What do you get when you breed two National Champion Shire Horses together? Well, in a perfect world you would get Shire perfection, but we know the horse world isn't perfect. So the correct answer to that question is you get Annie! A stunningly beautiful, perfectly marked, great mover, that was born with kyphosis of the spine and OCD in her hocks. "Why does that horse look like a camel?" is probably the most common question we get when it comes to Annie, the mare that sprung my dream of running a sanctuary. "Was she born that way?" is probably the 2nd most common question. Yes, she was born this way. The curvature in her spine was noticed at birth, with the hope it would balance itself over time. Unfortunately, that was not the case and as she grew, so did the obvious spine deformity. Lucky for me though it meant she got to come live out her days here. Once she arrived at Shiredale I immediately immersed myself in as much research as I could get my hands on. Unfortunately, with many aspects of the Equine world, there is very limited information on Kyphosis, why it happens, any ways to prevent it, etc. At the time when I was figuring out if Annie would be able to come here, I spent time with our internal med veterinarian and found there really wasn't a lot of literature on horses with Kyphosis. There was some info, but the majority would be euthanized as 2-4yr old's as they developed too much spinal pain/discomfort that it was necessary to euthanize. So I prepared myself that I may only have a couple years to spend with her. So we gave her the best of everything, set her up for yearly physicals by our vet with an emphasis on the spine, checking her SI/muscles/bones themselves, etc. yearly. She celebrated her second birthday, then her third, and fourth and fifth and sixth. I can now proudly say she is 16 years old and counting! She clearly didn't read the literature that many horses get spinal discomfort and need euthanasia. As time has gone on and thanks to the internet, there are more cases like Annie that curvature of the spine that do go on to live mostly normal full lives. Alex, was another Shire gelding (no relation to Annie) that called Shiredale home for many years until we found the perfect home for him in Northern Arizona. Have seen horses end up at auctions with kyphosis of the spine such as Belgians, Clydesdales, and many light horse breeds as well.