February, 2010

Family and Friends,

Yesterday early morning our youngest horse, Gabriel (Gabe), injured himself. He got a puncture
would into the joint of his front left leg. He began leaking joint fluid, laying down and a vet had to be
called. Long story short, Gabe needs very expensive IV antibiotics to flush out the bacteria and
So, we are going to host a "Saving Gabe" Valentine's Spaghetti supper on Saturday, Feb. 13th with
desert. It is our greatest desire to use our farm  as a gathering place for young and old alike. Right
now we use our farm to help Jillianne's Special needs class, lessons for children, I volunteer one
night a week to teach people who want to learn how to ride at no cost, and open our farm on
weekends as a safe haven for our youth group to come and hang. Grace Falls Farm is a place
where  we can share God's love and grace for them all the while teaching them about our horses.
The meal is by donation, and families are welcome. The meal will begin at 6:30, but if you would like
to come meet Gabe and the rest of our horses, please feel free to come early. RSVP to Aly @
602-568-5295 by Friday morning.

Thank you for your help!! It will be a fun night.
February 13th, 2010:
We had 25 people attend the Valentine's Spaghetti dinner and we have been moved, humbled, and awestruck by the
outpouring of thoughts, prayers donations, and help that you have all so selflessly offered.  Gabriel still has a very long way
to go, with continued antibiotics, slow and steady therapy, and a whole lot of love.  If all goes well, his total recovery time will
be about a year.  We are very thankful to all of you to have been there for our farm throughout this, and value your friendship
and love beyond measure.  THANK YOU SO MUCH!
Valentine's Spaghetti dinner.
February 15th, 2010:
Gabe is favoring his foot today, but that is not unexpected.  Aly cleaned and redressed his wound, and Gabe took a very
short walk to the treasure chest (our bin full of molasses feed) and back to his stall.  Short walks will become part of his
treatment, but for now only to the treasure chest and back.  When it's time for him to go further, it may be difficult to get him
to go past the treats!
February 18th, 2010
was recommended, with further follow-up care, but  with no further resources financially this is not an option.  Further, hoof  
and lower leg surgery can often just add more complications to the mix.

We talked to our long time family vet who has known Gabe since birth (and even before), and he looked at the information
and has determined that, hopefully, Gabriel just needs continued antibiotics and lots of time.  If all goes well, which is not
guaranteed but we are hopeful, the bone chip would simply be reabsorbed over the course of the next year and that most of
his foot pain is from the chipped bone injury.

If that is the case, and we have successfully beat the infection (again, not guaranteed at this time) then Gabriel has a chance
of getting "back on his feet".   Still a long road to recovery, but that's what we're here for.  Thank you again for all your
continued prayers and support.
February 28th, 2010
news.  Gabriel continues to limp about his stall, with some days being more painful and other days less.  Gabe receives two
daily doses of medicine, both doses including antibiotics and pain medicine... of course mixed in with sweet-feed and, as an
extra treat, black oil sunflower seeds.  While nothing is certain (or will be for months to come), Gabe seems to be in good
spirits, loves to have company, and It's been a while since we've last updated you on Gabriel.  Suffice it to say that no news
is most likely good news, and definitely not bad always enjoys being handled, hugged, and loved on, so from that
perspective he's back to his old self.  He is quickly closing in on his It's been a while since we've last updated you on
Gabriel.  Suffice it to say that no news is most likely good news, and definitely not bad second birthday this May and we
hope that he is feeling significantly better by then!
March 12th, 2010
Gabriel was really limping a week ago, and it was painful just to watch him, yet he kept his head high and seemed to be in
Good Spirits.  not to think that maybe he's starting to show positive signs of recovery!

He hasn't been out for any walks recently, but tomorrow he'll take a short walk again to see how he does and give him a
small change of pace.  Stay tuned for the results!
Gabriel's Wrap

Every 2 - 3 days Aly rewraps Gabriel's injury to ensure
protection of the wound site and provide support for his
leg.
Gabriel's Injury One Month Later

It doesn't look like much on the outside, which is a good
thing.  The wound is all closed so the risk of external
infection is all but gone.  Gabriel remains on antibiotics to
avoid infections during the healing process
March 14th, 2010
the back yard for about 10 minutes.  He did very well with only some signs of pain.  He was rewarded with a good rub down
and 5 minutes at the hay bales (a horse's dream).  Gabriel seemed very happy to get out of his stall and look around, and
would have probably loved to have been left out to explore but we are taking small steps to avoid a re-injury.

See pics below!
First a nice walk...
Then a good Scratch!!!
And finally
a nice
reward at
the hay
bales!
Slow but sure, Gabe seems to be improving.  He still has a limp, and it's very hard to be patient and wait for it to go away, but
his limp is definitely less than what it used to be.  It may take 10 or more months us to know for sure how Gabriel will fair out
in the long run, and we're not even to 3 months yet, but it seems like forever!

Nevertheless, Gabriel makes steps (literally) towards healing.  He is now officially off of the pain medicine, which probably
does make him limp a little more, but also forces him to go easy on his foot.  He continues to remain on antibiotics for quite
some time to come.

Gabriel would probably rather be running out in the arena, but he has been pretty well behaved in his stall.  He has even
learned to enjoy the rest.  See below for pics on how Gabe likes to enjoy his medicine (which is of course buried in treats)...
Lazy!!
Lazy...
Lazy...

Months later...

Things have been crazy this past summer and fall.  Between summer activities and school getting back in session, we have
been remiss in sending updates.  Gabriel's treatment, however, has not stopped and the benefits, along with your thoughts
and prayers, have finally paid off.  Gabriel has made great
strides (pun intended) in his healing process.  He stands, he walks,
he
runs!!!  While we are still not positive that he will make 100% recovery, it's looking really good that he will.

As Gabe started showing signs that he was feeling better, he also started showing signs that he's a young and healthy
stallion.  In short, he started getting pushy and playful.  While there's nothing wrong with being playful, having a stallion forget
that he outweighs you many times over can be a bad thing!  :-)  To stay ahead of that challenge, we have started on his ground
lessons to ensure that he remains a respectful young man and doesn't get too pushy.  He has been doing wonderful!

See new pics of Gabriel below, and how much he has improved!!!
Grace Falls Farm Home Page
How to Donate or Volunteer
Come Tour the Barn and All the Heartbeats Inside

The Rest Of The Story

After 7 months of slow recuperation, Gabriel was deemed 100% sound.  Today Gabriel is our tallest horse, towering at 17
hands in height, is incredibly gentle, and maybe just a little clumsy.  He LOVES to have his withers and his rump scratched.  
He'll even sing for it!  So if you are visiting the Farm be sure to ask for him to sing, but you better be willing to scratch!

If you supported Gabriel, THANK YOU.  He is alive and well today because of YOU!