Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Never Trust a Horse With Hind Legs

Ponykins Side View
There's Princess!!

Notice her front left? Sigh.... if it's not one thing it's another. Luckily, her medical chart is on her stall, so I was able to NOT drive the Vet crazy and just read it. The file said that she was swollen on Monday, but no lameness at the walk/trot. It said her left hind started out sound, but after 10 minutes of walk/trot she was lame (3/5 on what ever magical scale they use.) That made me sad, but it's only 8 months after her suspensory tear. I'm hoping that it heals.

Then I read the next part, "No neurological signs" I did a little skip and a jump. Yay!! I've been doing a lot more reading on EPM, and got a really interesting e-mail from one of my readers. It also mentioned that horses who were treated for EPM (even if "cured") should never be given a 4 way vaccine. That the body is recovering from EPM and the neurological symptoms can show up again stronger. Something like that, but regardless she's doing so SO much better!!

While I was there the caretaker came out. I introduced myself as Denali's owner and she went on and on about how much she loved Denali and how she was SO, SO sad that we were going to put her down and she didn't understand why.
Really.... Why??

Yes, she's looking great, she's sound doing better. I'm sorry you weren't there when my horse lost control over all four legs and took a nose dive into the arena footing. I'm sorry that you weren't there when we hand walked her and she seemingly had no control over her whole body. I'm sorry that you stayed up at night because you were so upset.

How do you think my husband and I felt?? Do you think that we WANTED to put Denali down? Do you think I wanted to lose sleep (and 12 pounds, thanks Denali) for weeks because I knew something was wrong? No, never. We worried, we cried, we were sick. Then we were sick when she was "fine" and the only reason she was still alive was because it snowed.

She made me feel really bad. My trainer came out with me and made me feel better. She saw Denali fall, she saw her wobble around, but still. I'm a good horse owner and she made me feel that we thought Denali was just a machine that we get rid of when she can't "perform." Oh well. I'm over it.

We groomed Denali up in the arena. I scrubbed the gunk from her face (thanks Uncle Jimmy's) and started to groom her up. I asked my trainer to old the lead rope because I didn't want to get kicked. Then she gave me the best advice ever, "I never trust a horse with hind legs." I don't know why I laughed so hard, but I did.

I brought Denali and her new "friends" a 25 pound bag of carrots. We were totally out of treats (we fed everything to her before Thanksgiving because we thought we were losing her.) I sat the bag outside the arena, fed Denali a carrot, and then walked over to say hi to the horse with the broken neck. Denali tried to lift the entire 25 pound bag of carrots up with her teeth then she noticed that I was petting another horse. SO NOT OKAY!! It was hilarious! My mare threw a FIT! She came flying over to where I was standing and threw her head into my arms. Ha, affectionate? No, but she defiantly had only child syndrome and GOD forbid if I show any other horse attention.

I hope to get out to see her on Saturday again. It took me 2 hours to get to the barn, and an 1.5 hours home. That's fine, I am just glad I still have my girl.


Carol said...

So glad to read these posts. What a cliff hanger with a happy ending (I'm not considering any other outcome:) ).

Leah Fry said...

I'm so glad she's doing better, and hope she continues to improve.

Mare said...

I hate when people are like that. I can almost understand when non-horse people make comments about "how they just don't understand why so-and-so looks a certain way or acts a certain way or what ever," but I think horse-people need to know better than to make comments like that. Besides the fact that us horse people are very sensitive about comments made about our four-legged babies, the carekeeper should have been trying to make you feel better about the situation, not going on and on about how "she doesn't understand why youw ere going to put Denali down" Maybe if she would have had to go through what you and your husband had to go through, she would "understand." Those are the times when I just pretend people don't exist...

WishIHadAHorsey said...

Haha! Only child syndrome. She is so funny.

As for the caretaker, she/he was tactless asking that question. Without knowing your situation, that should have NEVER been said because you are a great horse owner and have done more for her than many I know of.

Love the title of this post ;)

Mrs Mom said...

Stupid people. Don't know any better until they bother to find out ALL the information... and feel free to blast you with why you are wrong.... grrrr.

Next time you go out, slip Denali a carrot from all of us here! ;)

Sydney_bitless said...

Thats so great shes doing better! What a good thing. Hopefully shes on the road to recovery. I wonder though why the vet (previous one?) wouldn't know not to vaccinate a horse with EPM? Or at least be very wary of doing that.

achieve1dream said...

Don't let that caretaker make you feel bad. She doesn't know what you and D went through. She doesn't know how bad D got. Instead think of that woman's opinion as meaning that D looks so good now that there's no way anyone would put her down. :) That's a lot of improvement. I'm glad it was just the vaccinations and that you figured it all out and that it snowed!!! Just means you're meant to keep this awesome mare. :) I'm glad you got to spend time with her. Oh and the carrot thing and hissy fit is soooo cute! Spoiled princess. :D

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Hooorah for this post! Also, that is so funny what your trainer said and very true :)

You know, that person who asked "Why?" is dumb. Just ignore. Trust me, I've had my fair share (and still do) and people making their UNWANTED comments of my horse care. All you can do is ignore and know/trust you are doing everything you can for her. F the rest of them. :)
12 lbs! That is crazy..stress does that, but it's a holiday perk-lol!

Marissa said...

Ha! Love the title of this post. Totally agree that the caretaker was just being completely tactless. One should never make assumptions about the decisions of another horse owner. As you know we all stand by and support your decisions because we've had the opportunity to hear the full story. He/she hadn't heard everything, and therefore should really have kept his/her trap shut.

Denali is too funny about needing your undivided attention. I worry about the only child syndrome with my own horse... he has minor temper tantrums whenever I talk to another horse/dog/cat/person. What is he going to think when his sister comes home from FL to live with us? Should be an interesting adjustment....

Slbaldwin said...

I am so happy to hear of Denali's recovery! It really makes my day to hear about her improvements.

As for the caretaker, yes it was not the appropriate question but also she might not have been aware what was going on recently. I'm not sure how long she has been there so I'm just assuming, but we all know what assuming does ^.^ keep up the great work!

Parelli Central said...

I'm continuing to send positive energy to you and Denali. I am so happy for you that she is doing better... What an emotional roller caster you were on!

Petra Christensen
Parelli 2Star Junior Instructor
Parelli Central

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh my gosh! The best advice ever. Wish I would have heard that one before my mare kicked me in the face a couple months ago. lol!

I'm glad Denali is so improved. It's great when they actually care if you're around or not and if you are giving another horse attention. :)


allhorsestuff said...

I'm so happy that I'm having a hard time keeping up with your means you have so much good news!

Oh Denali, she is so funny about you giving the other poor horse you're attention!
That's alot of carrots, woo!

The care talker has the "iceburg" syndrome...there is only so much showing, and the rest is not seen...but definately there. Sorry you had to endure any stress over her lack of truly understanding the depth of what you'd been through.

Happy for you and she being together!