Two Year Anniversary

On October 31st 2008 I brought home five year old Legacy. It was a cold day, he was very lame when he unloaded from the trailer, he smelled horribly, like a horse that had been left with the same rug on for far too long and hadn’t been groomed in a long time. I remember looking at this magnificent animal as I unloaded him, soaked in sweat, wondering if I was crazy.

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(Legacy)

Why did I have to bring him home? Could I fix him? Did he really have a chance? It wasn’t a truly joyous occasion,  realizing that he was finally mine now. Legacy came with a huge amount of responsibility and a very real potential for heart break.

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(Legacy)

Losing my fight for him, in March 2011, I know that I am done taking chances like this one.

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(Legacy)

I wouldn’t have not known Legacy for the world, he was a precious, precious gem, the most loving, kind, and gentle horse I have ever had the privilege of knowing, and as such, it is still breaking my heart to think of how I couldn’t save him in the end. How his body was simply broken.

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(Legacy and Saleem)

At the end of October 2012, three year old, pregnant Tardis arrived. She was soaked in sweat as well, as she unloaded, having been sedated to enter the trailer, and having been dressed in a rug that was a size too big, hanging around her knees.

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(Tardis)

Yes, that is right, it is two years by now, since Tardis joined us. In those two years she has grown so much, she has learned not to push people around, (mostly,) she has learned not to bully people, (yes she was a bit of a locomotive, used to steamrolling her way through life,) she has been (almost) broken in, and is able to be ridden at a walk and at a trot, without a saddle, and she has had the most amazing foal in the entire world.

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(Tardis)

Tardis was a rather fantastic pony right from the get go. She always seemed open minded and took to trusting me right away. When she had Ablaze, she walked right up to me and threw herself at my feet, delivering him almost on top of me, even though she has a whole pasture.

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(Tardis)

Trusting as she is, there has always been something a bit closed off about her, like she would only let me in, so far… Like she wasn’t entirely sure that I was here to stay. The same could be said for the way she viewed the other horses. When she arrived at my pasture, she instantly took a shine to Apollon and he to her. (Tardis had had three previous owners in her short life, before me, so small wonder if she didn’t think the horses or the humans were all that worth investing in.)

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(Tardis and Apocalipse)

As tragedy would have it, Tardis and Apollon only had a month together, as Apollon got horribly sick a week after she had arrived, at the beginning of November.

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(Tardis and Ablaze)

After he was euthanized, on December 10th, Tardis stuck to herself, and when her foal arrived she loved him, like she never loved any of the others.

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(Ablaze)

In the last six months, she has grown to like Apocalipse though, quite a lot. I do see them together on a lot of evenings now, scratching each other’s backs, looking quite happy together.

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(Tardis and Apocalipse)

It warms my heart to see her slowly investing in the other horses, believing that she might have a future with us after all. Still, I can’t help but tell her how sorry I am, that Apollon died from us.

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(Apollon)

I can’t help but apologizing to her, for the start she had with me. I wish she had arrived at a happier time in our lives. I wish that every time I will be celebrating my anniversary with her, I wouldn’t be thinking of how Legacy should have lived and how Apollon… should have lived. I wish I wouldn’t forever connect her arrival in my life with the loss of Apollon and with the date where the horse that broke my heart more than any other, became mine.

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(Tardis)

So yes, I tell her that I am sorry, because I am. I am sorry that she never got to know Legacy. I am sorry that Apollon died from her.

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(Tardis and Apollon)

And I am sorry for the dark place my mind goes, when I think of her first time with us, remembering most of all snow, cold, and Apollon, dying, no matter what I did to fight it.

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(Apollon)

I sat with her on the pasture today, while she ate, and I told her all of that, and you know what, she understands and she forgives me. She really does. As much as she is warming up to Apocalipse these days, she is showing more and more interest in me as well, scratching my neck when I least expect it, blowing air in my face, you know, engaging me in a way she never did before.

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(Tardis and Ablaze)

I did promise her too, that in time, I would try and remember just how blessed I am that she is in my life, and that she brought Ablaze into my life as well. I won’t forget my two boys, and I don’t think I will ever forgive the world that tore them from me way too soon, but for Tardis, I should try not to dwell on it too much anymore.

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(Apollon and Legacy)

After all, a two year anniversary, that is pretty cool, isn’t it? For a five year old mare, that is nearly half of her life, she has been with me now.

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(Ablaze)

I did realize too, becoming all sentimental, that Saleem has been with me for six and a half years now. It feels like nothing, like he is still young, (which he is,) like you know, we haven’t grown up at all.

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(Saleem)

When I was a kid, and had Poseidon, six and a half years seemed like forever. Nearly impossible, when every day could have been our last, his, because I gave up on him or mine, because he might happen to kill me. Six and a half years was something we earned, Poseidon and I. Our fourteen years together, we earned every single day.

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(Poseidon)

With Saleem, time just flies. He is so gentle, so sweet, so easy to be around…

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(Saleem)

Just like Tardis. And this Halloween is for her. For the first time since 2008, it is not for Legacy anymore. This is her time now. It has to be.

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(Tardis) 

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Loading?

It has come to my attention that some browsers doesn’t display this page like it should at the moment. I am running on Chrome and it shows all the pictures for me. My boyfriend is running on Firefox and at the moment, WordPress is not loading any pictures for him.

If anyone is having similar problems, please let me know.  I will try and work out why as fast as possible.

So, can you see this picture? (Its a horse… two in fact…)

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Why?

Life is still not wanting to play with Shy, mostly I guess, because Shy really doesn’t play nice. Now, Aston rearranged his work room a while back and somehow some boxes and other stuff ended up in our already narrow hallway, you know, just for the time being. No matter, the cats love it. There is just something about cat’s and boxes…

Life, sitting on a box, Shy acting all adorable. You do see the halo, right?

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Shy, being evil, trying to make Life play, but not daring to poke her without a box between them.

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Shy, back to being adorable…

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Shy attack!

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Shy hiding in the litter box. She does that… It does require her humans to keep it clean at all times, because one of the best places for playing is in the litter box.

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Keeping a sneaky eye on Life.

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Telling Life, “You shall not pass!” in an almost perfect Gandalf impression. Life is a bit of a Balrog though, and does not scare easily.

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If only…

Now Life, in her element, the princess on her throne… It is impossible to sleep in this house without that cat. I even tried lying on the side, figuring she would fall down, but no. She can balance… Or maybe I am getting fat…

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Good morning, puny human.

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Shy is learning how to undo my curtains these days, which is much more fun that lying on people.

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Oh, and if anyone notices that Life has had her tail shaved, I can reveal that she had some crazy allergy reaction and the best way for me to treat it, was to shave her. We totally got it under control in no time and we kind of like her poodle look.

You will notice that I am not really writing about my horses at the moment. I have to admit, I am at a loss for what to do about Saleem. I found a hospital where I would actually feel good about taking him, where I just might trust the people and all…

I keep flicking back and forth between just taking him in, and getting it over with, to pulling the breaks, wondering if he can ride it out somehow.

I mean, back in the day, horses didn’t have their teeth removed when one broke. They survived. Horses has a rather special ability to seal off the nerve ends in their teeth, over time…  What would he prefer? Surgery now, with the possibility of a long and painful recovery with a lot of complications, but the option of one day, getting through it and making a full recovery?

Or would he prefer having sporadic eating issues- now please don’t get me wrong, he eats, he is not losing weight, he eats everything I give him, but the hay can cause him some trouble, I am still not sure why- that might go away on its own, if given time?

Of course, if it doesn’t go away, I will have to take him in and then, stalling, would only prolong his agony. Still…

What if he does recover without evasive treatment? Wouldn’t that be, by far, the best?

I keep thinking of Poseidon. He had a nasal infection the last winter I had him, a really bad one. He was dripping blood and infection from his nose for weeks, and since he was a very special horse, who only I could touch, our treating options were very limited.

My vet advised me then, to have him submitted to a hospital, for surgery as well. I flat out refused. Hospitalizing a horse like Poseidon was not an option. It would have killed him and he would have killed half the hospital staff…

So I was advised to euthanize him. Which is kind of the two options I am facing here, with Saleem. Surgery or euthanizing. With Poseidon, I asked for a fighting chance, I pleaded for his life. I was allowed 14 days of antibiotic treatment on the off chance that it MIGHT kill whatever infection he had. The vet told me to my face that it wouldn’t work, because he had, most likely, something stuck inside his nose, or higher up in the respiratory system, and until that was removed, the infection wouldn’t go away. It made sense. I just had to try. I couldn’t put him down without trying something.

Poseidon was on ten days of antibiotics, at the end of which I had to give up on completing the treatment, because of how his muscles tensed up and I simply couldn’t inject him anymore. Holding my breath, I put the needle away on the eleventh day and watched… as my horse recovered without surgery.

I had him for six months afterwards, and he was euthanized because of his arthritis, that spring, but  that nasal infection just died against all odds… Without evasive treatment.

I can’t help but wonder if I submit Saleem now, do I do it for him, or for me? Will it be for my own peace of mind? Back then, with Poseidon, I had no doubt in my heart that any other, of my horses had been submitted at the hospital instantly, no questions asked.  It was simply because I COULDN’T hospitalize Poseidon, that I didn’t. Saleem, I can. Why then, am I not doing it? Why then, am I not in a hurry to have his broken tooth removed, when it is clearly bothering him from time to time?

I don’t know. I keep asking myself if I think that he can pull through this, like Poseidon did, and I honestly think he can. The question is, do I dare wait? Am I too afraid of being a horrible horse mommy, to give him a week or two, before I submit him to the pain and the stress of an operation? We all know that if I ask horse people, they will all tell me to submit him, yesterday, and how dare I not having done so already. I just think that horses these days… are operated upon way too easily. It has sort of become a trend, to just drop your poor horse off at the nearest hospital whenever problems arise and have the vets fix it, and should it die during surgery, well it is ensured, so who cares, and should it suffer greatly in recovery, it will go away in time… And it will, I know.

I just don’t know what the ethical thing to do is, right now. What Saleem would chose, if I could ask him. I have to say, choosing to have your jaw broken and the pieces of the tooth pulled out through your cheek… He would have to be in a lot of pain, to choose that, wouldn’t he? Wouldn’t you?

I don’t think he is, in a lot of pain. Saleem is the kind of horse who gets horribly sad when something is bothering him, and other than him spitting out an occasional hay ball, (driving me insane,) he seems perfectly happy and normal and my vet couldn’t put her finger on a reason for why the broken tooth would bother him now, three months after it first broke.

I don’t know. I just don’t know. I find that the cats are easier to smile at, at the moment. This is wearing me down, I won’t lie. But that, because it is killing me, is not reason enough to hospitalize him. It just isn’t.

Asking myself one final question, for the night then. What if, Saleem had been Poseidon and surgery had not been an option? What would I have done then?

Exactly what I am doing. Asked my vet for equipment so I could help him keep the broken tooth clean, and then, nothing else. If this had been Poseidon, I wouldn’t have freaked out or even contemplated euthanizing him. I really wouldn’t.

It is strange. For the 14 years I lived and breathed for Poseidon, I was on my own, and I pulled him through lots of things, with my vets looking at him from a safe distance, supplying me with what I medication I may need… I always knew surgery wasn’t an option, so I always found other ways. When he got kicked in the face and broke his lip, I handled it on my own, without having him stitched up and he healed without a scar, much unlike the others, whom I have had stitched up…

I am not saying that I won’t have my kiddos stitched up if they should get deep wounds again, (fingers crossed they won’t,) don’t get me wrong, what I am saying is, I guess, that sometimes we maybe tend to treat too much…

Poseidon lived for 17 years and was touched by the vets less than five times. (Fully sedated castration, two teeth checks that nearly killed my vet, and the day he was euthanized.) In all honesty, we did just fine on our own. Why then, am I leaning so much towards hospitalizing Saleem now, because of a few hay balls? Because I believe it is the right thing to do, or because it is what the equestrian world will tell me, I should do?

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Life And Shy

I have a little cat post ready here… First up is Shy, helping me write on face book…

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“Hello, what’s ya doin’? Is that your power button I see?”

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I know, that horse statue should not be made to wear hats, but well, for some reasons it just happened. Shy helps it get rid of it and wups, it landed on my keyboard…

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What are the odds?

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Then we have Life, who now lives underneath my computer table on a small stool that used to hold one of my loudspeakers. It doesn’t anymore, since she knocked it down and claimed the space for herself. Once in a while though, she comes crawling out, wanting to cuddle.

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She has a special sound she makes, the perfect impression of the Danish word “ræv” (fox) which never stops being funny…

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It’s an angry sound, a demanding sound, a listen up you, do as I say, sound…

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Sit in your chair now!

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Right here! You will obey! Obey! Obey! (Imagine this in a Dalek voice….)

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Small wonder I am not getting any writing done at the moment… Aston has an assignment at the university so I am stuck with both cats, and with going crazy, wondering what is up with Saleem… I really miss my books, I just can’t gather my thoughts these days.

Well, at least the cats can make me smile at all times… Even when they thwart my efforts to get any work done. These days, I mostly give in and watch Twin Peaks on Netflix, so I can hug Life and so I won’t cry when Shy turns off my computer at random…

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Teeth (Again) And Roundworms

Yesterday, Saleem couldn’t eat again. Knowing me, you can imagine the state of panic I was in, although trying to put on a brave face as I called my vet for the third time in as many months.

I would like to explain, for new readers, that Saleem has a broken tooth, which we discovered three months ago, and that I had him checked last month, simply to calm my nerves. He was fine then, showing no signs of trouble. Yesterday though, he was in trouble.

Unfortunately my vets were extremely busy yesterday, and asked if they could wait until today, where they would show up first thing in the morning. I asked in return if I could give him some of the left over painkillers I had in my medicine cabinet and I was allowed to help him out a little, while we waited for today to dawn.

My vet came by at first light, but already last night, Saleem was eating again, the painkillers clearly working. She checked him out and there is no sign of infection, nothing really that should bother him, so her estimate is that he would have happened to stuff some hay into the hole last night, and that it had gone lose over the evening and now, we didn’t have a problem anymore. Except, that is not a lasting solution, if the poor horse can happen to disable himself like that, and I can’t help him out at all, so we discussed our options.

Of course option number one is to take him to a hospital and have the jaw broken and the tooth removed, but I keep dodging that option since I feel it is a really cruel operation and I would very much like to spare him that.

The second option was to take him to a hospital and have the tooth replaced with a filling, making sure no hay could stack up and bother him again. I have to admit, I was a bit more interested in that idea. My vet gave me the name of a tooth specialist I can contact if need be, who can do the job. That does let me feel slightly more optimistic in some ways…

I am going for the third option at the moment though. To buy equipment, one of those mouth things, to keep him from accidentally biting my hand off, and one of those water spray things, so I can keep him clean. My vet was a bit doubtful as to whether or not I could actually  manage that without sedation, but I am confident that Saleem won’t mind. It may take a few days of practice before we get used to it, but I don’t think his mild temper will be provoked by any of that. In fact, I believe he will learn to like it, when I clean off that tooth hole…

And, I always wanted one of those keep-the-mouth-open things, for training. I am sure it won’t take much practice before Apocalipse and Ablaze can wear them without sedation either, maybe even Marble and Tardis can learn in time, even though I have no doubt my girls will fight me more on that. Still, getting them comfortable with the whole teeth check experience, and maybe someday in the future being able to do it without sedation, is going to be awesome, not to mention how it gives me something to train, that won’t require me riding. Yes, I am still a little too uninspired, if I can call it that, to ride these days. Watching Saleem eat, day in and day out, wondering, is tearing me apart. It will be MUCH better for both of us, when I can open his mouth on a daily basis and see for myself that he is fine, or wash him off, if he is not…

As I was waiting for the vet to arrive, Ablaze came by, (warning, grouse pictures of poo,)  and left this at my feet.

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As in eeeeeeeuuuuw!

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That’s a roundworm, by the way, and they are not supposed to come out like that, unless the horse is crawling with them. Considering that Ablaze has got no less than four treatments for parasites since April this year, because of the herbonema, all of which should kill roundworms, I do think I have a problem with resistance here. My vet had the privilege of having this worm shoved in her face as she arrived, (I am a terrible person, I know,) and Ablaze is being treated first thing in the morning, we just had to find a new treatment for him, which is why we couldn’t do it today, trying to circumvent resistance. Fingers crossed.

So yes, everything is as it usually is on my pasture. I am hysterical, my vets handle me, and my horses are growing fat because all I want at the moment is for them to be able to eat their hay. I mean, is that too much to ask for? Really?

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That Broken Tooth Again….

I don’t think I’ll ever get used to knowing that Saleem has a broken tooth. I had hoped that having the vet check up on it last month, and finding nothing wrong, would have eased my mind a bit, but truth is, it didn’t.

Looking back, to before the tooth broke, Saleem has always been a bit of a troubled eater. I have had his teeth checked two times a year and there has almost always been issues, or even wounds on the inside of his cheeks, once the vet opened his mouth. At times, even though he had just been checked, he would have moments where he wouldn’t eat, for unexplained reasons. For an hour or two, he would simply hang back, refusing to open his mouth, until he suddenly seemed to get over whatever it was, and ate as if nothing was wrong.

He has been driving me crazy with this behaviour before he broke his tooth, he has, but still…

Knowing that he HAS a broken tooth, is killing me. Every time he doesn’t eat as fast as he should, or if he spits out some rolled up hay balls while eating, or if he is simply not too hungry and can’t be bothered, I am about ready to fall apart.

The last two days, he has been strange at the evening feeding. At morning he has been eating perfectly normally, but the last two evenings, he has seemed, disinterested, he has been spitting out hay balls and he has been chewing a bit funny. I have been staring my eyes out at him, sniffing around his mouth, wondering if the broken tooth has become infected.

He doesn’t smell bad from the mouth. And he eats in the morning. Why then, does he seem unhappy at the evening feeding time? And does he? Or am I just driving myself insane?

I keep asking myself one question. If money was not an issue, what would I do? Am I not driving him to a hospital, because of the huge bill that will be waiting down that road, or am I honestly keeping him at home because I don’t think he would survive the sedation? What if I had all the money in the world, would I take that chance on his behalf then?

Saleem has had some very bad reactions to sedation in the past. I truly dare not hospitalize him. I fear that my chances of bringing him back home again are too small. I don’t think he can recover from the sedation, if he needs to be put under, have his jaw broken and the tooth operated out through his cheek. And should he survive, that is a LOT of pain he needs to go through in recovery afterwards.

The answer is no. Even if I had all the money in the world, I wouldn’t have hospitalized him unless I absolutely had to. I drove home from the stable today, crying all the way, terrified that if he doesn’t start eating normally again, at evenings as well, I WILL have to… And I just don’t know if he can survive it. I am scared senseless that the broken tooth will get infected and I will have my hand forced. I will chose to operate. I will fight for him all the way, if I must, I know that in my heart, but at the moment, I do believe I am doing the one thing I know I can, to help him survive the best. Nothing.

But for how long can I do that?

I know a lot of horses who has lived with a broken tooth, or a missing tooth, and never had problems with it. My old Pikant had a missing tooth and it never bothered him. My lovely mare Amalia had a broken tooth and it was never infected in the 14 years I had the privilege of knowing her. Why then, do I have such a terrible feeling about Saleem? Why can’t he just eat and be happy for the next fifteen years? Please?

Haven’t we earned a little happiness after all? This November it is two years since Apollon crashed and burned, and died within a month, never leaving me a fighting chance, even though my vet and I fought with everything we had. Two years, is that what we get?

Or can Saleem please come out on the other side of this, never having to go through this horrible surgery? I’ll worry for the rest of his life, but that’s okay. As long as he is here, as long as he is happy and pain free, I’ll find a way to handle it. I will.

Just don’t let him have complications. Please. Don’t let him need surgery.

After all, the tooth broke at the beginning of August. It’s too late now, to get infected. It is. It has to be… The vet said he was fine on September 10th. Why is he eating funny now?

I am not going to get much sleep tonight… And add to that, I just discovered that Apocalipse is finally changing his “four year” teeth and it kind of looks… iffy. The new tooth is not pushing the old tooth away as it should, it seems to be growing out next to the old tooth instead. That could be annoying…

But well, we will see. This evening, I am babysitting my mom’s dog, who cannot be alone at any time, and who has spent the last four hours whimpering because I am the wrong mommy. Maybe I am just a little frazzled right now. I think I should just watch My Little Pony on Netflix and stop thinking so much.

Happy Wednesday everyone. I will return shortly, in a better mood, that is a promise.  By the way, the treatment I got for Tarids and her skin infection is WORKING! I’ll make sure to get pictures of her soon, without a bald spot in her face. So on that happy note, time to watch some cartoons… And wait for my mom to come and get her dog. It’s a Mexican hairless, by the way, with hair, so it’s kind of excused, being so small, there can’t be a lot of brain space… I am sure that if you Google “unintelligent” there must be a picture of this particular dog as the perfect explanation…

No, to be fair, he has been good today, not nearly as annoying to watch as he usually is. And that is saying a lot.

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Rain & A Foal

I think I mentioned it briefly before, but we got a new neighbour across the street, one that has horses. The first day, where the new horses moved in, it took my kids a while to see them, but once they discovered that there was something across the street, they were enthralled.

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The horses across the street includes a foal. A very, very hyperactive foal, which my horses never tire of looking at.

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And once the foal discovered my horses, and it was done running at high speed around the pasture, it started calling out for my horses. These days, Tardis spends a lot of time, watching the foal, and once she leaves the corner of my pasture were they can see each other, the foal calls for her. In a way, that is amazingly cute. (The foal is not alone on its pasture.)

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In other news, the rain set in, kicking off the fall in Denmark, by drowning everything. Even my well drained pasture has taken more water in some places than it could hold. The horses don’t mind though.

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I always found it funny, that when given the choice between a dry pasture or a minor lake, my horses are drawn to the water… They could have just stayed away from the water for a day or two, and it would have dried up, but no, that’s not how we roll…

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So here we are, beginning to wish for winter to set in soon, with a bit of frost and hopefully, less rain. At least I am. My horses doesn’t complain. Apologies for all the pictures being cell phone pictures, I haven’t brought my camera out into the rain lately…

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