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I Like the Roller Coasters at the Theme Park Better (pic heavy)

02 Apr

This weekend was definitely a roller coaster for me.  It started off really great; I got up very early Saturday morning and loaded the horses up for a trail ride.  We met some friends for breakfast and took off to this absolutely beautiful trail right off the Brazos River.

 

It was just a weird morning to start with.  One of our friends horses broke lose while saddling and ran out in the middle of the highway, while trying to catch him, my horse decided to start tossing her head until she eventually managed to toss her hackamore (it’s a type of bridle that doesn’t use a bit, for those of you who don’t know anything about horses) up over her head, somehow breaking the throat latch (which is designed specifically to keep this from happening).  So here I was with absolutely no way to control my horse and she was on a mission to get this trail ride started.  My step dad finally heard my pleas for help and managed to catch up with me and fashion a makeshift throat latch and I once again had control.  We had a few more issues on the trail, caused mainly by my mare who decided that being on the trail with three geldings was the perfect time to come into season, geldings may not be able to do anything but when a pretty mare is winking at them, they still go crazy!

 

I was so excited about this trail from the beginning.  It was lined with bluebonnets and wildflowers, the trees hung over the trail, there were hills in the backdrop, and you could hear the Brazos just on the other side of the tree line.  It was an absolutely beautiful ride.

My step dad's horse, Tip, waiting for us to get the show on the road. He's a very comical horse.

Not a bad trail head

 

Love riding through trees like this

 

Two things can be said for all the rain we've had recently: Everything is green, and the mosquitos are the size of moving trucks!

 

Right after this railroad bridge is where we had to turn around and go back

 

All in all, great ride!

 

Sadly, it got cut short because as we got about a quarter of the way in we found that all of the recent rain had caused the river to rise just enough to cover the trail.  The ground leading up to the water was just too boggy for us to risk getting a horse stuck so we turned around.  It was sort of bittersweet for me.  I was happy that I got to go for a couple hour ride, but just disappointed that we didn’t get to finish it out.  But there’s always next time!

Nothing says "Thank goodness that ride is over!" like a good roll in the dirt!

 

I returned home to find that my demon dog, Winston, was very sick.  He had been acting very puny the night before and I actually had my mom take him to the vet that morning since I was on the trail.  The vet looked him over, gave him some fluids and medication and sent him home.

This is not the face of a happy, healthy, Winston

 

The fluids and meds must have helped him out a little because he seemed to bounce back some during the day Saturday however, when I woke up yesterday morning he was feeling bad again, this time the vomiting from the previous day was coupled with issues coming out the other end.

 

After church, I brought him to my parents’ house so I could keep a close eye on him.   This is where he seemed to get sicker and sicker until finally I resolved that he had to go to the Animal ER.  I was terrified that he had Parvo even though he is current on his vaccinations against it and Parvo typically attacks puppies and dogs under a year old.  Since Winston is 19 months old, it would seem unlikely.

 

The parvovirus is a nasty little critter and I’m actually pretty familiar with it.  We had a puppy die from it when I was young and after that I became very interested in it began researching everything that I could about it.  I actually used this gained knowledge in later years to write a thesis for my animal science major.

 

Because I know how nasty Parvo is, and because I know how horribly rough the treatment is on a dog, and the fact that even with treatment they rarely survive, I had told myself that if Parvo was the culprit, I would have Winston humanely euthanized.  I just couldn’t put him through that torture.

 

The vet agreed with me that Parvo seemed highly unlikely in a vaccinated dog his age and determined that he had a disease known as Hemorrhagic Gastroenteritis, or GTE.  This disease mimics the symptoms of Parvo, bloody vomiting and diarrhea, lethargy, and dehydration.  The vet seemed fairly optimistic that it was treatable with IV fluids and hospitalization.  At this point, I’m pretty sure I heard a scream come from inside my purse; I later realized that this was the sound of my checkbook having a heart attack.

 

I left my little demon with the vet last night, called twice to check up on him and was told both times that he was doing great.  I went to sleep last night feeling better about things and knowing that when we picked him up this morning he would be fine however, I just heard from my parents after they picked him up from the vet and they were on their way to my normal vet because it seems he took a turn for the worse last night.  I went ahead and came to work this morning because I was convinced that he would be okay and my step dad was going to be home all day to keep an eye on him.

 

Now my mind keeps going back to my original fears.  What if it really IS Parvo and the emergency vet just didn’t catch it?  I’m sitting here waiting for them to call me back and let me know what is going on, I feel helpless.

 

 

On a happier note, we added a new member to the horse family yesterday!

 

I was downright embarrassed to take pictures of her like this, rest assured, she won't look this bad for long

 

My mom had pretty much sworn off horses after she caught the raw end of “pecking order” debate between two mares which resulted in a kick to the head, a week and a half in the hospital, a shattered jaw, and a few broken ribs.  She wanted nothing to do with them and the only horse I could even get her to pet was my Cheyenne.

 

I can’t completely blame her for not being crazy about horses after what she went through but we have been trying to get her back in the saddle for some time now.  Some friends of ours, the same ones we went with this weekend, had this mare that was dead broke and would have been perfect for mom.  Sadly, we didn’t know that they were selling her until they had already sold her to someone else we knew.

 

As fate would have it, the original owners of the mare got wind that the people they sold her too were not caring for her properly and they worked it out to where they were willing to sale her to us.  We went to get her yesterday and were disgusted by what we saw.

I'm shocked to see her this close to a horse

 

First of all, you can tell that she definitely needs some weight put on.  This could be because when asked what they were feeding her, the husband answered, “half a scoop of senior feed a day.”  That’s just not enough to keep a horse healthy, this  is a 1000 pound animal and you are feeding her 1.5 pounds of food a day?  I’m pretty most people eat that much or more a day themselves.  To top it off, she had absolutely no forage made available to her.

 

Secondly, she has a nasty gash on her leg that obviously is about a week old, even though the guy tried to tell us that it “didn’t look like that last night”.  I didn’t get any pictures of that because we immediately medicated and bandaged it as soon as we got home.  I don’t think it’s a horrible wound, it does have her lame for the moment now and my step dad is on his way to the vet with her now to have them check it out.

 

I just don’t understand how people can do something as senseless as harm an innocent animal.  For those of you that don’t have the pleasure of owning or being around horses, the bond you get with them is completely different from any other “pet”.  They have very unique personalities and each one has something special about them.  However, just like dogs, they constantly aim to please and once you have earned their respect, they will be loyal to you till the end.  They truly are amazing creatures.

 

I’m excited to get her up and running and hopefully get mom back in the saddle but even if that never happens, rest assured this old girl will retire fat and happy out in our pasture.

Meeting the Crew

Tip was actually mom's horse before the accident. I find it funny that they are almost identical in color

 

Cheyenne wanted nothing to do with her. This is as close as she would get.

 

This is the alpha mare. She's obviously not pleased about the new arrival

 

Stetson did a lot better than I thought he would. I think the geldings will be fine, it's the two other mares I'm worried about. Go figure!

 

They are so cute together, they look like a matching pair

Love this one!

 

 
9 Comments

Posted by on April 2, 2012 in 4 leggers, Randomness, Rants

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

9 responses to “I Like the Roller Coasters at the Theme Park Better (pic heavy)

  1. crubin

    April 2, 2012 at 10:59

    Thanks for exposing me to a world more foreign to me than some distant countries. Beautiful photos, too!

     
    • sammerson

      April 2, 2012 at 11:19

      Thanks. I always wanted to be in the horse world growing up and a few years ago when my mom started dating my (now) step dad he came with horses. It’s simply amazing to experience nature horseback, everyone should give it a shot!

       
  2. Mia

    April 2, 2012 at 11:50

    Wow Sam. I’ve seen these on FB from time to time but thought it was spam that they “put” on our profiles. I hope Winston gets better and the new edition gets fat and happy.

     
    • sammerson

      April 2, 2012 at 13:12

      Haha, no, it’s me! This is what I do at work all day! I’m such a productive employee!

       
  3. RFL

    April 2, 2012 at 13:30

    I love all your pictures, especially the trail ride ones. Hope the doggie gets better soon, and people who neglect horses are the worst kinds of people in my book. Very moving post in so many different ways!

     
    • sammerson

      April 2, 2012 at 13:41

      Glad you enjoyed it. We are still up in the air with the pup. I had the vet test him for parvo again, just to put my mind at ease and he came up negative. They have him on another IV and a different kind of medication and are observing him. Per the vet this is a “very nasty stomach virus”. We are not out of the woods yet but I think he’s gonna be okay. My bank account on the other hand….I have NO clue how I’m going to pay for all of this!

       
  4. stenfalk

    April 3, 2012 at 01:30

    Keeping my fingers crossed for the dog…. and for you and I hope you find a way to pay for it… Know that feeling ;)

    Congrats on the new horse, and yeah, she looks almost as horrible as the one I just bought. Mine had been fed barley and nothing else (but “she didn’t want to eat it, so she wasn’t hungry”… Oh my… really?) … and she had a swollen leg… I asked the owner how long that had been swollen and “it was not there yesterday”…. right… sometimes you just got to choose to pick up the animal and walk away with it and take it from there ;)
    I hope the other horses will be nice to your old girl, she looks like she needs it ;)

     
    • sammerson

      April 3, 2012 at 06:38

      When we first went to pick her up we almost didn’t take her because we were afraid that the cut was into the tendon and she would be lame for the rest of her life but then we decided that it didn’t matter, we had to get her out of that situation regardless, if she just had to be lame and retire out in the pasture, it would be better than anything she had currently.

      The vet took a look at it yesterday and said it looked a whole lot worse than it really was and she should be good as new in 2-3 weeks which is fine, we are really in no hurry to get her up and going, just glad she has a new start!

      We aren’t even trying to put her with the others until she is completely healed up in the event that she needs to defend herself or whatever may happen, for now, they are just getting to know each other over the fence which will hopefully make an easy transition!

       
      • stenfalk

        April 3, 2012 at 08:48

        fingers crossed then and good luck with her :)

         

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