Approximate Date of Birth: 1/1/1984
Always a Fighter . . .
Special (Midnight Special) was born in 1984. He came to Horses of Tir Na Nog in 2006. At that point, he had already developed a long medical history of laminitis and Cushing's disease. As a result of numerous laminitis flare-ups, the coffin bones in all four of his feet had rotated. Special was very vulnerable medically.
When he came into our care, we hoped that we would be able to provide him with a wonderful home for the final year or two of his life. None of us would have imagined we were embarking on a journey that would last nine years!
2007 was a very tough year for Special with his laminitis. But Special was nothing if not a fighter. Even when we were ready to give up, he repeatedly rallied and came through each crisis. Since 2008 he has had several episodes, but none reached the level of a crisis. But each episode has posed new challenges as he aged and his diseases progressed. Over the years we believe Special tested every therapeutic boot, pad, and shoe available. Some helped, some didn't, but Special remained patient with everything we tried. More than once over the years his farrier and his veterinarians commented that his temperament was a big part of his longevity. Few horses would have tolerated the therapies with as much grace and patience as he did.
As we celebrate Special, we need to celebrate his team of veterinarians at ECLAP and his extraordinary farrier Danny Stone. Everyone at ECLAP knew Special, in part because Dr. Smith foaled Special in 1984, but also because at one time or another all of them were involved in his care. It was incredible to watch the team effort as they shared ideas and made suggestions. And most of these ideas involved Danny trying pads and therapeutic shoes and keeping Special's feet trimmed just perfectly. Without this entire team of people Special's life would have been much shorter. As it was, they provided him with years of high-quality retirement. Thank you!
Our volunteers were used to seeing Special healthy and happy, and usually being pretty silly. Few of them realized how vulnerable he was medically or how bravely he had fought his diseases. He loved baths more than any other horse in our care. And he loved his neighbor Magic. They groomed each other for hours on end, each seeming to want the other to look just as good as himself for the ladies. Together they truly made Horses of Tir Na Nog a place of "Special Magic." At some point in the early years Special was with us, we made him a promise, as long as he was willing to keep fighting, we would do everything we could not to lose him to laminitis. And we kept that promise. It had been several years since he had a flare-up when, on February 5, 2015 Michael found him down in his corral in the early morning hours. Repeated attempts to get him up failed and Dr. Sargeant of ECLAP rushed out to help. It was determined that during the night Special had experienced a neurologic episode. While the exact nature was unknown, it impacted his ability to stand. As Special lay quietly, without indications of pain, the decision was made to say farewell to our gallant fighter.
Special fought through so much during his life, we wish him an eternity free of pain and the limitations of his body. We have no doubt that as Special took his last breath with us, he took his first breath of freedom and is now racing across
endless pastures of lush green grass.