Percheron gelding, foaled ca 1988 (dentist estimate).
Carter comes from 76 Carriage Company in Philadelphia, PA. He arrived at Blue Star Equiculture on July 21, 2010. It is believed that he was a carriage horse in Cincinnati before that (I may be wrong about that though…). Carter participated in numerous weddings and proms in Philadelphia, including being the preferred horse to pull the Cinderella carriage. He was renowned for his “parking” ability, and would patiently wait for a bride or dinner reservation anywhere. He was also notorious for his highly sensitive BPS – that is, “Barn Positioning System.” Carter, no matter where he was in town, knew EXACTLY which direction was home. When he went on truck jobs to other towns, Carter always knew EXACTLY where the horse trailer was.
After working in Philadelphia for several years at 76 Carriage Company, Carter’s drivers began to notice that he sometimes drifted to the left as he walked down the street. This was because he was taking smaller steps with his left hind than with his right. The vet was called and it was suspected that he had some sort of arthritis or discomfort in his hip that was causing the problem. The problem worsened, and soon Carter had a hard time putting his weight on the heel of his left hind hoof. He was stiff coming out of his stall in the morning, but would loosen up as he worked through the day. Even walking on tiptoe, it didn’t slow Carter down much – no one would accuse him of being too slow… it was a battle sometimes against the Carter Power Walk. The vet eventually diagnosed Carter with a tendon injury in his fetlock, that was throwing his whole gait out of whack. Although walking around was good for the injury (compared to stall rest, which was not recommended), working full-time was too much strain on the tendon. Carter was sent on turnout in Lancaster County to get several months of rest and healing while on pasture. After a few months, Carter was sound at the walk but not at the trot. The carriage company was encouraged by his progress and continued to keep him on turnout, allowing him plenty of time to continue to heal. However, after more than a year, Carter continues to be unsound at the trot.Although he is perfectly comfortable, he is unsound for working full-time in Philadelphia.
So Carter has come to join his old friend Bud in retirement at Blue Star Equiculture. He made a new friend in Charlie D. from New York City, who shared a truck ride from Pennsylvania with him. Charlie D., unfortuneately passed away this past fall. Blue Star Equiculture has been evaluating Carter to determine the best course of action for him and his lameness issues. He is sound enough for light work (light exercise being good for flexibility, range of motion and overall health), and helps teach our volunteers at the farm how to harness and drive a single horse. Together, Carter and Charlie D. have pulled our hay wagon at Bright Nights in Springfield and for other events, such as the Civil War Reenactment in Winchendon in October 2010.
Carrter is now in his early 20s and LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVES carrots. He would welcome any donations to this effect. We have seen incredible healing in his scratches. All of us that know Carter know that he has suffered terribly with scratches for years now. They are very bad in cold weather, they become bloody and itchy and very uncomfortable for him. No matter how much cleaning you do and how many oinments you put on them, they didn't work for him. We are very happy to report that Carter is on his 5th week of the study with incredible results. Below is a video taken yesterday 2-3-2012. At 4:14 until 4:38 you can see the remarkable difference. Steve will provide the before pictures and we will add them....they were a painful bloody mess...so after just 6 wks of treatment this is what it looks like!