to spend all day in the arena which makes it harder for us to keep him eating enough food since he covers all four corners.

4/27/06 - Valiant has been enjoying wandering around the arena again. He goes out for a morning graze and then plays in the arena the rest of the day in between sun naps. He is gaining weight and his coat looks absolutely fantastic! We continue to have a wrap to support his leg and tendon. We've inserted some pictures taken by Shelly, a volunteer!

4/21/06 - Valiant went out for a graze early this morning before coming back in for a bit of grain. The leg brace seems to help stabilize his leg quite a bit so we're going to look into ways of making that a bit stronger. His coat has a blinding shine so his health is really great and he's on a special laminitic hoof supplement which seems to be making a difference.

4/20/06 - Valiant is doing well with his new leg brace. This is helping to support and hold his leg in a better position while his hoof grows out some deformity. He has been gaining weight again and we're pleased to see his progress.

4/18/06 - Valiant had his foot treated a bit by the farrier today - we are trying to lower his heel very gradually to get his angles back to propery placement. We have bandaged his leg in a way that acts as a brace. Special thanks to the volunteers that were there to assist while Valiant was being treated.

4/14/06 - Valiant has been doing well and wandered around in the arena today playing. The wind storm forced us to gather him into the barn for more protection.

4/13/06 - Valiant has been eating more lately - cleaning out his bin each night. We've added Black Pepper oil and a laminitis formula feed provided by Emerald Valley Botanicals that should improve the conditions of his feet.

4/10/06 - Valiant wandered out to the arena today but was not as active as usual. He came back in for dinner on his own though and is eating well - when we see these signs we find he is saving energy to gain weight. His weight has been fluctuating a bit the last couple months in direct correlation to how his feet are doing.

4/9/06 - We put some more impression material on Valiant's foundered foot today to make it easier for him to get around. He wandered out to the arena and went around in there for awhile but didn't explore some of his favorite grazing areas today. We're treating his legs with oils that should assist with pain and scar tissue as his tendons are causing most of the issue on his bad side.

4/8/06 - Valiant received a PAP treatment today and although he was not as active (think he overdid it yesterday) he still enjoyed his treatment....it put him to sleep! We whipped out a fly sheet for him since the flies are starting to appear in the heat. Looks like the weather has finally decided it's spring.

4/6/06 - Valiant is happy as a clam with his new shoe. He went to the arena and rolled and bucked and played today while he had an audience at the barn. He spent all day wandering and grazing again. Steve found a really great formula for his shoeing and we're now working on a solution for the stress foundered side. Steve has really put Valiant back on track.

4/5/06 - Steve gave Valiant a new shoe (in the rain) today and did a marvelous job. His back feet were trimmed up and Valiant happily cruised around all day to enjoy his new mobility. Dr. Lucas also came out in the rain to provide nerve blocks so that Valiant could stand on his other foot without too much pain while Steve worked. Valiant was in very good spirits at the end of the day. We're grateful to everyone who helped with this task.

4/2/06 - Valiant was back to his old self - we took his boot off yesterday for his bath and he's much happier without it. He wandered out to the arena and even across to the far side of the property grazing. He was teasing everyone again and he got into a bag of apples that we left in the breezeway! Note that he passed on the carrots so he's definitely thinking apples are the thing right now. It's great to see him feeling so terrific and all of the help he received yesterday made a noticeable difference.

4/1/06 - Valiant had a PAP-IMI treatment today and some massage treatments which he badly needed! He even got a bath too! He transformed into a shiny penny and happy boy! It's wonderful to see him looking much better!

3/30/06 - Valiant is in a little better spirits today and tried to come out into the breezeway a bit for some fun. He's done with his one homeopathic remedy and is making another shift. He'll be re-evaluated for next steps again next week.

3/29/06 - Valiant went back on his banamine today as he wasn't moving around at all. Very uncharacteristic for our boy. We're working on a modification that will help hold him over until he can get his feet done next week. In the meanwhile we're giving him tons of love!

3/28/06 - To all that follow the diary I apologize for the delay in entry. Our poor computer has been suffering as of late and I had to free up significant amounts of memory to get it to go again! Valiant has been doing well overall but has not been as active. He gets his feet done next week but the xrays today showed that he's rotated more on stress foundered foot and he has a big abcess coming out (painful) on his other foot. We decided that our formula with the boots has been a set back because his bone is actually demineralizing even more since he's been in the boots.

3/22/06 - Valiant received a visit from Amy and her family today - she is the one who originally saved him from auction six years ago when he was half his weight with open sores and many other issues. He was very happy to see her. He also went out to the arena today for the first time in awhile. The new boot we've put on is working but it's a little too big and so we're working on improving it. He's been working on gaining weight again as well.

3/19/06 - It's been a couple days since we've updated the diary due to all the activities we've been doing to get ready for expansion. During this time we are really seeing some positive shifts happening with Valiant. He is eating like crazy again and has been gaining weight. We soaked his foot on Saturday for the first time and will resoak it again soon. This crazy weather from warm to cold has not been easy on any of our bones and Valiant is no exception so we've been keeping a blanket on him. He received another PAP-IMI treatment yesterday which he enjoyed. We'll post new pictures of him tomorrow.

3/14/06 - Valiant didn't leave the breezeway today which is unusual for him - this usually means he is uncomfortable for some reason. We'll recheck his boot but we're expecting his foot to abscess soon so he could be working on this. This would be a good thing when it happens because it will make room for healthier tissue in his foot. We noticed that his hip sore is getting smaller slowly.

3/12/06 - Valiant was allowed to run around again for the first time in awhile and he was full of spunkiness. He went out to the arena most of the day but he managed to come back into the barn and make a complete mess of an already messy breezeway. (from the storm) He actually lost his boot at one point yesterday because the mud sucked it off.

3/11/06 - Valiant has been doing well in spite of teh SNOW and cold weather yesterday - our barn floods out in the rain and so we double blanketed him and put him in the driest stall. He did well in spite of having to stand more than usual.

3/7/06 - Valiant is on a new homeopathic remedy which we believe will assist him - his stress foundered foot is active again and we are not able to change his feet until we can stabilize that foot. This should start to work thru the layers for him.

3/5/06 - Valiant made sure I saw him running and rolling the arena this morning. He still feels good from all the work last night. He's standing squarer today than he has before so that his back is very straight - now we need to get a normal kyphotic curve. He's eating like crazy.

3/4/06 - Valiant had a wonderful day today with lots of visitors and healing sessions. Marty of A Sound Horse gave him a beautiful sound therapy session which we all enjoyed as well. Valiant soaked up the hands on work of Maria, Debbie J., Marty, Vanessa, Cary, and Debbie R. and Koalatlife came out once again with the PAP-IMI machine for another treatment. Not only did he get all of these amazing therapies but Cary gave him a full groom job so he looks like a show pony!

3/2/06 - Valiant is up to his antics with lots of playing with things in the breezeway and spending time in 'his' arena. He's in good spirits.

2/28/06 - Valiant is doing so well - better than he ever has. He hasn't needed pain meds for almost two weeks, he is standing squarer than we've seen him stand before and he's gaining weight! He's broken thru another major plateau in his healing process and we're extremely excited.

2/27/06 - Valiant is feeling very good and has been wandering around alot today. He was checked out by Anne today and he's going to be getting a structural homeopathic remedy to help retrain his body. His boot configuration is working brilliantly for him.

2/25/06 - Valiant is really enjoying his new 'shoe' set up. He is standing much better and was so impatient with the clinic we were teaching today that he came and opened the arena gate to let himself in. (We had asked him to temporarily move out of the arena so we could teach with the other horses.) He rec'd another PAP-IMI treatment today and Debbie and Cary actually had t-shirts made of his beautiful little face! We've never had an AERO horse inspire t-shirts before.

2/23/06 - Valiant had his foot fixed today and special thanks to Steve Barrett for his wonderful work. We put several pads in a Boa Boot, put some soft impression material on his frog to support his boney structure and he's off to the races without a shoe. We'll remove the shoe from his other foot in a week and try the same formula. Valiant is very happy and using his leg more solidly than he did even with the shoe. He was even a good boy as Steve worked on him and we didn't have to transport or sedate him which was a big goal of ours since sedation really depletes an already compromised system.

2/22/06 - Valiant is actually standing pretty well and we are able to keep the inflammation down on his tendon. We have ordered in new boots and impression materials to try a new tactic tomorrow. He is in good spirits and standing quite a bit even though he is not being allowed to roam the property until we get something more stable on his foot.

2/20/06 - Valiant had another PAP-IMI treatment today and responded beautifully! He also had some wonderful visitors who spoiled him with carrots and apples. His temporary shoe is providing the support he needs until we get him set up properly. We have some Old Mac boots for him and some impression material that we're going to try instead.

2/17/06 - We had a set back today - without his shoe Valiant has strained his deep digital flexor tendon which was greatly inflamed and his boot has caused pressure sores on his heel bulbs. We devised a duct tape shoe with a wedge pad and telfa pads covering his sores to assist until we can get the farrier arranged. His appt is next Thursday so we think this arrangement will keep him comfortable until then and in the meanwhile we are restricting his activity. Even with this excruciating pain he was walking out to the arena to sleep in his favorite spot and walking back in for dinner at night! He has tremendous will power! (Next Update will be on 2/20)

2/15/06 - Valiant has been in a really good mood the last couple days with a more relaxed stance. He was bucking and playing in the arena today and voraciously ate his food last night. All signs that he's feeling good.

2/13/06 - Valiant received some more holistic treatment today and seemed to relax a great deal. We have put him on the homeopathic blends of Hypericum and Hepar Sulph until we see a change. He was feeling spunky today and running around the property!

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2/12/06 - Valiant got a new lightweight blanket today thanks to Vanessa! It fits him perfectly and really helps us with those nights where he doesn't need his medium weight. He's been wandering around causing trouble in the barn again....there is a very telling bite on Zephryus' nose which looks like the mark of Valiant. We adjusted his boot for better support while we locate a new farrier to help him.

2/9/06 - Valiant has been actively wandering around and is in good spirits but we're working on getting his feet done as soon as possible. He still needs shoes so we're trying to set up another farrier to assist us with him. In the meanwhile he's still making his daily trip to the arena, standing, eating, and playing during the day.

2/7/06 - Valiant had his feet done today - it was too hard for him to stand still so we only got one foot done this time. Codi took off his shoe and said his sole is good and his hoof is good so we're leaving his shoes off this time to provide him with more circulation. In order to get the other foot done we are going to have to take him down to the hospital. He still can't stand for a trim. However we put a boot on his other foot and he was walking around no problem.

2/3/06 - Valiant was running and bucking to all corners of the arena today. It was so fun to see him playing and he is feeling very perky! He was amusing himself just for the fun of it. He was a little sore when he came back into his stall so we gave him his first painkillers in days.

2/1/06 - Valiant is in such good spirits - he is actively walking around the property and gaining weight. He still takes his naps in the arena but he is visibly improving and is almost to the point of gaining 100lbs.

1/30/06 - Valiant is doing so well without his painkillers that he was wandering all over the arena today. These are some of the longest distances he's moved yet. His stance is wider and his sores on his elbows are finally showing signs of resolving.

1/29/06 - Valiant spent most of the day in his favorite corner of the arena resting. He was given a small dose of painkillers in the evening to help him but is walking quickly.

1/28/06 - Valiant was full of energy today and wandered out to the far end of the arena and bucked his way back playing! He rolled kicking up his feet and generally showed off for everyone. He rec'd another treatment today with the PAP-IMI machine and his appetite has been good.

1/27/06 - Valiant wandered out to his favorite spot in the arena and sunned all day today. It's time to make an adjustment with his feet so we're going to schedule that and Cary Rubin is coming again to provide another PAP-IMI treatment which really seems to be helping him tremendously. He has not had painkillers since Wednesday and is still able to stand square. His hip sore looks very good.

1/25/06 - Valiant wandered out and played with Zephryus today. True to his style Zephryus has a cut on his face since the boys were playing rough. He didn't take painkillers today and seemed to do well using a homeopathic remedy.

1/24/06 - He had a great day of playing around the barn and he had some special brushing and loving before dinner this evening. He was so interested in getting attention he was sure to get in our way wherever we were scooping in his stall. He's not subtle!

1/23/06 - Valiant spent the day resting today and did not wander as far from the barn. He is in good spirits and is eating well.

1/22/06 - Valiant received another treatment with the PAP-IMI machine today. He was also treated to his friend Derek painting some nice symbols on him! He's showing signs of gaining weight again and his sore on his hip is almost completely closed.

1/20/06 - It was good to see Valiant wandering out farther today around the barn. He made a mess of the hay area as he continues to eat more and he wandered up the hill for a first time in a long time teasing the other horses. He even followed us back into the barn at almost a normal walking pace for a horse. He's feeling playful again too!

1/18/06 - Valiant remains in good spirits and showed signs of going for a longer walk today. He's spending more time standing and eating significant amount of food.

1/17/06 - Valiant is in good spirits and standing much better since his last treatment. He is not walking as far but the weather has been very cold which is harder on his arthritis. We couldn't even take his blanket off yesterday due to the very cold wind. He was given a Moxa treatment and some Vibe drink in the evening as well.

1/15/06 - Valiant was standing and walking better than we've seen in quite some time. He wandered out to the arena and back and stood more than usual. His gait was a more even four beats as well. We're happy to see such a positive effect from all of the effort of the prior night.

1/14/06 - Another powerful session with folks coming out to support Valiant as he received a treatment with the PAP-IMI Machine. He also received a custom version of the lotion by Mariposa Labs (thanks Jerry) to further help with the bed sores. Valiant really enjoyed the amazing attention and kept asking for more of the PAP-IMI. Special thanks to this generous group of people who all worked together to share their massage talents, products and love to help Valiant. He is noticeably better after these treatments.

1/13/06 - Valiant rested today - his feet were hurting him a little so he spent time out in the arena sleeping but stood more than usual this evening even though he was uncomfortable. We padded up his stall with more shavings so he can rest before his friends from the Arizona Enlightenment Center come out tomorrow at 5pm to do some more massage for him and treatment with the PAP-IMI machine.

1/12/06 - Valiant was given a acupuncture treatment with Moxa by Dr. Henneman (435.647.0807) today which seemed to help his circulation. His lung and liver points were the most responsive. Dr. Henneman used a thermographic machine to measure his circulation and decided we should focus on circulation in his front leg and in his back area. Special thanks to Dr. Henneman for spending so much time helping us with our special cases when she is in town from Utah! She is a very experienced and knowledgeable holistic vet!

1/10/06 - Valiant is tired from his journey yesterday to get a treatment. We're going to wait until Saturday to get another treatment so he can rest up. He was more uncomfortable today so we gave him painkillers for the first time since last Saturday night. Even with his discomfort he still chose to stand quite a bit today and wander into the breezeway but he didn't go sun in the arena like he normally does. His pressure sores are showing improvement with the cream provided by Mariposa Labs!

1/9/06 - Valiant is in good spirits today and ready to wander! He is placing more weight on his front feet and standing longer. We plan on having another treatment with the PAP-IMI Machine tonite at the Arizona Enlightenment Center for him since he responded so beautifully.

1/8/06 - Valiant is in wonderful spirits today! He not only rec'd another energy treatment from Alissa this morning (she brought apples which he had been asking everyone for - so she gets the horsie heroine award!) but he's had plenty of folks checking in on him to see how he's doing. He is walking better and we didn't have to give him pain medication today. His appetite is strong and he is perky but still tired from all of treatments last night. He went out to the arena for his usual sunning session late this morning.

1/7/06 - Wow! A group of wonderful people from the Arizona Enlightenment Center came out tonite to provide their special healing talents to assist Valiant in a beautiful ceremony. Special thanks to the Rubins for providing the PAP-IMI machine (602.999.6314) to give Valiant a treatment that usually only racehorses or special farms have - this is a wonderful healing machine that we used on Chico to help his injured shoulder as well! Both horses responded beautifully! Special thanks to Lynette for providing her organizational skills, past life regression healing talents, and Vibe absorbable vitamin drink. Special thanks to Mariposa Labs (Jerry at 480.964.3518) for providing Xango juice and their special athlete lotion that should help us make vast improvement on Valiant's bed sores very quickly! And thanks to Debbie Johnstone who was one of several providing animal communications for the evening. She said Valiant sent his deepest gratitude for everyone gathering on his behalf and feels much better!

1/5/06 - Valiant gave us a special show today....when we went out to the arena in the evening he was standing waiting for us to approach him at the far end. We were scooping the arena and when we finished we asked him to move out of the arena so we could put the other horses out for playtime. We started to follow him with the wheelbarrow when he suddenly swished his tail and ran bucking down the long side of the arena to the gate. When we caught up with him he twirled around and started running down the side of the arena back to where he came...seeing this we decided to run alongside him and WE COULDN'T keep up - he took off in a canter down to the other end, twirled and looked at us catching up. We ran in to get the camera and caught him in action on video running for a third time down the arena fence and out the gate. We tried to run with him but again couldn't keep up! This was a special sign for us at a time when he hasn't been making the physical progress we would have liked! The video will be posted in the photo gallery.

1/3/06 - Valiant had some wonderful visitors today and continues to show he is in a good mood. He is back to periodically eating during the day and we're treating his hip pressure sore with helichrysum essential oil (excellent for healing scar tissue and killing pain), calendula ointment (used by naturopathic doctors to heal the top level of skin quickly after surgeries), and Dy's liquid bandage which does everything! It's really working nicely to address all of the layers of damage involved in a pressure sore and we're seeing it shrink.

1/2/06 - Valiant is up to his old tricks again - turning everything over in the breezeway and trying to eat hay out of the hay area. His hind leg muscles are softening which is an excellent sign that this shoe change was just the trick. He's much happier these days!

1/1/06 - Valiant is proving that the new year suits him already - he is standing much steadier and the muscles in his haunches are softening due to the reduced strain. It doesn't hurt that he has been getting additional visitors lately which always picks up his spirits! The barn was closed today so it was a quiet day for him!

12/31/05 - Valiant is standing much better and is in wonderful spirits. For the first time in a long time he was standing most of the day and eating in the arena. He is standing much squarer on his feet and putting alot more weight on his fronts.

12/30/05 - Valiant had a really great day today. He stood more and explored the property for the first time in weeks. He wandered behind the trailers and to a new Palo Verde tree where he ate some branches. He was given a massage and rubbed down with liniment to help his legs. David & Debbie, two of his favorite horse angels, came for a visit and he was so excited to see them that he jumped up from his nap and showed off for them. His spirits were very high today. He is still walking on his hind legs more than is optimal but he is able to stand more square and even. Hoping it's a muscle adjustment.

12/29/05 - Valiant is standing better but still resting alot today. He's eating well and wandered into the breezeway but didn't do his daily wander to the arena.

12/28/05 - This was a long day for our Valiant starting early in the morning loading in the trailer to get down to the hospital. His xrays showed no progress but also did not show significant changes for the worse. We think his stress foundered foot may have had the bone rotate a little more. Codi felt that we might have changed too much at once in the last shoeing and not allowed for his tendons to adjust over time so he trimmed the foot to match the coffin bone and then wedged the foot up high to relieve Valiant's tendons. The goal is to get him using his front feet the way he was doing when he first got his shoes on at AERO. We had to block his feet so he couldn't feel them this time because it was too painful....by the time we unloaded him from the trailer back at the barn around 1pm he was sweaty and exhausted. It'll be a couple days before we know if this change is in the right direction.

12/26/05 - Valiant is really having trouble using his front feet. His shoe change on Wednesday is coming none too soon.

12/25/05 - Valiant enjoyed a Christmas treat of extra special apples and carrots and other goodies in his grain! He decided to go sleep in the weeds today for a change of pace while we used the arena.

12/24/05 - He was up and eating this morning as usual. With the warmer weather it has made it a little better for him in his joints. We gave him some extra apples today as a holiday treat and, of course, his usual addition of carrots which he loves. Still trying to find a way to cushion his bed sores to ease the discomfort on those joints.

12/23/05 - Valiant is completely off Bute now and completely on BTB hoof and a strong joint supplement. We'll look into getting a different pain med (Banamine) next week that is not as toxic as Bute. We've already risked health issues leaving him on it this long. He still insists on walking out to the arena every day but he's not as active as he was. We're hoping that adjusting his foot work next week will assist as well.

12/22/05 - Valiant was a little upset with us for blocking him from laying down in the arena today (other horses needed training time). We were able to put some 'bandages' on his bed sores and prevent them from getting more debris in them. His joints are achy and we're hoping his joint supplement will arrive tomorrow to help that but the warm weather has been very good for him! He very affectionately accepted his scratches today so he's in good spirits.

12/21/05 - Valiant is doing really well when we checked on him today -he's standing nicely and was in very good spirits. We are getting ready to adjust his shoes next week to see what can be done to allow him to walk more evenly again. The warm spell with the weather is really helping his back straighten out easier. His November xrays have been posted in his photo gallery. He's taping at 850 lbs - that's a wonderful gain of 70 lbs since he came to AERO in September.

12/15/05 - Valiant is doing well today - the cold is stiffening up his back but he's top notch about it all. He's scheduled the week after christmas day to go back into the hospital to get his shoes adjusted. Codi is going to try to get a laminitis expert to look at the xrays and see if there are recommended adjustments.

12/14/05 - Valiant had a good day today - spending most of the day standing or sleeping in the arena and walking back into the barn at dinner time. His eye is bright and he's eating well.

12/13/05 - Valiant was in terrific spirits today and when he saw the truck pull up to the barn with a new supply of feed and grain he was quick to run back in from the arena to help. He carefully inspected the full and empty feed bags - licking all extra off emptied bags and taste testing new feeds - environmentally concerned about waste obviously. He also attempted to join us in the tack room to help unpack - this was the curious playful Valiant we know showing himself again! He's moving quickly and the BTB Hoof really seems to be helping him all over.

12/12/05 - Valiant was allowed to wander around supervised today after breakfast and he was good about not getting aggressive with the other horses. He's walking sore again but is in good spirits. We're continuing to treat his feet with Sore No More and are getting ready to try weaning him off Bute and onto the BTB Hoof again.

12/11/05 - Valiant put on a show for some visitors to AERO today - he bucked and kicked and ran around in the arena like a happy playful horse. He is now getting turn out in the arena during the day and his spirits are very good as he demonstrated today. He achieved some pretty significant air when he bucked...impressive work!

12/10/05 - Valiant was caught bucking and playing in the arena all by himself today. He also bit Lizzy's nose over the fence making it his second bite. He's grounded to his stall now and we'll turn him out into the arena each day rather than letting him roam around. It's a great sign that he's feeling so good!

12/9/05 - Valiant has an abscess on his stress foundered foot - this is normal for a laminitic horse but extremely painful. He didn't walk as much today so we've treated the abscess so that it will open up and drain. He responded nicely to the treatment and we'll hopefully see results tomorrow.

12/7/05 - Valiant is doing well on his new supplements and we've started BTB Hoof to replace his Bute (Emerald Valley Botanicals). There will be a loading phase where he gets both and then we'll transition him off. He wandered out to the tall grass to graze today - although the cold weather is a little hard on him he continues to be in excellent spirits and wandering around the property like he used to.

12/5/05 - With the help of Glen, an AERO volunteer, we devised a special bandage for Valiant's shoe boil (the inflamed area on his elbow) - it was getting sand and debris in it that caused more infection. The good news is that the bandage held up fairly well and prevented more sand from getting in and allowed for some drainage. We're going to continue to bandage this sore daily and see if we can get it to heal as well as the other side did. Valiant lays more on his left side somewhat more than his right side making these sores more difficult to fully resolve. His spirits are back to the spunky Valiant we know and he is very active around the barn again. We are changing his feed and blanketing him day/night to help with the cold. (His thermoregulation is not very good since he doesn't have alot of fat on his body)

12/4/05 - Valiant is spending more time standing and has decided he prefers a standard shipping wrap to the no bow tendon wraps. He had a special visit today from Lyle which made him very happy - Lyle is one of Valiant's favorite visitors.

12/3/05 - Valiant's spirits are really improving! He is starting to stand square again and his biggest problem is staying warm during the day. He had lots of visitors and attention today which always picks up his spirits. The liquid bandage on his sores are starting to show marked improvment. If we can get the skin to heal over then we can get rid of the scar tissue pain with an essential oil.

12/2/05 - Valiant's Equilite products came in today per Dr. Henneman's recommendation. We have put him immediately on CitrisCQ which supports his immune system, PreProbiotics which is the most thorough digestive aid on the market, and we have a full gallon of Sore No More to help his feet.

12/1/05 - Valiant wandered around more to his usual routine today including going back to his favorite place in the tall grass. We've ordered BTB Hoof from Emerald Valley Botanicals which is a Bute replacement for horses with laminitis. We're hoping this will assist the discomfort without the long term effects of being on such a strong painkiller like Bute.

11/30/05 - Valiant is doing much better today. We put him back on the painkillers...it's just too early for him to be off these in any reasonable way. He was in much better spirits when it kicked back in and he was better able to stand without straining his body so much. He is still hanging out in the arena most of the day to lay in the sand. With the new hay delivery he has decided to make a mess of the hay again....our breezeway may never look clean until Mr. Valiant is back to being a fully healthy horse.

11/29/05 - Valiant is sore walking - we are trying to take him off of Bute (painkiller) and use alternatives since there are so many side effects from long term use - we used sore no more linament with no bow tendon wraps and magnetic bell boots (unipolar magnets) which helped him walk tremendously. We will be calling Codi back out to make an adjustment on Valiant's shoes since he has not changed his walking stance with time. He is getting sand in his shoe boil causing more inflammation but his hip sore is looking better after using Dy's Liquid Bandage!

11/28/05 - Valiant spent alot of time laying down in the arena today....only getting up to go to the bathroom and get food and water. It was such a cold windy day that we kept a lightweight blanket on him all day. It's not unusual for him to have a bad day after the homeopathic remedy. He is eating and drinking well so there are no major alarms going off.

11/27/05 - Dr. Henneman, a renown holistic vet, came to evaluate Valiant today and had lots of wonderful suggestions for helping Valiant get to the next stage. He received a full acupuncture treatment, a homeopathic dose of Hypericum, and lots of pictures. She had some suggestions for his shoes that will help and is sending us some chinese herbs and magnets. We've also ordered some supportive supplements. Valiant wasn't terribly happy about the acupuncture treatment but really appreciated that it was followed up with some nummy horse treats by Dr. Henneman. Dr. Henneman's practice is called Animal Health Options and she is out of Utah. AERO is very pleased and honored to have her assist with Valaint's recovery.

11/26/05 - We provided Valiant with a strong dose of raindrop therapy and while we were putting the oils on his legs he actually stood on three legs and stretched one of his hind legs out behind him in a wonderful stretch. He did this on both hind legs while we were treating him - really incredible. He didn't mind such delicious attention once he figured out how nice it could feel and really hammed it up while we were rubbing his back. Because of the wind storm conditions we asked him to come back in for the evening.

11/25/05 - Valiant spent alot of time wandering around today - out to the arena which is his new favorite place to take morning naps, along the yard fenceline to eat palo verde trees, down the driveway to check our brush pile for good food, and back over behind the horse trailer to eat and lay in the tall grasses. There really wasn't a place he didn't go today. He also made sure to come in and get lots of attention when a family came to the barn today. He's not shy!

11/23/05 - Valiant wandered all the way out to the far end of the arena today and when we looked for him he tried to come running in. It's nice to see him getting out again and showing some spunk. He's in good spirits.

11/22/05 - Dr. Thurman, a holistic vet came out to evaluate Valiant and provided homeopathic and nutritional counseling for Valiant. She also provided magnetic bands for his feet. She tried providing some chiropractic but determined that his back is probably highly arthritic and fused from being in the wrong position for so long. Valiant is still not walking as nicely as he was before his shoe change but he's out and active. There were guests out to the ranch that evening and when we looked around for him he had chosen the soft arena as his sleeping area.

11/20/05 - Celeste has sung a Razzle Dazzle song to Valiant which he fully enjoys - it talks about what a big tough guy he is! Click on area to right to see video of Celeste's singing talents (to stop click on Stop button in browser window)! Mary Ann and Celeste thoughtfully braided his mane as well! Valiant also received some special care and attention this afternoon from his Horse Angels - Debbie and David. He was back up to his old tricks of wandering far and wide today.....we came home to him standing in the hay area helping himself!

11/19/05 - Valiant, although still sore, is really goofing off again. He had lots of visitors today starting with Linda H and Christopher giving him a curry comb massage and ending with Sarah loving on him in the evening. It was a good day of Valiant attention time and he knew it! We're continuing to treat his sores with Calendula oil and it really seems to be helping those areas heal more fully. He's trying to stand more upright with his new shoes too.

11/17/05 - Valiant is starting to be his old self again - he ran out to the arena to graze by the other horses and promptly gave them a hard time. He's wandering around plenty and had lots of oil massage and love from a volunteer today. We're putting a thicker blanket on him now - not because he gets cold but to cushion him at night to help the sores on his hips heal. He likes his blanket very much.

11/16/05 - His legs are still sore so we're continuing to monitor his comfort. We have more Calendula ointment for his sores which we understand is used to heal areas after surgery by naturopathic physicians. We are seeing changes although his hips are very tender from laying down so we're adding essential oils around the sore area to reduce the stress.

11/14/05 - Valiant wasn't quite as adventuresome today so we rubbed down all four legs with some essential oils! (Thank you Linda!) He was in very good spirits by the evening and really enjoyed all the visitors today (Drs. Lucas and Robertson and Randy from Southwest Equine were here to check on some of the other horses and checked in on Valiant too.) Debbie, one of Valiant's horse angels, came to see him in the evening as well so it was a nice day for Mr. Valiant to get alot of admiration!

11/13/05 - He doesn't seem to have any hesitation walking on rocky or uneven ground and found some new places to stand. Both legs are hot from strained tendons and sore knees so we'll give him epsom salt wraps tomorrow and he was treated with essential oils to help today. We thought his standing wraps may not be necessary but with the help of our newest volunteer today we rewrapped his legs with some liniment wraps. He seems sore from the changes in his feet and a little more awkward - it may take a few days for him to be totally comfortable walking again. Still haven't had a chance to post his pictures from the hospital...it may be a couple days!

11/12/05 - Valiant has been wandering up the rocky hill side of the property today and exploring new territory. Our neighbor was actually concerned because they spotted him and didn't know if we knew he was wandering that far. He is still getting used to the latest change in his feet so his walking is calculated and he is being a little more careful with his right front than before.

11/11/05 - What a great day for Valiant - he got his teeth smoothed out by Dr. Alldredge and his feet dressed up so that they look much more normal by Codi Tripp, our farrier. Codi Tripp did another great job for us on a very challenging case! We took x-rays of all four feet today and his back feet have not foundered which is great news! His front feet still have severe rotation in both coffin bones but on the left side he grew a tremendous amount of sole and on his right side Dr. Lucas said he has not blown out his critical tendon which was a concern before. There is slight remodeling (bone growth) on his coffin bone where it demineralized. Codi & Dr. Lucas also discovered a pocket where an abscess had been in the demineralized foot. Although uncertain of whether this is old or new, based on the appearance, this could have been an untreated condition that caused the problem with the bone long ago. The abscess area will be monitored next time to see if the bone is involved (if involved the only way to resolve it completely is to get his bone surgically scraped). Our other exciting news is that he could pick up all four feet without needing to block his nerves this time - he did a great job for us although he did tend to get nervous about everything so we didn't escape using sedation for his footwork. The bottom line here is we see progress and good news seven weeks into our journey with Mr. Valiant. He was extremely fatigued and sore after his visit today so he came home, ate and slept right away. He was back to wandering around by evening feed though. We'll post pictures of his hospital visit tomorrow!

11/9/05 - Valiant continues to wander farther out around the property and he's doing wonderfully. He does have a rash on his right front fetlock and his bed sores have reached a point of minimal change....reduced from when he first came in but still there. He is being blanketed at night when cool enough to give more cushion to his hip where his largest bed sore is. He will be a Southwest Equine on Friday, 11/11 at 9am for a recheck and footwork.

11/6/05 - Valiant had some wonderful visitors today both in the morning and the evening! Such a popular guy! He almost went for a walk with all of us but stopped. He is still moving much better than before and continues to make a mess of the barn when he explores all day long...turning over chairs and eating out of the side of hay bales.

11/5/05 - It's been a busy couple days for us so the diary has been suffering but the good news is that Mr. Valiant has been doing really beautifully. He's been walking out to the arena every day. Today he hung out around the arena when the other horses were playing in it. He's been active and in good spirits. His weight gain has slowed a bit (he's at 821 lbs now) so we'll add some more calories to his diet. We caught a nice picture of him on Friday, 11/4 walking to the arena.

11/2/05 - Valiant is feeling so well today he wandered to the far side of the property in some rough ground. He's having a good time exploring around and walking farther than he ever has. He has one of his shoe boils that is getting inflamed again but other than that he is doing very nicely.

11/01/05 - Another very active day for Mr. Valiant...he is really expanding his area of investigation well outside of the barn - he napped on the driveway and wandered around both turnouts (don't worry - he is not in danger of going to a road) It's the first day since we've had him that we locked him in at night because he's wandering around so much that we can't allow him to wander unsupervised!

10/31/05 - Wow! What a great day for Valiant! While scooping stalls we actually witnessed him TROT out of the breezeway all the way to the arena and PRANCE back and forth along the fenceline in time with Impressions! We have not seen him do this before and certainly not that far or long....we actually had to pull him after 10 minutes of playing but he was ready to keep going! Note that his trot was high stepping and extended like a dressage horse....very impressive!

10/30/05 - Valiant had a good weekend with lots of visitors and lots of walking around. He continues to amaze us with his spirit. We'll be giving him more of Dr. Emoto's water tomorrow which really seemed to make a difference in his energy level and overall health. His horse angels visited today and loved on him!

10/28/05 - Valiant continues to be in good spirits. Although he is doing nicely we've added lavendar oil to his food for inflammation. His weight gain is slow but sure and he was wandering around today again and waiting for his breakfast in the breezeway.

10/27/05 - Valiant is looking good and moving around lots in the last couple days. We noticed significant improvement with the Indigo water. Debbie, his Horse Angel came by to spend time with him today and he was very affectionate to her. He had a wonderful visit with Sarah this evening who has been with him since the beginning as well. He wandered around the breezeway and was playing with Lizzy too.

10/26/05 - Hyetta arrived this evening and Valiant was very intrigued with the new girl (who is in the isolation stall behind his) - he kept staring at her and we think he was talking sweet to her! He looks good but has slowed down in his movement around the barn and we believe it's because he is ready for the next adjustment to his shoes. We're making arrangements with Drs. Lucas and Robertson to get updated xrays for the farrier and then we'll schedule a time when everyone can get together to change his shoes. We're trying to avoid having to transport him again even though he should be much better able to handle the trip now.

10/25/05 - This morning we mixed Dr. Emoto's indigo water for him - this water is supposed to energize the body and at a cellular level cause it to self-repair. Valiant was in good spirits this morning and I noticed his bed sores on his hips on one side are almost completely gone and on the other side there is a nice layer of external skin covering about half the area. He was standing this evening very nicely and seemed in a more playful mood than yesterday.

10/24/05 - Valiant had a good day today but seemed a little blue and not as perky. We wrapped both front legs for the day to give him a rest. It was a busy day at the hospital with Hyetta so he wasn't as closely observed.

10/22/05 and 10/23/05 - Valiant had a quiet weekend and seems to be sleeping out in the sun more with the cooler weather. He is still a good eater and we've put him back on his colloidial silver routine. He was sure to nuzzle and interact today and when we were late feeding breakfast on Sunday he came down the breezeway to inspect for food.

10/21/05 - Valiant is doing nicely today and is in very good spirits! He is walking up and down the aisle way and being very active. He had a wonderful visit today from a local fifth grader who rubbed his neck and cleaned out his stall and gave him some lovely carrots.

10/20/05 - Valiant was filmed today as the beginning of a documentary that will be created about him. He received some wonderful and special treatments today from Alex Hermosillo (The Happy Healer's Show) that improved his walking tremendously by the evening. He also had a wonderful brush down from some new volunteers and his coat was really shining.

10/19/05 - Haven't been keeping up on the diary well because of all the things going on but the good news is that Valiant is doing wonderfully. He's been very active and his leg seems much better....it's more like a strain than a fracture so we're not concerned after seeing his quick recovery. He got a very nice massage today from a massage student and fell asleep (a sign of a good massage).....he was relaxed the rest of the day!

10/17/05 - Valiant was protecting his food from Chico (by rearing and bearing his teeth) and landed wrong on his leg. He did injure himself but was treated immediately. We anticipate him being sore from this and because his bones are weak it does cause concern for fracture. If he does not improve in a day or two we'll have some xrays done.

10/15/05 - Valiant had a special visitor today who gave him lots of special attention! Lucky horse!

10/14/05 - Valiant received lots of visitors today and was spoiled with hugs and rubs. When we asked him if he wanted a bath he ran back to his stall. (He did the same thing yesterday!) He's still on colloidial silver and still getting his leg wraps. He's nicely over 800 lbs now and his coat is soft and shiney.

10/13/05 - Valiant was very playful today and stayed out wandering around most of the day. He managed to knock over and explore everything around the barn which is how he likes to amuse himself. He really manages to move quickly when he wants to...food is a big motivator.

10/12/05 - Valiant was doing well today with a wonderful visit from his Horse Angel who brought a whole bag of carrots! He truly loves his carrots. He received some quality time getting brushed and scratched and was reluctant to return to his stall for dinner since he was having such a good time hanging out. The progress on the healing of his bedsores is amazing and his demeanor and appetite are very good!

10/11/05 - 8pm - Valiant had a nice day today with some essential oil massage on his legs and back before he went to bed. His wraps were left off (to wash them) and it didn't seem to change his habits as far as walking around and exploring.

10/10/05 - 6am - Valiant walked into the turnout and up a small hill today to get his favorite snack. He is quite capable of stepping up small steps now (which he was not able to do when he came in) so negotiating the 3-4" lip to get into the turnout at the back of his stall was nicely done. He really likes to wander around so we're using hay to entice him to explore new areas up small hills to build some muscle. He rolled in his fresh shavings after his exercise.

10/9/05 - Noon - Valiant had his Horse Angels come to visit today and he felt much better after a thorough brushing and attention. He is taping at the same weight as last week so he's at a bit of a plateau. His fur is much softer and shinier and his legs were rewrapped with epsom salt and essential oils soaked cloths. This soaking seems to really help his tendons.

10/8/05 - 2pm - Valiant decided to wander to the hay area again and make a complete mess of everything. We can always tell when he wanders about during the day because he leaves a trail of evidence! He moved the plastic chairs, reached over a gate that we put in place to keep him out of the hay walkway and pulled hay into the breezeway! It always give us a chuckle to see him do these things.

10/7/05 - 5pm - Valiant is doing well today and the volunteers were able to doctor his bed sores as they continue to heal. He has some manure piles in the back of his stall indicating that he is starting to feel well enough to keep a clean stall.

10/6/05 - 5pm - Valiant is actively wandering around the barn in good spirits. His tendons are much less inflamed and he continues to eat well. He is back on his colloidal silver and has confirmed with two animal communicators that he is 14yo.

10/5/05 - 2pm - Dr. Mausling, our equine dentist, came out today and based on his teeth we found out Valiant is about twice the age we thought he was! Dr. Mausling estimates he's mid-teens so we'll call him 15yo! He also received a wonderful massage today from a massage student which made him more active this afternoon. He did take a nice nap right after his massage and then played the rest of the day - rearing up at the horses that challenged him while he hung out in the breezeway.

10/4/05 - 6pm - Valiant loves his daily wanderings around the barn and is taking shorter and shorter nap times. His sores on his hips are almost healed. One shoe boil (the sore on his elbow) is almost closed up and the other continues to get less swelling.

10/3/05 - 8am - Valiant was waiting to come out of his stall this morning for his wanderings. He is in good spirits and is walking faster each day. The painkillers are making a tremendous difference in allowing him to gain weight and he continues to eat large volumes and show progress in his weight.

10/2/05 - 5pm - Valiant had a wonderful day of getting brushed and braided by a family that came to visit. He stood most of the day and chose to explore some of the empty stalls when all the other horses were turned out. He does shift his weight while he stands but is putting weight on his front feet continuously.

10/1/05 - 2pm - Valiant did his normal morning walking routine, took a nap after breakfast and got up again to go for a walk around the turnout area and then came back for a nap. He seems very happy and stands square on his feet more every day. Although changes are fairly subtle from a day to day basis in his walking, he couldn't be happier in his demeanor.

9/30/05 - 6pm - Valiant was given access to the turnout today and did take advantage of the opportunity to explore it. He has gained 20lbs on his 2 wk anniversary at AERO and is standing more and more square all the time. His walking is slow and tenative but his demeanor and appearance make it hard to tell he's the same horse that came here a couple weeks ago. He continues to eat well and get epsom salt soaked towels on his legs and magnetic wraps. We've also added a joint supplement to help improve his joint condition.

9/29/05 - 6am - He was walking nicely this morning and looking forward to his play time around the barn. It seems between the epsom salt wraps yesterday and the new medicine support boots we put on him last night that he's feeling more stable and willing to walk. He also managed to bite Impressions nose pretty deeply creating the need for a vet call today for her! I guess those two can't seem to work things out very well over the fence. Today he will be getting a Horse Angel visit and a bath.

9/28/05 - 7pm - Valiant continues to gain weight and is looking really good. His legs were wrapped in cloth soaked in epsom salts today. He continues to enjoy his wanderings in the morning and seems to have a theme about getting to the alfalfa now. This evening we put medical boots on that are designed to provide support to his front legs. We'll use these at night and the standing wraps with salts during the day. He received a beautiful gift of a personally made amulet last night and it has been added to his pouch of stones from places and people.

9/27/05 - 8am - Valiant decided to wander out of the breezeway area and removed a plastic chair from his path (that was supposed to discourage him from going outside the area). He quickly figured out that he could walk around our storage area to the alfalfa side of the hay storage where it was not blocked and contented himself over in that area for awhile. He still is in pain and walks slowly. He is not putting much weight on his front legs and continues to rely on his hind legs to push him forward.