The opinions expressed in previous entries may or may not express the current opinion of the author.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Another First


Yes, that's right. In my 25 years, all told, of horse ownership, I have never yet had a case of colic. Until Miss Bridget decided to break my streak.

I put her dinner out, and she came over and sat down beside it. This - I said to myself - cannot be a good sign. I went in, and she rubbed her head on me, and waggled her neck from side to side, and then rolled, but didn't get up.

That's it. I'm getting the halter. I put it on, make her get up, and call the vet. I describe her symptoms, which include the classic looking-back-at-the-belly. There follows 40 minutes of walking her around in the rain while waiting for the vet to arrive. (Yay! Finally, rain!) Thankfully she passes normal-looking manure a couple of times.

The other horses are getting progressively more and more disturbed, so I take Bridget out the gate, whereupon pandemonium ensues back in the pasture. Chloe is prancing around in passage, Rose is stomping and leaping and bucking and kicking, and George is galloping flat out all over the place - all unprecedented behaviors. What the heck? Is it the rain? Are they weirded out by my anxious  behavior? Whatever it is, it's plumb loco.

The vet arrives. Lest I think that I have this lovely Peaceful New Way of Being With Horses down pat, let me be reminded that I DO NOT! Bridget does not want her banamine shot. She kicks at the vet. The vet gets tough. She gets her shot. I am apologizing to the vet, the vet is apologizing to me, we're both apologizing to Bridget. Bridget is not apologizing to us, but is very forgiving and accepts horse treats from the dear vet, who spends ages before he leaves, sweet-talking Bridget and trying to make amends.

It is only "gas colic." Bridget is not the world's most stoic horse. She is a sensitive child and obviously feels things more than some other horses do. She is allowed to have more dinner, mixed with water. The other horses come back to planet Earth. omg.


  1. How frightening. Thankfully it was not too serious in the end, but a very scary experience. The others reacted quite dramatically too.

  2. Horses are so tuned in, no wonder they all reacted to all the stress of the moment! Does Bridget have a lot of thoroughbred blood? They tend to by hypersensitive

  3. We think Bridget is half Arab, which would account for the hypersensitivity also I guess. (I used to have an Arab who would keel over under stress.) Nurse mares farms I think might like Arab studs as they're smallish and tend to be easy to handle. They like big, calm mares - which doesn't rule out TB, but sometimes I think Bridget looks very TWH, but the other half could be anything really. I used to think the other 1/2 was draft of some kind, but she's not very big-boned.

    It's amazing how stoic some horses can be, isn't it? I've seen horses with nasty injuries just placidly grazing, while when Bridget hurt her leg, she was all like "Aargh! There is a strange disturbance in the Force! I can't cope!"

    She is like an antenna that little filly - she's all receptivity and reactiveness. Which could be difficult, but she's also very grounded and sensible, which makes her sensitivity just delightful. Not that I'm biased or anything.

    And talking of tuned in, yeah, I was so surprised that the other horses reacted so strongly to what was going on. Next time (although I hope there isn't one), I'll try to maintain more calm. I think the others had never seen me being so bossy and hard on Bridget - I was being very assertive to stop her getting down - and the rain also made things weird.

  4. Well from your pics I always thought Bridget looks like Cassie, who is half arab and the other half is mostly thoroughbred with a bit of Irish Draught thrown in. Cassie is also hyper sensitive, but can be very grounded and brave too. When we go out for a ride, I am really aware of my own feelings, because she takes her cue from me. If I go "OMG there is a scary (fill in anything) ahead" Cassie will say "Aaargh, let's get out of here", but if my attitude is "Yawn, this is soooo boring", Cassie generally will walk on without batting an eye! Good training for me, she's like a yoga session, I just have to relax. And of course I'm not biased either!

  5. I think Cassie and Bridget have a combination dished profile and "moose" nose, which according to Tellington-Jones combines sensitivity with courage. Pretty nice, eh?

    I know what you mean about the yoga session. Our OT TB (who died a year and a half ago from osteosarcoma) was quiet as a trekking pony if you took him out with other horses. If you took him out on his own, though, it was a case of mind over mind - you had to be 100% calm and confident to convince him that everything was ok.