|Irish, January 2020|
Yesterday there was an incident with Irish and it is hitting me hard. Spoiler alert: we're okay. Well mostly. You'll see as I tell my story.
I had the afternoon off yesterday and I was looking forward to some down time. I figured I'd walk Guinness, feed the horses their afternoon hay and then go have lunch. Followed by some yoga and reading.
In the winter I divide the hay feed into morning and afternoon. For the afternoon I usually put the hay on the ground up in the field so that they have to do some walking and not just stand at the buffet all day. I was careful about where I put it and made sure that there was a clear path without ice. Which Carmen took. However, Irish did not. He opted to go a different path that had ice under the snow.
I heard a noise and I looked to see his hind end out from under him and him scrambling to get some purchase. Carmen was looking at him with her eyes bugging out. He almost got it and then his feet slid again and he went down, hard.
Carmen ran around him and then spied me and came up running full tilt. I went and grabbed a halter and lead and walked out to Irish. I put the halter on and tried to help him get up but he couldn't do it. I was all alone but had my cell. I called Julia who didn't answer so I figured she was working. I shot her a quick text and then called Ed. He was at the shop getting tires replaced on the truck. I told him what happened and he said he'd be home as soon as he could. He went to the desk and said there was an emergency could they please hurry.
Irish tried again and with me putting some traction on the lead got up and I started to lead him carefully away from the ice. And then his feet went out and down he went again, really hard.
And this time he stayed down.
I knew I was going to need help so I called Tanya. She and her husband ran out of the house and came right away but she's not next door so there was time. I ran and grabbed some sand and shavings and put it all around Irish. He tried again but really couldn't do it. I told him to wait and that I was there. While all this was going on it started to snain (that rain/snow combo).
Once again I was holding the lead of a horse that could not get up and I was all alone. I could feel emotions coming out and, as that happened, Irish began to struggle. I stopped and took a number of deep breaths and pictured myself holding Irish in my hand (like a baby bird) and I sent that image to him. He settled back down. I noticed that his tongue was hanging out and his eyes were closing. Carmen hovered around and then went to eat the hay, watching us all the while.
|sorry for the graphic photo- I took it in case I need to |
contact the vet and she had any questions
(don't judge me)
Ed came zooming in the driveway and I told him to put Guinness in the house and grab some boots with traction (he was wearing sneakers). Then Tanya and Larry arrived. Both of them are awesome in a crisis. I gave Larry the lead to keep steady traction on which Tanya and I harrassed, encouraged and supported Irish to get up.
And he did get up and stood there shaking. I took the lead and slowly we creeped over to the a bare patch and got him into the stall. Carmen tried to stay super close. She was in the way and I shooed her but let her be beside him for moral support.
Irish was in his stall, wet and shaking. People we talking but it felt like I was in the bottom of a well. I could hear them but couldn't make out what they were saying.
just a minute I said and walked to the trunk outside Irish's stall and sat down. And then I began to cry. I felt relief, guilt and worry all at the same time. Ed gave me a hug and I got up to change his blanket and get the stall organized.
When I got back to the house I felt like a wrung out dish rag. I jacked the heat up to get warm and spent a couple hours on the couch just reading and trying to get the adrenaline out of my system. It doesn't take a genius that I was dealing with both what happened and the memories it revived.
That night I gave him and Carmen a good groom and double check on how he was. He felt good enough to snark at Carmen in the barn aisle.
Last night he really didn't eat and his mouth looks a little funny so I wonder if he bit his tongue. This morning he had clearly stall walked all night. I gave him some Gastric F/X and turned him out. He carefully followed the path to the hay and is behaving himself.
|can you tell his muzzle looks wonky? |
Carmen is doing okay with the current footing so I think that Irish, with his neurological issues and poor hind end just can't cope with winter footing. My plan is to get him through the winter and evaluate if I should be subjecting him to another winter. But like I like to say 'that's a problem for a different day'.
I am so fortunate to have a circle of people that I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I can call when I'm in trouble and they will drop everything and come. There was no way I was going to get Irish up on my own. It is so important that these are the people in your circle. As I age, I am consciously choosing these people to be the ones I call friends. I hope that they know that I would drop things for them if they need me.