Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Gift of Time


I’ve been treating Siete for an abscess in her back left foot this week. Over the years that we’ve lived here, we’ve been particularly plagued by this problem as we transition from summer into autumn. It’s a combination of dry weather followed by wet, and the emergence of lots of small rocks in the pasture. So, I know the drill. When I came out to the barn, Siete was standing with her back left foot cocked, and the look she gave me clearly was her way of saying, “Oww!” At first, I felt a small moment of panic since our farrier, John, has moved to Montana. The new farrier isn’t scheduled to come until early October.

I decided to just soak Siete’s foot in Epsom salts and then apply a piece of Animalintex inside one of the Soft Ride boots. Moments after I started to treat her, she instantly relaxed and was obviously no longer in pain. I remembered the days when just getting Siete to stand still with her foot in a warm bucket of water was a real challenge. I thanked her for her good behavior. I thought about how caring for my horses, year in and year out, has taught me not to over-react when something goes wrong. I knew I could handle this, and if I couldn’t, well, we’d be meeting the new farrier a few weeks earlier than planned.

I’ve been reading pro’s and con’s about soaking the foot to pull out an abscess. This time, I didn’t soak it again the way I had for all those previous abscesses. The hoof was clean, so I just moistened and changed the Animalintex in the boot twice a day for three days. Siete was moving around just fine, and I was tempted to stop the treatment. For good measure, I kept the boot on an extra day. Yesterday, I took it off and so far, so good. It’s a big relief for me as well as Siete. I’ve been really busy, not spending enough time with the horses. Each day, I start out promising myself and the girls that I’ll be back later to do this or that. Then, my schedule gets crazy, and next thing I know, I’m tucking the horses in for the night, feeling bad that I never got back there like I said I would and apologizing to Silk and Siete.

When I read Carolyn Resnick’s most recent blog post last night, she asked us what we thought our special gift was with horses. There were some great responses, especially her own. What resonated most for me was when she said: “ I like horses as they are, without them having to do something for me. Even while sharing space with a horse, they do not need to show me affection while in my presence. I am nourished by being in the same area as a horse, and that is reward enough.”

I had a hard time trying to express what I think my gift is with horses. Then, I realized perhaps it is that I am always there for them, reliably on time, anticipating what will make them feel good, and never minimizing or forgetting about their needs. No matter what else is going on in my life, I must care for my horses. And the reason that I do comes from that core belief which Carolyn expressed. I’ve loved being around horses from the first time that my mother wheeled me to a neighbor’s pasture while I was in a baby stroller. Horses don’t have to do anything for me. I just feel better when I am with them.

So, if I can make Siete’s foot stop hurting or share one of my favorite Honey Crisp apples with Silk or do anything to make my horses happier, it also feeds my soul.

12 comments:

Wolfie said...

I totally agree! My horse does not necessarily have to do anything for me (although when we work as a team it is fantastic), other than be near me. I have said that if circumstances change and I cannot ride, I would be content just hanging out and fussing over my guy. There is something magic about being in their presence.

Grey Horse Matters said...

I agree, the time I spend with my horses is always rewarding. Just being in their presence and having them in my space is more inspiring than anything else I can think of.

I'm glad that Siete's foot is feeling better. Animalintex is the absolute best thing in my opinion for a multitude of ills. We recently used it for Dusty and her hoof problem it worked well with her new Soft Ride boots.

Kate said...

Lovely thoughts - I think just being with the horses is often enough, and, as you say, taking care of what they need.

C-ingspots said...

Amen! Very well put. Without them in my life, there would be a huge, gaping hole.

billie said...

Glad she is feeling better, and glad you are there to help her with that!

Happy said...

I've been dealing with a really stubborn abscess this summer, too! Can you describe more about your treatment?

I've done the Animalintex, soaking in Epsom salts, ichthammol, alternating between everything, doing absolutely nothing, etc. And it just takes forever to burst and heal. Do you put the Animalintex on the sole? I had one horse that blew an abscess out the coronary band - do you wrap it around the coronary band, too? Seems like strong stuff, as it takes the hair off?

I do agree, though - taking care of horses is wonderful, and non-horse people don't understand it. They don't understand why we would do so much work for these animals...but that's okay, we'll do it anyway! :)

Máire said...

Thank you for drawing attention to Carolyn's post. I must return to reading her blog regularly. It is a very interesting question, which I would never think to ask myself. Hmm. I must give it some thought.

Mr. Beer N. Hockey said...

Being near any animal, wild or domesticated, makes most all of us feel good, even if we do not feel good until after they have moved off. We are much more discerning when it comes to being close to humans.

JennyB said...

You know, I didn't consciously realize it until I read this post but yes! I do feel happier and more at peace when I'm with horses which is one of the reasons I've wanted them in my life. Thanks for putting that into words!

~~JennyB, Horsefeathers

Rising Rainbow said...

I hope that Siete's issue is done for the year. Routine abcesses must be frustrating.

I don't really know how to answer that question. I do know I can't imagine a life without them.

RSA Online said...

Poor thing! I'm treating my puppy right now for a sprained foot, breaks my heart :( hope Siete's foot heals up soon!

Callie said...

Hope Siete heels up soon. Nice post and reflection.