Wednesday, July 20, 2011

For The Love Of A Horse---Changes....

My dear sweet Lass died Saturday.  (I have pictures on the camera but not on this computer so I will post them once things settle..there are some on older posts here) She just laid down and died.

Ever hear the expression, "healthy as a horse"?  Well, she wasn't that horse.  She looked great (partly that was her breed and her line.  But she was line bred.... as line bred as she could be.  We can see today what that does to different breeds of dogs. She was sick from the time she was a foal.  We kept her alive, and maybe it was so she could do the same for me, at some point.

But Lass was more then a horse.  She came to me just before I contracted Lyme disease.  (which is a whole other story in itself, including misdiagnosis for almost 12 years)

She saw me through some devastating changes in life.  She saw me through severe illness, the loss of my husband, the loss of both my parents and my B-I-L's accident.  She was my best friend, my confidant.  BUT we couldn't ride her.  So she was becoming an expensive pet.  And because of her many, many, health problems (actually had we not bought her, she probably would have died a long long time ago) it was hard to leave her with anyone, and sometimes I was even worried about leaving her in my son's care.  And I LONGED, so many times, to be able to ride her.  I miss riding.  (we did ride her when she was younger, so at least I have that)

Another thing I was constantly worrying about was, if we did have to move, how would I juggle moving her, having everything set up for her, including vet care etc, before we got there, and timed it to have her there the same time as we would arrive, etc etc..which might have included boarding her before final arrangements.  She was not good with change..and any little upset went right to her feet. 

Now normally all these things would not be a problem, for us as humans, or for the horses, but her chronic health problems were such, that a move could possibly kill her, or cause a devastating blow to her health.  And that would most likely happen as soon as we arrived in the new place, so everything had to be ready "just in case"...And that isn't even taking vaccinations into account.  She has not been vaccinated in a few years because every time she was, she foundered (a painful foot disease)  Since she wasn't being ridden with other horses, or transported to riding areas or shows, we opted to not vaccinate her.  She even, in her life, occasionally appeared to be having tiny seizures, when faced with a stressful situation (which by normal standards would not have been stressful!) that were over in a flash.   Moving and having her transported would mean she would need vaccinations.  All these things weighted heavy on my mind almost all the time.

I am considering another horse at some point, but the corral needs some repair and some of the footing in it by the stall needs some work.   I must be crazy, but I miss the work,  I walk outside in the mornings and stand there wondering what I am supposed to do now.  There is nothing more relaxing then starting the day cleaning a stall...

I have to remind myself to check on the chickens through the day, because I always did that when I went to check on Lass.  I have not even been out to the stall since last Saturday.  I have not gone into the back yard, past the middle of the garden..I can't yet. 

I think about people (relationships) I will not have any more.  I won't be seeing the vet if I don't have a horse.  I won't be seeing the hay man...I still need chicken feed, but it comes from a different place, and the farrier and his wife..who also saw me through my husbands loss.  (he lives in Newburg, so it is a trip for him, every 5 weeks, and he told me that he and his wife had considered turning his customers over to another farrier, except for me and Lass, and another customer out on the Island, who has a cottage they stay in when they visit.)  So those people I will not see again unless I get another horse, right away, but even then the farrier may not come down here...he was attached to this girl too.  So it is a loss of my friend Lass, and a loss of a life style.  Having a horse is a life style. 

It is as if my whole life is starting over in a different direction...And not just because of Lass.  So many changes (and losses) have been happening especially over this past year or year and a half or so, for me.  So much of the "old life" has fallen away, some easily, some not so easily, and some have been torn away..but I have to think maybe it is for a reason.   I know I will again have another horse (or even two) but it may not be here.  And if it isn't here, it may take a while..meanwhile...time marches on, and we get older as we breath!!  So we have to see how it all happens..go with the flow I say...

The way she died, lead us to believe she had other things going on.  I believe she may have had some sort of female cancer, which would account for her drastic mood swings, Cushings symptoms, that mysteriously disappeared in the last year and a half of her life, and her constant foot problems.  On the other hand, she did not appear to be losing weight (but that could have been her breed too) and she "looked" in good condition..shiny, dappled, smooth....the past two weeks, however, she was tormented with flies like I never saw before in her 14 years...I told my sister I think she was "walking dead"...already.

And I know she stayed alive through the night to say goodbye.  She had been improving (for what we were treating her for) and the vet and I had great hopes for her.  She came over to the fence after calling to me, in the morning.  I gave her some wet hay to nibble on, (she refused oat meal which is a bad sign) I cleaned off her feet, and she went and stood by her stall.  After I left her she went and laid down on the dry cool dirt in front of her stall.  I stepped outside to make sure she was ok, and she popped up and called  to me, and got up.  I went to her, she moved to the side of the stall, but refused more hay.  I petted her and talked to her and sprayed her and rubbed some fly spray on her face with my hands, and told her I would be back in a little while, and walked back to the house.  When I left she went back to the front of the stall, laid down, and didn't move.  I went outside to call her, and she didn't answer.  Not even her ears moved.  I had a feeling.  And I was correct.  She was already crying out, no movement, she was just gone.

I have much to process.  Life is about change (they say, and so we know from experience). If nothing else, Life is dynamic...

See you later,

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Beautiful Lass...

Just a brief note to let everyone know, my beautiful Lass passed away Satrday mornng.

It is a mystery, a shock, even to the vet (she was improving).  She just laid down and died, right after we talked in the morning.

I am still trying to process this, and figure out what to do with my time now...and how to replace some of the relationships with people I won't be seeing any more.

Will talk later,


Friday, July 15, 2011

Stll Here!!

Just a quick note to let anyone who might stop by I am still here...

This has been the week know.

My son's car died, and he was using mine when he wasn't getitng a ride to work from friends...thats ok..we have dealt with that before...

Another thing we have dealt with before, but not in about ..oh, 11 years or severe colic. (that's in the horse, we're not talking babies here!)

Our horse has a metabolic condition.  She does colic if the hay is just not "right"..She is very sensitive.  But after a serious bout of severe colic when she was 3, she has suffered occasional gas colics (you know that hurts..multiply but a horse has about 100 feet of that hurts!) but nothing serious..until now.

She is 14 now, which in horse year, and especially for her breed (an old style Morgan) they can reach 35-40 years! So she is relatively young..although with her problems, she might not make it that long...

BUT she is dealing with an impaction right now.  Has not passed manure for almost 4 days!!  The vet is making daily visits to give her, I guess what would be comparable to an enema, only the tub goes down through the nose to "irrigate" the intestines from the front back. 

The good news is she IS improving, and the vet said it is not a rock solid impaction.  The bad news is, there goes my computer for now!

I am hoping since I have the car today (which over heated yesterday) I can get out to go cat food shopping!!  But I can't stay away too long, because I have watch her to make sure she doesn't thrash when experiencing intestinal cramping, and I can not go anywhere until I hear from the vet...

I will keep you posted....

See you later,

Friday, July 8, 2011

Oh My Goodness! It's Been So Long!

 I haven't written in so long!  I am frustrated.  I want my computer back!  I have a little Power Shot camera full of pictures!

I think I am going to have to spring for a laptop, but that will still take a few weeks to do.  We have a cesspool line clog right now, and are trying to unclog it without having to call someone..I think it is isn't a solid clog (thank goodness) but it will take time.  And the cost of additives.

The garden is taking up most of the time.  I tend to plant very closely (Intensive Gardening to say the least!) and when it is hot and steamy it becomes like a jungle!   And of course when you get to what you think is "the end" you have to turn around and start all over again!   I am always thinking and planning for new containers to plant things in, because I am running out of room.  And I think this fall I will plan on making some mini ponds, for the patio, if not late this summer, for next year... 

Besides the favorites I try to grow every year, I try to grow one new thing I never grew before.  So the list of "favorites" tends to grow!  Which means I run out of room eventually!   My grandfather would grow one thing he wanted to try and I would grow something else..we always traded surplus harvests..that was nice.  One year I grew a bed of wheat.  Just to watch it wave in the breeze in it's golden goodness.......

Of course I didn't get much out of it, but I did get enough grains and flour for several loaves of bread.  And it was fun.  Another time I grew mustard..and spent the next 3 years trying to get it out of the garden!  The dirt here is not very good and it is hard to keep fertile..even with mulches, organic fertilizers, and composted manures.  So it has been a challenge to say the least.  

Right now, I am doing battle with a cute little Chipmunk, or maybe it's a whole colony!  And I would like to ring his ( their) neck!  I had to bring all my fall seedlings inside because he keeps digging them out of the pots.  If I end up with any fall veg it will be a miracle!

Another hot steamy and potentially stormy day in Southern NY ..but I think after this we will get a break from humidity and it should be a nice weekend..

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

See ya later,