Saving Roxy: A horse teaches a mother-daughter team about persistence, faith and love

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SALEM - It looks like just another day at Treasure Hill Farm in Salem, where Allison Hamlin and her daughter, Taylor, board their horse, Roxy.  But everyday is special for this family.  Nothing - not even the ability to walk - is taken for granted.  "We never thought we’d be here at this moment," says Hamlin of Southington.  "It’s so cliche but it was love at first sight."

Taylor had always wanted a horse.  And, three years ago, her dream came true when the family bought the chestnut mare at a Connecticut farm.  "I just knew she was the one," says Taylor.  "I looked at her and I could see a bright future in her, rather than that skinny, broken down horse."  The registered quarter horse was extremely thin.  And soon, health problems began - colic, falls, swollen knees.  "She was three-legged lame which means she couldn’t bear weight on one of her limbs," explains Allison.  "She could barely get out of her stall, she could barely walk."

Allison says, last summer, the vet did X-Rays and didn't like what she saw:  "Euthanasia was on the table."  The Hamlins - especially Taylor - were devastated.  "It was hard," says Allison through tears.  "Because she loved this horse, had bonded with this horse."

But, a little voice told her not to give-up on Roxy.  She sought other opinions and met Dr. Mike Stewart, a horse specialist in Windsor: "He came out, took one look at her and he said, 'This is an easy fix.  It’s going to take time and patience but we can fix her.'"  Roxy had an infection and laminitis in her left front foot which can be irreversible and fatal.  But, special shoes, a new trimming style and arduous therapy are healing Roxy, one step at a time.   "Over the last two to three months, we have seen a dramatic difference in Roxy, in her stride, everything about her," says Allison.

Roxy - now 1300 pounds - is winning blue ribbons.  "When we got to her first show, it was just awesome," says Taylor with a big smile.  Saving Roxy has been a bonding experience for this mother-daughter duo - a lesson in persistence and faith.  "I believe that you should not give up," says Allison.

A show...of love.  "She’s just always been beautiful in my eyes," says Taylor.  "No matter what she looked like."

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