(Sadly Francis passed away on October 5, 2012--he will forever live in our hearts! Read about it here.)
Francis is a 29 y/o black Percheron who spent most of his working life as a NYC carriage horse. He's the smallest of our Percherons at 15.3 hands, and weighs 1,500 lbs. When his carriage career ended, he was placed at Pets Alive, a no kill shelter in NY. That is where I found him almost 3 years ago!
Francis is a very special needs horse. He has an old deep digital flexor tendon injury in his right hind leg that has very thick scar tissue. Therefore it is difficult for him to stretch that tendon and place that foot flat on the ground, so often he uses his tip toe. This also makes it difficult to trim his opposite hind leg. However his trimmer and I are able to work around his physical challenges and have improved his feet over the years.
Most recently, he has developed an issue with his right hip, and some days are a challenge for him to get around, while others are not.
Francis also has some vision impairments. He has cataracts in both eyes, which have gotten worse over time. He can still see, and is very familiar with his environment, but things such as carrying a bucket towards him, or a hose or cord can cause him to shy.
He also has some dental challenges, at times over producing salvia in his meals, making them a sloppy mess, and will quid hay occasionally. He loves to have hay pellets placed in his treat toy/tub every day!
Francis's diet is tailored to his specific needs and consists of a small amount of senior feed with a comprehensive joint supplement, flax based vitamins & minerals, probiotics, spirulina and at times prescription anti-inflammatory medication.
Francis is a happy horse, full of personality and life, and super sweet!