Monday, December 27, 2010

The Horse Did Not Make It

I just checked my cell phone voice mail -- I have had my cell turned off all weekend. There was a message from Dolly. She went out to check on the horse at 6 a.m., and he had passed on.

I am just sick over this. That poor did NOT have to be this way....

Horse Rescue, of Sorts

Today (well, yesterday technically, since I am writing this after midnight) was an unbelievable day.

We woke to our answering machine. It was our friend and fellow equestrian, Dolly, in a panic "I am taking care of D and K's horses while they are out of town. I got here this morning to feed them, and one of them is down. I can't get him up! He won't eat, and he is laying in the snow and shaking!"

We immediately got up, called her back, went out and threw down some hay for our horses and goats. I threw some Banamine, a syringe and some mineral oil in a bag, grabbed the two thick blankets we use for our horses, and we took off.

When we got there, Patty (another neighbor and friend) was there. The poor horse was laying out in the pasture, and he was just shaking. Dolly and Patty had put blankets on him, but he was very, very cold. I immediately put a dose of Banamine in his mouth, and noticed his gums and tongue were a grey-ish color -- not good.

The horse has a history of founder. So was it founder, or was it colic, or something else??? A call was placed to the horse's owner who said they would be home the next day, do not call the Vet!!

After a few minutes, John started trying to get him up. The Banamine had kicked in, so with some pulling and pushing, we got him up. We finally got him into his stall, and started working on him. Another friend and fellow equestrian, Dee, showed up. Patty's husband Greg also came over. Dolly's husband Tom came as soon as he got off work. We had a team of people on this horse. He had absolutely no body heat of his own. We were all rubbing him and brushing him, giving him syring after syring of mineral oil. We found a torpedo heater that we brought to the stall, we found a tarp to close off the stall. we had blankets on him. We listened to his gut and heard some slight gurgling sounds, but not a lot of activity there.

Once we got him warmed up, we started walking him. He did release a little gas, and he did poop a little (not much -- not enough to make us feel better about the situation). We brought out a heated bucket, and he drank a little.

Dolly and Tom wanted to be able to keep a close eye on him, so we took him and his buddy down to their place. They have a very nice indoor faciltiy, with a round pen. We put the two horses in there, and took turns walking the sick one, continued to give him syringe afte syringe of mineral oil. He did keep drinking water, but never really dumped a good load -- just a little bit at a time.

The last update we got late tonight was that he did make a dump, but does not yet seem normal. I am very worried abut this horse. I am afraid he will not make it....I am really scared for this horse. I cannot sleep.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Divna Had A Bad Week

About 2 weeks ago I broke a mirror. Now I am not really superstitious, but being in real estate these days makes you a little shakey. You start to get nervous about everything.

About two or three days after I broke the mirror, I got a call at work from John...I could tell by his voice something was wrong.....

"Something is wrong with Divna," he says. "She did not eat this morning, and she just laid down, flat out."

I have to back up a bit at this point. We usually leave our barn open -- goats and horses go in and out as they see fit. But in the winter when the temperatures get below 15 degrees F, we put the goats and horse in and close up the barn doors. We put Divna (horse) with Marco (goat) and Zora (horse)with Misho (goat).

Winter arrived early here in Northwest Indiana, and we have been closing the animals up in the barn since early in December. One night last week, we must have forgotten to close one of the stall doors completely -- the stall door that leads into the tack area where we also store the food for the animals. John went out the next morning to find Divna and Marco feasting on the cracked corn we give the chickens.

After a call to the vet, and remembering the cracked corn incident, it was of course determined to be colic. Thank heavens for our friend, neighbor and fellow equestrian, Terri. She is also a Vet Technician and had some Banamine. After a dose of that and some mineral oil, she thankfully got past it.

Then, on Saturday I was out in the barn for the morning feeding. While I was tethering the goats, I heard this very strange was sort of a cross between a fishing line being cast and a circular saw starting up. I just could not figure out what it was...then I heard hoofbeats -- lots of loud hoofbeats. I ran out into the pasture to see Divna running with the wire from the fence around her neck, and Zora frantically stepping nearby with it around her front legs!

I couldn't believe my eyes!i! I was a bit panicked....but then realized that I had to get control of this situation, FAST.....

As calmly as I could, I approached Divna speaking quietly and in what I hoped would be a comforting tone. I was able to lift the wire over her head -- with that accomplished, Zora was a bit easier to deal with. I was able to get her to back up as I slipped the wire under her hooves as she stepped up. The danger was not yet over, however. The wire was still laying all out in the pasture, and Divna was frantically running around still very freaked out. I was afraid she was going to run into the wire laying out there and get tangled up again. I was trying to gather up the loose wire before she ended up in it again. Very tense, very scary. But THANK GOD it all worked out. I was very shaken after it was all over.....

Needless to say we went to the Tractor Supply Store and bought some new fencing that day. We repaired the old wire as best we could, and put everyone in the barn until we could get rid of that problem fencing.

Our plans for Sunday was to install the new fencing. As it turns out, that was the day that we had our first real blizzard of the winter season...

Here is the offending wire.

That blizzard did not stop us. We got that fencing up. These pictures don't do the snowstorm justice -- it was really coming down.

Here are a couple of photos of the new fencing.

Poor Divna, she really did have a bad week!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Taking Advantage of the Relatives at Thanksgiving

I can't believe it has been a month since I have posted on my blog....actually, I have only read a couple of blogs in the last month. What happens to the time? Well, here I am, back from hiatus with a couple of stories.

We hosted Thanksgiving again this year. I guess it is becoming a tradition for us to have Thanksgiving now that John's mother is getting older and had her hip replacement. We had John's brother and his wife (Alex and Cindy) and her parents (Chuck and Lois) from Lafayette, and this year my brother and his wife (Terry and Leslie) and my nephew (Nigel) were here from Wisconsin. It was great to have everyone here....Terry, Leslie and Nigel were here from Wednesday to Saturday, and we just had non-stop fun with them. We had a small party on Friday after Thanksgiving, and it was just a really nice way to kick off the Holiday Season 2010. The above photo is all of us on Wednesday evening....that's me, Nigel, Leslie, and Terry's arms....

These are pictures from the get-together with friends on Friday evening.... These 2 nice looking young people from the right in this photo used to help us with hay when they were youngsters growing up in Otis.

But, I have a confession to make....we did sort of take advantage of the relatives. Here is a picture from Friday morning of me with my brother Terry....

You see, we had not yet gotten our supply of hay to get us thru the winter. The time just slipped by, and here it was November again and we did not have our hay loft filled. (The same thing happened to us a couple of years ago, and I swore I would nver let November arrive again without our hay loft being full.)

So, unknown to Terry, Leslie and Nigel, we arranged to have our hay delivery on Friday -- the day after Thanksgiving!! We thought, "well, we have people herre to help, so why not have it delivered when we have extrra folks around?" So that is what we did. Except, we did not tell them about it until after they arrived and had a couple of cocktails. Really sneaky and underhanded, I know. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right??

They were really good about it, and it turned out to be fun. Terry has some major back problems, and just had his 3rd surgery in September, so he was assigned the job of "water boy" -- literally...he brought us all water as we were working. Luckily the weather cooperated -- not too cold, and we actually enjoyed it. And John and I were so grateful to them for helping us with this HUGE task!!