Well, yesterday was the only the third day of May and I ran into a glitch in my challenge. Already, in the first few days! But if I have learned one thing about having horses over the years, it is to expect the unexpected, and be prepared when it happens.
Case in point, Frisby. I went out to feed the horses in the morning, and Frisby was not seeming like himself. He didn’t go to his mush ( he now gets mush like Plezant) and he didn’t seem quite like himself. Then he did the tell tale looking at his sides, and I was thinking oh crap!
So I put him out in his pasture, and watched him for a few minutes before calling the vet. But with my history of colic, I really wanted to call the vet now, but I waited to see how he was acting. And after a few more minutes of him just standing there, I could feel my anxiety building so I called the vet.
Now in the old world, my vet would call me back almost as soon as I hung up with the answering service. But this time, it was about half an hour. And in that time, I did what I should have done before calling the vet, I listened to his gut with my stethoscope, I coaxed him to drink a little bit.
All Lines are Busy, Please Hold
And when my vet called, she let me know she had 2 emergencies she needed to get to first and one would take a couple of hours. So She would not be able to come out to Frisby. And she gave me phone numbers for other vets. That has never happened before.
I called 3 other vets, and they all told me they couldn’t come out. Because they too had other emergencies they had to get too. I have never had that happen. I guess it’s because of COVID? Whatever the case, no vet was coming to help my horse.
When There Is No Vet
Besides feeling helpless, I realized how much I depend on my vet to save the day for me. And she wasn’t coming. And whether it was wrong or right, I was worried about Frisby getting dehydrated. I took his beet pulp, and pellets mush and added about another gallon of water to it. It was more like a soup. And I kept it outside of his pasture, out of reach.
I had listened to his gut, and he did have some gut sounds, but they were quiet. And he was being quiet, he wasn’t thrashing about. And after about 15 minutes, he started walking around, looking for food. This seemed encouraging.
So I waited a bit, and then I scooted his ‘soup’ under the fence, and he cam up to it and started to drink. This was VERY good. I waited and watched as he drank some of it, and then some more. And when he had drunk it down to more of a solid substance, I added more water.
I felt more comfortable with his actions, so after adding another gallon of water into his mush, I went to fill hay nets and leave him alone for a bit. Even though he couldn’t really see me, I was watching him to see what he did while I was away from him. I mean, no vet was coming. So I was on my own to figure this out.
An Hour Later
After about an hour of secretly watching him slurp his mush, and wander around the arena looking for grass, I decided to pull some fresh grass for him to eat. And when I made my way back to him, he seemed more interested, his eye seemed a little brighter, and he took the grass from me with his usual gusto.
Oh, and he farted. Which is good, right? I mean if he can fart, gas is passing through, and there isn’t a blockage, hopefully. I felt a little more relived, and went back to my outside chores before going inside.
Success in the Poop
Coming back out a couple of hours later, he seemed better. I had my tube of Banamine, just in case, but he seemed to be feeling better. And then I was really relieved, because he pooped! This was very encouraging. So his tummy ache, or whatever was going on seemed to have resolved itself.
I think I was really lucky, or it was a mild colic, or a little bit of both. But not being able to have my vet come out simply because I called, scares the crap out of me. It’s scary not having a lifeline when it comes to my horses. And today I learned I was on my own. Thank God this wasn’t anything serious, but it could have been, and that’s what makes me worry.
I am thankful I have a well stocked first aid kit, and have my human experience as a health care provider, but I am no vet. But I guess right now, until the world gets back to normal, I am the vet.
Lots of Barn Time
I still got in my walking with Plezant. And actually Frisby too for a bit. But mainly just to get a few bites of the grass that has been growing in the back pasture.
I think he was happy about that.
And I had to go get some feed from the Big R, and they had a 3 step mounting block, so I decided I needed it. I have been looking for one of these for so long, it was worth the $110.00 price tag. Plezant is much easier to reach with this thing.
And he stood patiently beside it while I fussed with him.
Then we went for our walk. And I was still able to get about 30 minutes in, regardless of the events that happened earlier on the day.
A Glitch in My Challenge
So today started with a glitch, but thankfully had a happy ending. And I am so lucky with how things worked out. I hope that today, and every day after is boring and uneventful. Because those are my favorite types of days.
CHERYL L VAN HERK
I have been tempted to invest in the 100 mile challenge. I can barely walk a 100 feet from the barn with my mare and she starts tossing her head and dancing and popping up. She is a hot horse and strong, who I have been able to calm down greatly, but now that the hot weather is gone, she has too much spunk when out of the riding ring. It is physically exhausting trying to make progress with her. Our lane way is a 1/2 km long but we don’t get far. I will make her stop, back up but(which she does nicely) but she is still nutty when going forwards. The other day, I had to back her all the way back to the barn, because to go forwards, she’d be running circles around me. Ugh.It’s discouraging, as I have had horses on and off all my life and this is the first one to give me a big challenge that is not easy to fix.