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HOUSTON The Equine Recovery Center in Dickinson is a place where horses come to heal.

One of the patients is a quarter horse named Indio. He recently had a portion of his rear leg amputated and replaced with a prosthetic.

He s the type of horse you really can do this kind of operation on because he has the will to live, said center co-founder Steve Saltzmann.

World-renowned veterinarian Rick Redden performed the surgery.

Probably an hour after surgery, he was in here eating and drinking and acting like nothing had happened, said veterinarian Dennis Jenkins, who assisted in the surgery.

Indio had kicked through a metal wall, pretty much severing his hoof and the options were limited.  Typically it s the kind of injury that would result in a horse being put down.Because of this highly unusual surgery, the 16-year-old horse could live to be 30.

And he can continue to make beautiful babies, said Dani Saltzmann of the Recovery Center.  He s a very calm, lovely stallion and he deserves this chance.

The horse is an amazing creature, said Dr. Jenkins. Every day is a school day. They teach you something new every day.

It turns out, healing at the Equine Recovery Center is a two-way street. Saltzmann is a veteran of the war in Iraq and suffers from PTSD.

If I come in here sad or depressed, he ll bring me up, he said.

Now he and the horse are healing together.

For more information on the Equine Recovery Center go towww.healinghorse.net.

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