Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A First-Horse Educational Experience

Almost every Saturday for the past couple (three?) years, my dad and I have gone horseback riding together. We ride out in Luther, OK. One of my dad’s colleagues lives out there and owns 3 horses. And I own one, which I bought from him, and which still lives at his house. One Saturday morning about two weeks ago we went out to catch the horses to go for a ride.  But once we got back to the barn, the horse my dad usually rides (Buddy) was breathing really hard. More specifically, his breaths were really shallow and fast. He was his normal ornery self (trying to bite everyone and trying to hold the knot of his lead rope in his teeth) but apparently about a week before that he had refused his feed. Other than that, though, he had acted fine even just the day before.
So Buddy’s owner called the vet who came out to check on Buddy and diagnosed him with pneumonia. (She ran some bloodwork, too…It was just plain old bacterial pneumonia.) She told us to watch the other three horses closely because they could catch it from him and left some antibiotic shots to give Buddy.

And then yesterday I had the vet come out to see my horse, Stormy. She had started coughing a bit; and I had noticed the last couple times I rode her that she had snot dripping out of her nose after.  It looked exactly like the horse in this article

She didn’t have a temperature and the vet couldn’t get her to cough (she coughed before the vet got there of course.) However her respiratory rate was faster than it should be, especially considering she had been standing tied for over 30 minutes. Luckily I caught Stormy’s illness way earlier than Buddy’s was caught, and she’s getting less strong antibiotics and should be well sooner.   

About 6 years ago I crunched some numbers and realized I had enough to buy a horse, and pay to board it somewhere AND feed it AND  get it’s shots and hooves done and all.  I resisted the urge at that time to buy a horse, because that would leave me with almost $0 left in each paycheck.  It was hard. It got harder as horses got cheaper and cheaper. But THIS is why I waited--these un-expected horse-sized vet bills! Now she just needs to not have anything else go wrong for a while. 

Don't ever dare Stormy to stick her tongue to a frozen flag pole 'cus she would totally do it


Helen P. said...

I'm so jealous! I'd love to go horseback riding more often, but don't quite have the extra funds yet.

Morianart said...

Unfortunately it is a pastime that takes more $ than most. But I'm *so* lucky to have this friend now who's house I can keep my horse at. I've always been jealous of the people that got to grow up on a farm with horses and all kinds of other animals!