(Layton the Knight on his trusty steed!)
Mai Tai’s GoFundMe Page Link: https://www.gofundme.com/62xtax2k
Update: Nature is a fickle *expletive*. :P Mai Tai’s condition has been quite a roller coaster of ups and downs. Overall he seems to be doing much better – he was even allowed home from Tufts once he started eating again. But since being home his appetite has diminished and so he is heading back to Tufts. I am EXTREMELY grateful for all those that have already donated or shared this posts. If you could keep at it that would be truly amazing. You’re all the best!
Hi readers…I haven’t posted much in a while…but I come to you tonight not with a review…but a request for help. To sum up – as best I can – Mai Tai is a wonderful, and quite handsome, pony who has seriously touched the lives of many people. Throughout his many years he has helped many others…but now he needs help in return. Hence why I am sharing the below fundraiser. No one wants to have to go around asking people for money but sometimes things don’t work out, problems arise and financial issues can ensue. Then it becomes necessary, when the cause is worthy – in this case it very much is – to then reach out for help. So I am posting the above link asking for whatever help you can give. Be it $1, $5 – anything helps. Even if you can’t give (which is always understandable) please forward the link on, share it on social media, etc. and spread the word. The more people who know, the more donations – no matter how minor – the more successful the fundraising will be. :) Please read below for more information.
Mai Tai is a 31 year old palomino Mustang pony who has touched the lives of hundreds of children over his lifetime. For the past decade, Mai Tai was owned by SJ Riding Camp in Ellington, CT, where every summer he would win the hearts of young riders with his amazing character. He was always the “favorite,” in high demand. He is a one-in-a-million type pony with a heart of gold, and seeing that he was ready to slow down *just a little*, SJ Camp decided that he should come to live at Bella Rosa Stables in Wrentham, MA with trainers Sarah Muntyan and Alexandria Quayle. At BRS Mai Tai is still gainfully employed as a teacher of small children. He is a bright, lovable, and still remarkably athletic little pony who is always happy to go to work. He teaches little boys and girls to walk, trot, and canter around the ring, to steer on their own, to trot over ground poles, and to walk on the trails. He also has added a NEW component to his resume, filling the special role of a Therapeutic Riding pony. Mai Tai’s calm, quiet, and incredibly agreeable demeanor makes him an excellent partner for working with children with special needs.
Mai Tai’s excellent health to this stage in his life has been remarkable. We don’t know much about his early life, but the distinctive freeze brand underneath his mane is an indicator that he at one point lived in a free-roaming Mustang herd, and came through a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Auction. Now at age 31, Veterinarians and Equine professionals have marveled at how he is thriving. Many horses that are 10 years his junior do not have the level of fitness, soundness, or general good health that Mai Tai has maintained to this point.
Mai Tai’s one major health concern over the past few years has been his teeth – he has very few left, and the ones that are left are worn smooth. He eats an unusual diet as he cannot eat hay. Until recently he did not appear to have any problems with this. However in the third week of January 2016, we noticed a sudden, sharp decline in Mai Tai’s appetite. He was still cheerful and active, but did not want to eat any of his meals. We tried adding everything from molasses to shredded carrots to apple sauce to Splenda….. you name it, he wasn’t interested. A few days after this started, he began kicking out (unheard of before this) when you touched his belly. Clearly something was wrong.
Dr. Sarah D’Oench of the Massachusetts Equine Clinic performed a gastroscopy for Mai Tai on the morning of January 26th, 2016. Owner Sarah Muntyan was expecting (as were the Doctors) for the gastroscopy to reveal severe stomach ulcers (a possible explanation for his symptoms). Instead, they discovered a large fibrous mass partially blocking both the entrance and exits to his stomach – a highly unusual condition. It was clear that unless this was resolved, Mai Tai was not going to make it. Whether there were additional problems causing the decline in his health could not be determined at this point. He was loaded onto the trailer and brought to the Tufts University’s Large Animal Hospital in Grafton, MA.
Mai Tai has been at Tufts since the morning of January 26th. The Doctors at Tufts have been providing him with extraordinary care. It seems however that the more diagnostics are done, the more questions arise. Mai Tai has been fitted with a nasogastric tube, and the doctors have been attempting to break up the fibrous mass in his stomach, both manually and with administration of Coke soda (scary but true!) which has the ability to eat through most materials. Reflux from his stomach and small intestine is coming up in excess, and it contains a large amount of sand which is concerning. This led to extensive ultrasound imaging, which revealed no complete blockages or tumors, but a thickening of stomach and intestinal walls – from the sand? From something else? We are not sure yet, and will not know for sure until the mass in his stomach can be bypassed for a better look (and a biopsy) of what is underneath. In order to keep Mai Tai stable, he is currently on IV fluids.
Doctors at this point are cautiously optimistic that Mai Tai can be brought back to a state of good health, and continue a happy and useful life for years to come – but this can only happen if they have the time to diagnose and treat the problems occurring in his GI tract. The biggest roadblock for Mai Tai now is finances. Mai Tai’s current owner, Sarah Muntyan, has emptied her savings (almost $4,000) to get him through his first few days at Tufts. As anyone who has owned horses knows, these big powerful creatures come with equally big Vet bills. The Doctors at Tufts are of the highest caliber, and have the best chance of bringing Mai Tai back home safe and sound, but at the moment there is simply not enough funding to continue his diagnostics and the treatments that he needs. We are asking those who know Mai Tai, who love Mai Tai (for those are one and the same), whose lives or whose children’s lives have been touched by Mai Tai, or those that are generous enough out there to read his story to please make a charitable donation of any amount to contribute to his medical bills – to help us to get him well and to bring him home. Mai Tai has done so much for so many. Please help us to return the favor to this noble pony and give him the care that he desperately needs right now. Thank you.