Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Always Something

I walked out the backdoor of my house with a friend of mine, and my horses came thundering across the pasture to greet us at the fence. “Oh my, aren’t they beautiful!” she said, jumping back at the earth-shaking force of over 2000 pounds of enthusiastic greeting.  After more than fifteen years of owning and caring for Silk and Siete, my honed-in focus was how their feet were moving. Siete looked off on her front left, or was it her back right?  I’ve reached the point where if something is wrong with one of my girls, I can almost sense it in my bones.

Last night, when I was alone with the horses in the barn, and they were munching their dinner, I reached down and touched each of Siete’s feet. There was no heat in the front hooves, which was a relief to me. So, I had a feeling that it would be warm when I felt her back right.  Sure enough, there’s an abscess brewing. The farrier is coming tomorrow so I decided to just let it cook rather than try to soak her foot and draw it out myself.  It will be easier for him to drain it. There was a time when problems like this would have kept me awake at night. It’s certainly not that I don’t care, but over time, I have learned that there’s almost always something you can find to worry about if you have a horse.

I crawled into bed later on and felt the lovely cool night air blowing in above my head from the open window. I heard a horse sneeze. I could tell it was Siete. She sneezed again, and again. Okay, now I was worried. Should I climb out of my cozy nest, grab the big flashlight and venture out into the blackness to the barn? Wait, she stopped sneezing. I lay down and was just about to drift off when she started again. It was a series of about five loud sneezes. My husband came in after brushing his teeth. “Siete is sneezing. Do you think I need to go out and see if she’s okay?” He rolled his eyes. “It’s up to you.” He’s seen me get up in the dead of winter and trudge out to the barn.  I reminded myself that no horse ever died from sneezing.  After a while, Siete stopped, and there was deep silence. I tossed and turned. I wondered if it was too quiet, and if they were both all right. Like I said, there’s almost always something you can find to worry about if you have a horse.


billie said...

I so know what you mean. If I hear anything out of the ordinary I worry. Sometimes I can just get a feeling and start to worry. The horses and donkeys are so precious to me, so present in my life - I think they are teaching me how to love, how to learn, and how to let go all at the same time. :)

Victoria Cummings said...

Billie - That's exactly it - how to love, learn and let go all at the same time.
So, I was right - there was a little abscess in her back foot. She leans on the front to take the weight off and it gets sore- on the diagonal - that's how I can usually tell. I'm always grateful that it's not the front feet that are the problem. I gave her a little Banamine before the farrier came and she was an angel for him as he drained it. I don't like to soak the hoof too much. It seems to heal faster if he can just open up the pocket and let it drain. The back and forth of wet and dry weather is bad for hooves.

Grey Horse Matters said...

You're right, there is always something to worry about. After being with our animals for so long we can tell either by looking at them or getting a feeling that something is not quite right.

Glad her abscess is draining right now. Hopefully, she'll feel better soon. And about her sneezing that could just have been the change of weather. Oh and I've gotten the husbands eye roll too!

Victoria Cummings said...

It was something in the bale of hay that made her sneeze - maybe some ragweed. As soon as I opened a new bale, she was fine. Yes, every woman who owns a horse and has a husband knows about that eye roll - they have all mastered it, haven't they?

Laura said...

I love when you say you can tell just by looking at them if they are sound, shoes on and in good spirits.

I have a couple of girls riding and when I say, "did you notice if Delaire had his shoes on?"

They would say, " I haven't picked out his feet yet."

I say, "You should have noticed when you led him in."

Things we, as horse owners, take for granted, such as shoes, legs, lamness, coughing, sneezing, have to be shown to the new 'crop' of horse people coming up.