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Horse stories: The story of Älvis

Älvis was a gelding born in 2005. He was trained as a children’s jumping pony. That is what Älvis did for a long time. Together with the children, he regularly jumped his courses and was super well-behaved. But after a while, Älvis started to buck under the saddle. The owners called in a therapist to find out what was going on and to try to fix the problem. After many visits, things got a little better physically, but his behaviour remained the same. It was no longer possible for the children to ride him and his owners were eager to find out what underlying physical reason behind this could be. The decision was made to present Älvis for dissection. 


Älvis’ dissection is one that has really stayed with me. We found a lot of physical problems and we were very happy that he no longer had to jump any courses with children on his back. That could have been fatal for Älvis and the rider! But the reason this case still touches me so much was the damage we found to almost all the organs in his body. Älvis had a huge worm infection. During the dissection we saw a lot of worm scars on his liver and heart, but what we saw when we opened the stomach… it still gives me the creeps! His stomach was full of botfly larvae. 


Hopefully this case has inspired you and given you new insights so that the story of Älvis will not be forgotten. The more horses we can study and compare, the more we can learn! Would you like access to Älvis’ full story? You can find it in the online Equinestudies course ‘The Horse Inside Out’; Click here to go to the webshop.

horse stories