I have dubbed today an official “HUG YOUR HORSE” day.
What an INSANE morning, and the horses were all feeling it, too. But I’ll get back to that.
The heat has been brutal and I’m really not sure how much more I can take. I just can’t handle the heat like I used to. I do recall (even though it’s been so long it seems like it wasn’t even real) the days when I used to horse show in the summer. If I wasn’t actually riding in a show, I was there watch or help or whatever. Usually my days would start at 5am. I’d get up, get to the barn, groom and braid the horse, load up with half a dozen other people, and go to the show. Mostly we went to local shows, but I did an out of state show once. Anyway, I’d be at the show with the horse ALL DAY, because even if I was done at 10 am, odds were good that someone else on the show team was showing in an afternoon class. Many times I wouldn’t get home until 8-9 at night.
How the heck did I do all that, in the heat, wearing a hunt coat… and not die?
The other day I went to a car show with my husband. We got there at 8, and by 2, it was around 95. By 3pm, I was being seen by paramedics! I was totally dehydrated, despite sucking down water all day. I had stopped sweating and my heart rate and breathing were elevated. The paramedics put me in some A/C, and with a little more water and some ice packs, I was good to go. But I never used to get like that in the heat. What the heck happened to me? 10 years and some extra weight, and this is what I get?! I wasn’t even moving around! I was just sitting…. in the heat… for 7 hours.
Well, anyway. So with the car show done, the next thing on the agenda is the horse show Saturday. But before that is my husband’s birthday, and that can mean only one thing – I am really going crazy!!!! I really don’t like birthdays or Christmas, because they are just so stressful! I have my husband’s gifts almost all bought and wrapped up. And I will be making a cake for him, too. He has officially requested Bienenstich again, which I made last year for him.
So, on Thursday, just to be clear – it’s supposed to be 102 out. I plan to get to the barn around 6:30, drive Luke and Jesse in final prep for their show, and drive Chewbacca if I’m still functioning by whatever time that is. Then I need to clean the carts, load them on the trailer, and then get home to wash harness pads, clean the harnesses, put on the show gear on the bridle, pack my car full of buckets, whips, show clothes, and whatever else I need, make a cake, and then, if I haven’t passed out by then, go with my husband to his parents for dinner. <WHEW!>
Friday is going to be crazy, too, no doubt, and Saturday I need to be at the barn by 6:30 to put braids in Jesse’s mane, clean the horses, and get them loaded and get to the show, which is 1 hour away. Wow.
In the mean time, on this day of absolute INSANITY! In a vein effort to work the horses all before it got hot, I got to the barn at 7:15am. I took Chewbacca out for a 5 mile drive. The first 2 miles of the drive, he was not terribly pleased to be out working before he even had breakfast or a real chance to wake up, and he was quite keen on letting me know it. By mile 2 1/4, I had just about had enough of his baloney, and that’s when he finally went to work!
UGH! There is something about today that was just making the horses all nuts.
When I got back to the barn, the barn owners were doing turnout, and switched pastures. So groups of horses were going out in different fields – and everyone was going nuts! In the chaos that was, the owners noticed something wrong with one of the polo horses. She was in her stall looking rather lethargic.
By this time, I had put Chewie away and gave him his breakfast, and had Luke tied up just outside the polo horse in question. I glanced the mare’s way, figuring on it being nothing major, maybe a little colic. I noticed almost immediately that both sides of her neck, just behind her jowls/ under her ears, was swollen quite badly. Upon further investigation, the barn owner noticed the mare had a nose bleed.
This was not good.
We decided to get the mare out of the barn and at least into the round pen, so if she went down, she would be easier to cope with out there. I haltered her up and led her slowly. I told the sweet girl just 1 step at a time, nice and easy. And the worst happened.
She got 2 steps and collapsed. She fell like an EPM horse, if you’ve ever seen one fall, you’ll know what I mean. She never made an attempt to rise. The vet was on the way, but she laid there for a good 45 minutes. Our best guess is she either broke her neck, only how who knows!? Maybe she got cast, or just hit her head the wrong way on the stall… who knows. Or she ruptured some kind of embolism in her neck or brain. Either way, it was very very clear the moment she fell that she was down for good.
Half in and half out of her stall, the sweet older mare laid there until she was euthanized, and we had the unfortunate ordeal of then dragging her out her stall and out of the barn.
What a morning. This was not the way anyone wanted their Tuesday to start out, that I promise.
In the chaos, I popped Luke outside so he wasn’t in the barn, of course, while the mare was down. Luke then proceeded to romanticize 2 mares that were hyped up from enjoying their new pasture. By the time I got Luke, worked him in the arena, and finished with him, he was so enamored with the mares that he actually broke his halter and ran off across the farm to them again! GRRRR!!!
I put him back with Chewbacca and he called to the mares for at least an hour.
I then worked Jesse, in prep for the show this weekend, and Jesse, too, was completely off his game with the new turnout situation.
Dixie was in the fray, too, just running around with the rest of the herd as they adjusted to their new turnout. Dixie, Jesse, and their group have been moved to a smaller daytime turnout area, and the larger group of polo horses have been upgraded to the huge back lot, which is a good idea.
Oh my oh my! I still have more things to do at the barn today and will be heading back out after I’ve had a chance to sit home and do some household things, too.
It never ends! What an insane day, and rest in peace you poor polo mare. She was only 16.
Remember to hug your horse.