Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Horse Stuff--The Rest of Them



Okay, so real quick, right around the time my mother died I found myself with too many horses on my hands and I was overwhelmed. (Everything that happens is measured in time against its relation to my mother’s leukemia and death—before my mother got sick, right before she died, around the time she died, after she died, like B.D. and A.D., as if she were Jesus.)

So I leased Doc and Steel out to a therapeutic riding place called Unbridled Change. Doc, who is twenty-seven-years old, works one day a week for a couple of hours giving rides to children with special needs. He works another day a week with the kids on the ground. He looks even better than when I had him. His top-line filled out and he gained a little weight. Michelle, the owner of Unbridled Change, started feeding him three times a day; plus she has plenty of grass. And a little exercise probably helps. When we pulled into the driveway to visit him, he came cheerfully over to the fence nickering hello. He’s happy. I hope she is able to use him for a long time—at least through the winter—because I’m really enjoying the break. Whenever she feels he’s too old and needs to be retired completely, I’ll go and get him. He’ll be taken care of until he dies because that horse deserves it. He’s one of the good ones.

Steel, the little grulla, it turned out has a sore back. That is why he was crow-hopping when transitioning to the lope; not because he was being stubborn. I feel really bad that I was unaware of it and I made him lope. (Perhaps this is one of the reasons I’m getting Lowdown checked out even though there’s probably nothing wrong with him—I’m paranoid now.) But with these quiet ones it’s sometimes hard to tell because they tend to be lazy and stubborn and since they don’t speak English they can’t say it when they don’t want to do something because it hurts. I thought I ruled out pain when I Buted him up for a few days and he still acted exactly the same. There were no other symptoms. No lumps, bumps, swellings, or heat. Nothing. He had some issues transitioning to natural barefoot trimming but once his feet grew out, he was fine. When I consulted the vet about the crow-hopping, he thought, like with “the good old country pony” I had a few years ago, I was worrying over nothing. And the farrier didn’t seem to think it was anything physical either.


So I felt really bad when Michelle reported that Steel’s back was sore. There were a couple of vertebrae out in his spine and her chiropractor has been working on him and feels with a little rest, he’ll be fine. I hope so otherwise I am stuck feeding an unsound horse for another twenty years. He’s only six. I couldn’t sell him. I couldn’t euthanize a horse that’s not all broken-down lame or sick. I wouldn’t be able to ride him if he’s unsound. It’s bad enough when you’ve had a horse for a few years and had some good times on him and then he founders or something and you have to take care of this huge animal who eats you out of house and home and who you can’t do anything with. That’s bad enough. But when it happens to a horse that’s not part of what I call my “core herd”—I’ve only had him for a short period of time and the jury was out on whether or not he was a keeper—that’s really bad. But it’s still an animal with feelings and I’m responsible for him. So I hope everything turns out okay and she is able to use him for a long time too.

Minnie. There is nothing going on with Minnie. There never is. She’s just out there looking cute and waiting for grandkids.

12 comments:

Grey Horse Matters said...

Minnie is adorable! I think it's wonderful that your older fellow is helping kids. He's probably enjoying himself. Maybe the other guy will come around with some chiropractic care and be fine. He's young and may heal quickly. Good luck.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

Thanks! Minnie was Kelly's first pony. Kelly was three-years-old when we got her and that pony has never done a thing wrong, never even gave anyone a dirty look. She's the only mare. All the boys are in love with her.

Rachel said...

Minnie has the most adorable little face ever! :) Thanks for sharing. Sorry about Steel, I hope this problem is only temporary. He's still relatively young, hopefully he'll bounce back. My prayers will be with him!

Sweetflutterbys3 said...

Awww, Minnie is adorable! And you are such a wonderful animal advocate. Your horses are so blessed to have you. There is no way you could have known about Steel. I've had similar experiences with our animals and you just have to keep in mind that you are doing your best to take care of them. It's always a judgement call and you do what you can to make the best one.

Horses Are Our Lives said...

I love the last pic of your mini! I just took a mini out to my granddaughter this summer, and she was only 1 1/2 years old! The good ones are adorable!

It sounds like you take very good care of your horses. We don't know when they are sore unless we check. I've gone through Equine Massage, and now I know. And usually the horses are fine after chiro work and then continue with some massage. I have found with our game horses in the past, that they usually needed chiro work about once a year, then they are fine.

Sorry to read about your mother. My mom is going through dementia, and even though we know she is sick, it still is hard.

thanks for visiting my blog!
Brenda

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

It's wonderful that Doc gets to make some deserving children happy and is happy himself. I hope Steel will improve. I know you are doing all you can for him. And Minnie - she's just as cute as can be.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

Brenda, I'm sorry that your mom is sick. Dementia is hard. Hang in there.

Thanks everyone for your nice comments!

Claudia Condiff said...

Deb, funny thing with horses, dogs, cats or any animal, and children...Yup, kids usually act out, behave badly whatever you want to say..and we think they are just bad natured..until we find out whats at the core of the behavior. My 4 year olds have shown me there is usually an underlying reason for acting out, and like a horse, they don't know how to tell you, but when you figure it out, it usually breaks your heart, and makes you want to love them a little more...

Cynda said...

I do the same thing, measure everything against when my mama died. Doc and Steel are doing a great service for children and Minnie is adorable. Glad for the update on them all.

Rising Rainbow said...

My youngest child had cancer when she was ten. For a long time that was my frame of reference for everything too. I guess sometimes it still is. Sorry for your loss.

Greener Pastures--A City Girl Goes Country said...

Rising Rainbow, I'm so sorry that your child had cancer. I hope he or she is okay. Now that we lost my mom to leukemia, I really understand what what people go through.

Jeff said...

I have two ways of measuring time - before or after Hurricane Andrew (1992) and the death of my mother (2004). It depends on the event being considered, it seems. And I do have to chime in, Minnie is just so cute!! You certainly make every effort to ensure that your animals are healthy and happy!