Monday, February 28, 2011

A week of being too close to death...

Last week was not what it was supposed to be...

I had the dentist/chiro out on Tuesday. Good news for Bear and Lola... good news meaning Bear had some stuff clearly out of alignment, so hopefully his issues will go away with chiro care and he won't spend the rest of his life being a clutz. Their teeth looked good, AND the vet tells me Lola is a year YOUNGER than I was told when I bought her. Bonus!

Then we got the old mare... she needed extra sedation and two infected teeth had to be extracted. No fun for anyone. Plus I had volunteered to pay for it, and the extra work cost QUITE a bit extra.

It got so late that I didn't want to take Lola back to boarding that night, and put it off for another night. I was all set to go out on Wednesday, pick her up, tack up at the barn, and have my fiancé get some good video of us. But when I got to the house the old mare was down. She got up after a bit. But she didn't seem right. She was stomping her back legs and backing up. I went down to check on her, and she seemed alright so I thought she may have been stiff. I hooked up the trailer, pulled it down to the driveway, and before I could load Lola, the old mare went down again. Not a good sign.

And so the night began... 8 hours of stress and anxiety, numerous vet phone calls, a dose of bute, an hour of walking, one poop (YEAH!), a dose of banamine, lots of monitoring her laying down to keep her laying quietly and not rolling, one vet's opinion to either get her to an intensive care for all night monitoring or put her to sleep, a frantic call to our regular vet for a second opinion, a midnight ranch call from said vet, lots of oil down her nose, and one last shot of "stuff" to help, and she finally thought about eating a little. I went home relieved that we hadn't had to put her down, but not convinced that she'd make it through the night.

This mare was my mom's 40th birthday present to herself. She always wanted to own a horse, the one she bought at 18 tried to kill her, numerous times. And yet she bought a very hot arab at the age of 4o... She basically became one of the horses that I grew into. We did all sorts of stuff together, and she became my primary horse once my show mare developed terrible arthritis my first year of high school. So I did some trail trials and endurance on my hardy little arab. She was the horse that I could come home to while in college, and jump on bareback with just a halter and canter circles in the pasture. She was a HUGE part in training Bear. She was such a trooper to come out of retirement to pony around the naughty and frisky young thing that he was. We've owned her for 17 years now. She's a huge part of the family. I was a wreck at work the next day, I kept expecting the call... the one telling me to come out quick because the vet's coming back to put her down.

She did make it through the night, but with all the getting up and laying down (and by laying down I really just mean "choosing a place to fall" because she was so weak that night) she somehow hurt her ankle. She's hardly putting weight on it, holding it out in front, and limping terribly. So now that she's pulled through the colic, she's having to have this injury evaluated. I still can't let myself believe she's out of the woods.

So with all this terrible news, I was understandably edgy when I got a voicemail from the barn owner where I keep Lola. I was so relieved that it wasn't another life or death horse emergency that my first reaction was to laugh when I hear that A TREE HAD FALLEN ON MY TRAILER!!!! Well after seeing it, I'm not laughing. Not what I need just when I'm hoping to gear up with a full schedule of lesson, schooling off site, and showing. I can't afford a new trailer. I'm hoping for the best, and sort of planning for the worst. If the repairs cost more than 70% of the value, it's considered a total loss. I'm not sure I can replace it for what I'll get. I can't justify buying a new one now. I'm not ready to lose my horse trailering independence.

The old mare's name is Lacey. I don't think I've ever said her name... it was just such fun to call her the old mare: a background character in the story of Bear. Truth it she has been a huge influence on my riding, and my life. So I think I might take some time to tell her story too.

Vet should be out tomorrow. We'll see what there is to say about the leg.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Birthday Bear!

My spotty valentine is five years old today. This year he has to quit playing and get a real job!

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Yesterday I hooked up the trailer at the barn, loaded up Lola, and then swung past my parent's house to pick up Bear. He was super excited to see a trailer pull up, and proceeded to gallop up and down the hill in the lower pasture. This was fine by me, as I was hoping he'd take the edge off his spunkiness before I put the finacé up there!

I caught him, through him in the trailer, and the finacé and I set off for a trail ride! It was the perfect day for it, we just didn't have much time. Both horses were hot and sweaty when we pulled them out of the trailer. It is unseasonably warm, Bear had been running around, and Lola had been probably nervously sweating in the trailer not able to fully see what all the commotion was about, so it was understandable. It didn't change the fact that it felt weird to take up sweaty horses!

They both settled in pretty well once we got up the first hill. I wish we could have done the whole trail, but the day just didn't allow for it. We at least got them out. They weren't crazy or too attached about being together again. I was surprised how fit Lola was compared to Bear, but he really is a weekend pony at the moment, so it makes sense.

When we got back to my parents we had to take off right away for a dinner, so Lola stayed for a sleepover. I knew I'd have to split them up later to feed that night, but I turned them both out to pasture while we were out to dinner, and they were just adorable. They ran around... sided by side, ate grass... side by side, stood to watch each other roll their sweaty back in the grass. They were the picture of perfect contentment. It will be heartbreaking to separate them again today, but Bear needs to be out in pasture, and Lola needs spring grass limited and daily supplements given. Plus they were getting too dependent on each other, and I think the separation will allow me to more easily take them out alone to shows and such.

They will get a repeat of this horsey sleepover next weekend. I have the farrier coming Friday night and the dentist/chiro coming Saturday morning, so I'll be consolidating the horses to one property for the appointments.

Alright, enough thinking about horses, time to go do something with them!