What do you do when you have a badly injured horse at the clinic who does not do well when he is alone? Why you bring in Adam, an older Welsh pony to be his companion. Midnight is a black Missouri Foxtrotter who somehow sustained a puncture wound into critical structures in his left hind hoof. He was non-weight bearing and very stressed to be away from home. His astute owner of many years knew that that added stress was not going to help him have the strength to beat this life threatening injury. Enter Adam…. He is a very intelligent 31 year old pony who took several children through their pony club levels and safely navigated the hunt field with several more. When we introduced Midnight and Adam, I was expecting the usual squeal and strike from one or both of them to establish dominance as both could be top “dog” in their homes. Instead, they sniffed noses and then Adam looked over Midnight observing the bulky bandage on his rear hoof. He then nosed Midnight gently as if to say everything was going to be all right. They were the best of friends during the 2 weeks of Midnight’s stay at our clinic. Adam seemed to instinctively know that his job was to take care of Midnight. When the weather was bad and Midnight was confined to a stall, Adam would stay right outside the door under the overhang (he would never do this at home). The culmination of Adam’s loyalty was demonstrated when Midnight progressed enough to have a hospital plate placed. The decision was made to have glue on shoes placed on both hind feet with the left hind being a removable hospital plate. Unfortunately, even though Midnight was much improved at the walk, he was unable to bear full weight on the injured hoof long enough to apply the shoe. We decided to sling him while sedated to get enough time with the hoof off of the ground to let the glue dry. To add to the stress of that day, it was raining that morning. Midnight knew something was up and did not want to leave Adam….so along he came into our surgical wing where there is a winch. Larry the farrier applied the hospital plate with minimal difficulty but Midnight was unable to stand long enough on the injured hoof for the glue to dry on the other. We took Midnight into the recovery stall where the winch is and put the sling on him. After some sedation, we were able to lift his back end high enough for Larry to apply the other shoe. It was a monumental effort from everyone to keep Midnight steady. Meanwhile we had just left Adam to wander about the area. No one noticed that Adam had entered the recovery stall on his own and was quietly standing guard over Midnight. He did not leave his side the entire time even though both stall doors were open. Adam is truly a special pony. He came back a few weeks later under similar circumstances for another lonely horse with serious hoof issues. Due to the wet weather, the gelding was stall bound with Adam in an adjacent paddock. Every time Adam wandered out of view, the horse would call and then Adam would return to stand by the door. It is easy to concentrate on the medical or surgical treatment of an issue, but Adam reminded us that healing happens best in a minimally stressful environment and that companionship is paramount in herd animals.