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(NECN: Anya Huneke, Hinesburg, VT) - A young horse in Hinesburg, Vermont is alive thanks to the friendship of two barnmates, her owners say. The three met last summer, when the foal, Tilly, was very ill.
Today, she is healthy and thriving, and because of that is learning, with difficulty, to live without her best buddies.
It's time to rally the troops at the Fell-Vallee equestrian center in Hinesburg, Vermont.
The sun is shining. It's a beautiful day. And there is training to do.
But seven month old Tilly has other plans.
Little has been typical about Tilly since she was born. She was extremely sick, and abandoned by her mother. Virtually on her deathbed, she was introduced to two baby goats- Kyra and Anky. And they proved to be the perfect medicine.
We met the threesome back in December-- their bond at the time was undeniable. They did everything together... And even acted alike, despite their obvious differences.
Three months later, little has changed.
Joan Lavalle: "The three of them are still the team."
Though owner Jamie Fell says, unfortunately, it's time something did.
Jamie "The plan was really for her to stay quiet all winter and allow her joints to grow."
Tilly is small but healthy. And is growing up, and needs to learn she's not a goat, but a riding horse.
Fell and her mother, Joan, have been trying to wean the friends off of each other-- taking Tilly outside to the paddock and exposing her to her own kind.
Convincing Tilly to move towards independence has been a struggle. She puts up a fight.
And then voices her disappointment.
But Fell says she's seen progress.
So far, today's separation seems to be going well-- this is the first time Tilly and the goats are okay with their distance.
Perhaps what these animals are trying to say is that life doesn't follow a script.
Friendships come in all shapes and sizes and sometimes they end, but either way, we have them for a reason.