Looking after one another
Diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, Te Aroha woman Toni O’Regan faced the reality of her horse riding days being over.
Having ridden and worked with horses most of her life, the thought of never being able to ride again devastated her.
Then she was given the opportunity to own a six-year-old, former racehorse Global Domination.
Fibromyalgia is a medical condition characterised by chronic widespread pain and a heightened pain response to pressure. Not wanting to aggravate her condition further and getting around on crutches at the time, O’Regan was reluctant at first, but as soon as she saw him the connection was instant.
O’Regan nicknamed him Dobby, after the house elf on the Harry Potter movies.
Ex-racehorses are usually temperamental, but O’Regan said Dobby instinctively knew that she was in a fragile, physical state.
‘‘I needed an animal that I could trust. I couldn’t afford to get knocked around,’’ she said.
Four weeks ago, Dobby was being transported from Kihikihi to his new home in Te Aroha, when the horse he was travelling with lost her balance, and stood on his back leg.
The initial wound was small, but it didn’t take long for infection to creep in.
Mixed animals vet Claudia Wilson from Te Aroha Veterinary Services was called and so began Dobby’s intensive treatment.
‘‘Initially we were really concerned. If it got into the fetlock joint, the prognosis would have been poor,’’ Wilson said.
A horse enthusiast herself, Wilson was on call at the drop of a hat.
‘‘Dobby is a nice natured horse who is smart. As much as he didn’t like the injections, he knew it was good for him.’’
Dobby responded well to two types of antibiotics and has almost made a full recovery.
His wound dressing is changed daily and with a new day comes a new coloured bandage to show support for different charity organisations.
On the day the Piako Post visited, his bandage was pink in support of Breast Cancer awareness.
‘‘Claudia is amazing, I’m a very particular horse owner,’’ O’Regan said.
‘‘We have the best equine vets right here on our doorstep.’’
There’s a long list of people O’Regan wants to thank including Dynavyte NZ, Mike and Jean Price from Topstock NZ and all those who have made donations so far on Givealittle and by buying raffle tickets.
‘‘To be given this support has blown me away,’’ she said.
‘‘He’s my therapy horse. We have helped each other in recovery.’’
‘‘He's my therapy horse. We have helped each other in recovery.’’
Toni O’Regan gives Dobby a cuddle with her vet, Claudia Wilson.