Rio was in a terrible accident on November 15, 2005.  He was startled out in
the pasture and raced back to the barn and forgot to stop at the fence.  We
were very worried that he had broken his leg and he would have to be put
down.  He is a sweet two-year-old and so many of our students just love this
little horse.  

The Veterinarian at Lone Star Equine Hospital in Grand Prairie told us that
he had broken his shoulder.  Our choice was to have him put down for a few
hundred dollars, or have it fixed for several thousand dollars to pay for
surgery and the extensive rehabilitation that he was going to have to go

Putting him down was not an option for us, but this unforseen set back when
hay and fuel prices have been so high, and with the holidays around the
corner when our business starts to slow down for the winter couldn't have
happened at a worse time for us.  Plus just two years ago we had major
veterinarian bills when another two year old we owned got kicked in the face
and had to have reconstructive surgery to repair the damage.  

Some of our wonderful students asked us if they could chip in to help pay for
Rio's veterinary costs and they asked us to put this information and photo's
on our website so they would know where to donate.  This will make it easier
for us to make sure that Rio gets the best veterinary care.  We are hoping
that Rio has a 100% recovery and is not lamed by this.  But either way we
feel like this sweet little horse deserves the best chance available.  

Please see photo's below.
Above and Right:  Dr. Mark Crabill,
Diplomate, ACVS on the left with M-Bar-K
Farm's own Instructor/Trainer
Aldridge assisting in Rio's shoulder
surgery.  Mike is a trained Animal Care
Specialist and Dr. Crabill told us after the
surgery that Mike was a big help!
Left:  Surgery is always dangerous when a
horse has to be put under general
anesthesia.  But without surgery Rio would
have had a very painful recovery and he
may have never been able to be ridden
Above:  As Dr. Crabill and Mike Aldridge
work on Rio, one of our young M-Bar-K
Farms student's Tasha Lee watches
outside the observation window.  She is
thinking of being a veterinarian technician
some day.  
Left:  Waking up from surgery is never fun,
but it is especially dangerous for horses.  
A groggy horse can startle and thrash,
undoing all the hard work that the surgeon
just finished.  Here Rio has his ears
plugged and is being supported by his
head and tail by two helpers in a padded
Right:  Rio had a great recovery and is
resting quietly in his stall at the Lone Star
Equine Hospital.  He will need to stay here
a few days for constant monitoring, but he
has a very good prognosis for the future if
his recovery and rehabilitation go well.
Left:  Dr. Crabill said that it will take Rio at
least four months for his surgery to heal,
and then he faces more months of
physical therapy to build back the muscle
that will be lost because of this.  Rio has a
long road ahead of him, but I am sure our
students will enjoy working with us on his
recovery to make this little horse as good
as new!  It will especially be a great
learning experience for our students that
are thinking of a career in a veterinary
If you stop by the barn to visit
Rio when he gets home from
the hospital, don't forget to
sign his Get Well card!
If you would like to help us recover our costs for Rio's emergency surgery
and rehabilitation expenses you can send donations to:  We are no
longer taking donations for Rio.  Thank you very much for all of our
students as well as the other people who so generously donated to Rio's
get well fund.  4/12/06 See updated photos and video below!
Left: Saturday, November 19, 2005.  Dr.
Crabill leads Rio carefully out of his stall
and towards the trailer.  Dr. Crabill
decided to let Rio come home earlier with
us since Mike is so skilled at veterinary
care and can do all of the extensive
treatments Rio needs at home.
Right: It is slow going as Rio limps to the
awaiting trailer for the 20 mile ride home.

Below: M-Bar-K Farms starts training their
babies early and it pays off today.  Rio
walks quietly, without hesitation into the
trailer behind the veterinarian.  A balky
two-year-old could easily re-damage his
injury site if he acted up right now.
Update: January 15, 2006
After two months in his stall in Cedar Hill we
thought Rio would enjoy a change of scenery.  
So we moved him to another barn, but don't
worry, he will be back in a few months to start his
rehabilitation when he is all healed up!
Update: April 12, 2006
Rio is doing unbelievably well!  He is barely
limping and you can't even see his scar any
more.  We are expecting a full recovery!  See
photos and video below.  He will be starting back
in training in a few weeks and should be back in
our lesson program in a couple of months.
Above:  Rio grazes while we snap a few
pictures.  Right: Dr. Crabill, you did a
wonderful job on Rio!  We can't even see
the scar on him.  
Update: May 19, 2006
Rio has done so well in his recovery that we
decided to have his plate removed!! We took
him to Lone Star Equine Hospital on Friday, May
19, 2006 for Dr. Crabill to remove it.  See new
photos of this below.  
Left:  Dr. Crabill took an x-ray to see how
the shoulder healed and to locate the
plate and screws that would need to be
removed. (Click on photo to enlarge).
Right: Luckily this is a fairly minor surgery
and Rio did not need to be put under a
general anesthesia this time.  Dr. Crabill
gave him a local tranquilizer and went to
work.  This is a much safer procedure then
his original surgery and recovery will be
much easier for Rio.
Left:  Dr. Crabill made two small two inch
long incisions and then he and his
assistant had to remove the five two inch
long screws. Then they needed to remove
the fibrous material that had grown over
the plate during the last six months since
the surgery in order to pull the plate out.
Right:  HERE IT IS!!! This is the plate that
held Rio's shoulder bones together while
they knitted back together.  This plate is
approximately 6 inches long.  It helped
Rio's shoulder heal completely and Dr.
Crabill is expecting a 100% recovery!
Left: Rio will wake up from this and not
remember anything.  Dr. Crabill said Rio
needs to stay in his stall for two weeks,
then a paddock stall for two weeks and
then we can start his rehabilitation and
training back up again and by the end of
the year he should be able to jump or run
barrels if we want him too!
This is a photo of Rio and student
Lindsay Kooyman, taken just a week
before the accident.
M-Bar-K Farms
Please Help Rio
Rio with his mama
This photo was taken at
Bedonna's when Rio was only
three weeks old.  
Above:  Rio had a good ride home and lots of visitors
today.  He sure was happy to be home.  He decided it
was time to get some rest for the night.  Rio will need to
stay in this stall for the next three months.  If you are in
the area, please be sure and stop by and say hi to
him.  He seems to really enjoy having visitors.
Update: January 27, 2007
Rio is fully recovered now and is in full swing as
a lesson horse at M-Bar-K Farms.  We will be
leaving up this web page as a reference for
anyone looking for hope after having a broken
shoulder on their own horse.  Please feel free to
contact us with any questions about Rio's