"Live like Martha" is the motto we didn't know we needed.

Advertisement

Martha the mini horse is a special animal with a story so inspiring that she has amassed over 100,000 followers on social media, spurred the saying "Live like Martha," and had a plush toy designed to look just like her.

"She has the ability to make people believe that because she has overcome so many hurdles in her life, that others can overcome theirs as well," Martha's owner Stacey Rolfe tells Daily Paws. "Martha truly is a beacon of hope and inspiration to others all around this world."

Rolfe is the owner of R&R Ranch, a miniature horse sanctuary in Chesterfield, Mo. There are currently 24 miniature horses at R&R Ranch, each with their own unique stories and reasons for needing care.

"Martha is what's called a dwarf miniature horse," says Rolfe. "They're born with all kinds of health issues."

When Martha first came to the sanctuary, she had been diagnosed with the most fatal form of dwarfism and had a life expectancy of only 6 to 12 months. Despite the bleak prognosis, Rolfe decided to move forward with whatever care could be provided to Martha.

"We did not want to be selfish, but we also didn't want to cut short a life that could be saved," says Rolfe.

Today Martha is coming up on her third birthday, thanks to aggressive treatment that helped straighten her legs and improve her condition.

"We have this little girl that was just like, I don't care what's wrong with me, I'm happy." says Rolfe. "She didn't know how long she had to live, and she was like, it's OK, I can do this, I can play, I can be happy."

As R&R Ranch documented Martha's care on social media, their following grew—and today the rehabilitation ranch is able to use their social media platforms to reach people all over the world about the care required for miniature horses.

"All of the sudden Martha had cheerleaders everywhere," says Rolfe. "And Martha started to give back to people immediately by being herself. In fact, our fans coined the phrase 'Live like Martha.' And I think we could all learn a lesson from that."