The past 4 days have been trying. To say it has been an emotional rollercoaster might be an understatement. I cried at the clinic on Monday. From there I was in a bit of a numb haze waiting on further testing. By the time I went to get Annie from the clinic I was just happy she was coming home.
For those of you wondering how Annie is seriously already facing injections etc… Don’t think I haven’t blamed myself. What if I pushed her too hard too fast? Could this have been prevented? Is it my fault? But the thing is that ever since I tried to introduce the concept of not going around like a giraffe this has been a problem. It isn’t a problem that just developed now after a little over a year of being in more consistent work. Before we ruled out kissing spine surgery with the scintigraphy my vet lamented that he sees issues in the back and neck in OTTB’s frequently given when they are started.
There is no way to know if this was something she was born with that would have been an issue regardless but it is likely something that was agitated by having a rider on her back at a young age before I got her like most horses off the track. Anything you might be thinking – I am already beating myself up for so go ahead.
I know that there are probably a lot of people that don’t understand my obsession with this horse. She was $1,200… Surely it would be easier to “cut my loses” and start over. For me that isn’t an option. She is a really special horse. Sometimes I want to strangle her or myself but I seriously have never had more fun on a horse. She is usually game for any of my crazy requests. She is one of the sweetest creatures I have ever handled on the ground (even after getting oral Banamine for a week – sry Nanners!). I may end up seriously beside myself with frustration at times but only because I know what she could be capable of and I wish I could be a better rider for her.
On paper people see a dragon mare that is an aggressive cribber, has questionable feet, and can be a sass master under saddle… If I did that same analysis of myself I am not sure anyone would fight for me either. Annie and I are more similar than I realize. We both get incredibly frustrated when things don’t go as we anticipate. We can both have short fuses. She is admittedly the talented athlete of the two of us though. I have spent the better part of this past week trying to come up with a plan for her should this course of treatment not work. I didn’t relish the idea of having to retire a 5 year old for various reasons…
Then on our way home from the clinic last night Annie started acting colicky. At first I thought she was just agitated about the trailer ride in the heat… But then she started violently throwing herself against the butt/breast bars and divider. From there she started kicking at her belly and pawing. She acted multiple times like she was going to go down in the trailer.
To say that I panicked is an understatement. I called the vet who said to continue to the farm as that was closer and another hour in the trailer wasn’t going to improve the situation. I practically held my breath the rest of the way home. When I got to the farm and took her off the trailer she was breathing heavily and drenched in sweat. I gave her an injection of banamine – spent the next 5 minutes praying there wasn’t air in the syringe (that I checked about 5 times), hosed her off to help her cool down, and then we hand walked. Within 20 minutes she was looking much better and I could finally breathe. I ended up staying at the farm for a couple of hours to make sure she was alright and then my awesome BO’s checked her in the middle of the night.
We got lucky. It was all rather dramatic but ended up totally fine. That isn’t always the case though. As horse owners we have to be prepared to make those hard decisions quickly. I am grateful that I didn’t have to. There isn’t a lot of rhyme or reason to this post except to say hug your horses. There have been all sorts of sadness in blog land lately with our equine friends. Hug them while you can. Hopefully I can remember how devastated I felt thinking about a life without Annie the next time we are struggling with a concept or I am upset by a vet bill.