Our smallest ambassadorClick to Feed Parley

Parley is a black pinto miniature gelding with a bald face and blue eyes. He was foaled on May 28, 2016. Parley is a people lover and has been a great ambassador for MTRA.

Our plan is to have him working in community outreach and helping those who may be a little nervous around the bigger horses. Parley has already warmed the hearts of many and become a welcomed member of the herd.

How Parley Came to MTRA

Unable to be a service pet at home, Parley arrived at MTRA in February of 2018 with a left rear stifle/hip issue. In some cases, the stifle issue can be overcome, but that didn’t matter to us because he was going to be our mascot and provide love and an introduction to horses for children and timid adults.

Parley’s Challenges

Early in June 2018, he injured his left-front shoulder tendons. Specifically, the subscapular nerve, supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscle. With extensive attention to detail, he was massaged daily, which relieves the bursas/knots, thus improving blood circulation and reducing inflammation. We also gave him Epsom salt baths to relief the spasticity. From the therapy, the shoulder muscle strengthened, the atrophy went away and the clicking and hanging-up in this stifle and hip were gone. Injuries such as Parley’s can take years to heal and it’s common to have permanent atrophy and off-gait. We were relieved that we were able to get Parley about 90% sound as of late July.

Sadly, around early to mid August, he became really sore. With no signs of swelling or abrasions, we thought he had a relapse. We resumed treatments and he did show some improvements every week, but not enough. That’s when long time MTRA instructor Sally Ann Lyle mentioned that “Equine Performance would be a huge help in Parley’s diagnosis and recovery.” MTRA Board Member Gail Sonnenberg got the ball rolling and we were grateful to be able to take Parley to Equine Performance.

Dr. Alberto Rullan VMD contacted MTRA Program Director Catherine Sears-Koch and said that Parley had chip fractures in the joints of both shoulders. Dr. Rullan said he will contact a surgeon to see if surgery would be beneficial. She asked him if this would be something that Parley may have had since birth, since he’s had joint issues in the hindquarters. Dr. Rullan said it looked like a connection to osteochondrosis dissecans (OCD).

OCD is a developmental disease that affects the cartilage and bone in the joints of horses where the joints with OCD do not form normally, causing the cartilage and bone underneath it to become irregular in thickness and weaker than the normal joint, which can cause chips and fractures. That being said, miniature horses do have a genetic history of OCD, shoulder dysplasia and epiphysitis.

A few days later, Dr. Rullan called Catherine and said that shoulder surgery would have a low prognosis. We didn’t want to put Parley through surgery with a low prognosis, only to have him go through the complications of recovery. Dr. Rullan mentioned an alternative therapy to make him comfortable. Parley is now being treated with alternative therapies including ozone, Magnawave and other progressive treatments.

We all keep our faith and hope taking this one day at a time, knowing Parley is getting the absolute best care available. He has been visited regularly by his friends and fans from MTRA and is in good spirits. Everyone at Equine Performance adores him and we can all see improvements through their diligent care. He has happy eyes and is loving his endless supply of Sneak-e-Snacks®!