Attacked Arkansas Horses Healed and Rideable, Five Years Later

Two Quarter Horses that were severely injured in a brutal attack five years ago are thriving after a long recovery.

"They're tough," said Patrice Swan, the horses' owner. "They never gave up, and now they're running around like babies."

In August 2003 Quarter Horses Puddin' and Fat Girl were restrained in their Guy, Ark., paddock and severely beaten with a blunt instrument.

As a result, Fat Girl suffered significant shoulder and corneal damage, as well as skull and occipital bone (around the eye) fractures. This resulted in permanent vision loss in her right eye. Puddin' suffered extensive damage in the area of her left scapula, resulting in nerve damage. Click here for photographs of the horses' injuries.

Fat Girl's injuries did not require surgery, but veterinary surgeons from Oklahoma State University at Sweetwater removed a portion of bone from Puddin's scapula to cradle the shoulder nerves and tendons in hopes of restoring muscle mass and tone the horse resuming her natural gait. (For more on this see "Beaten Arkansas Horse Recovering.") 

"The vets didn't know if she could ever be ridden again," Swan said. "But they're both able to be under saddle."

No one was ever charged in connection with the incident.

The horses, who were pasturemates, have become inseparable since the attack.

"They were close before the attack, but now you can't keep them apart," Swan said. "I think they helped each other recover."

About the Author

Pat Raia

Pat Raia is a veteran journalist who enjoys covering equine welfare, industry, and news. In her spare time, she enjoys riding her Tennessee Walking Horse, Sonny.

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