Meet Trooper, aka Mills Dusty Smoke, a 29 year old registered buckskin quarter horse, a retired Wilson College horse and the epitome of the word survivor. Trooper was involved in a horrible incident nearly 20 years ago in which he was stabbed by a man on drugs while out in his pasture one night at Wilson. He sadly was stabbed along his withers and into his shoulder blade, ruining his career as a school horse and trail horse and causing him a lifetime of pain.
Trooper was adopted by his mom, Kathleen Angotti, as a companion horse 15 years ago, and he quickly became a part of the whole family. Over the years, Troop's arthritis developed and he began to adjust his weight to accommodate, which in turn effected the way his hooves grew. Soon Trooper had ballerina toes in both hind legs and was often so cripplingly sore he didn't want to leave his stall. Thoughts of letting Trooper move on over the rainbow bridge were ever present - then came June.
June has been working with Trooper for around 7 years now, slowly figuring out ways to even get him to pick up his feet, and then helping with those ballerina toes. She has gotten him through abscesses and thrush, knows when to push him and when to let him be, and most importantly truly cares for him. And while he is still sore and we don't always get all four hooves done every visit, he has improved so much that he can actually do a little hop canter when he's in a good mood. He is back to being Trooper, a special soul - only some people understand his wonderful combination of sweet and sour, but nevertheless a Trooper in every sense of the word.