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.