To ride dressage is to dance with your horse, equal partners in the delicate and sometimes difficult work of creating harmony and beauty.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Come health or high water... favorite New Year's tradition lives on!

Keep your black-eyed peas; I want to bring in every new year on the back of a horse. I wasn't sure I'd actually get to ride Lance this New Year's since my arena is frozen solid, but I figured I could at least keep him occupied with some alfalfa and lay on his back. Then yesterday my friend Kate emailed me and said she'd be by this morning with her truck and trailer to pick us up. Whoop! We had a lovely ride together last New Year's Day; I couldn't wait for a repeat.

This morning when I went to the barn for chores, I found Lance's stall covered with his supper hay. Breezy and Ollie had finished theirs, so I knew it wasn't a bad bale. I gave Lance some of the ewes' fine, green orchard grass hay; he nibbled at it without relish. I finished chores and decided to give him a good grooming, which he hadn't had all week. While I was working on his right side, I heard a giant rumble. With grooming done, Lance went and stood in his doorway,
and I went to fetch my vet for an exam. Rick diagnosed spasmodic colic and gave him some short-acting tranquilizer and Banamine, then checked his mouth to make sure Lance hadn't accumulated more pokey seed heads (he hadn't).

By the time Kate arrived, Lance was alert, so we loaded up and headed to Willamette Mission State Park. We had to take the long way, as the Wheatland Ferry was closed due to high water – and then found that the horse area of the park was closed for the same reason! We pondered our options, and drove to the east ferry landing, where there is a parking area. The signs didn't forbid horses or trailers, so we parked, saddled up, and toodled around for a couple hours, enjoying the sunshine and river views, friendship and fine horseflesh.

We headed back to my place, well pleased with our outing, when Kate's truck started acting weird. First her moonroof opened of its own accord, and didn't respond at first when Kate pushed the switch to close it. Next there was a strange vibration, which stopped when Kate slowed down – and some yellow fluid dripped from her ceiling DVD player. Then her dashboard lights came on, the tachometer and speedometer dials zeroed out, and an alarm started beeping. Fortunately, the engine sounded fine, so we prayed our way to my house, left the truck running while I unloaded Lance and tack, and I waited impatiently to hear that Kate made it safely to her house. She did, although she arrived with one trailer tire shredded from who knows what, and once turned off, her truck would not revive. Yikes!

Tonight at chore-time, Lance was acting puny again. Brian saw him working his mouth, so Rick checked again – and found some irritated spots on Lance's mucous membranes. No grass seeds, though, so we're not sure of the cause. Lance got another dose of Banamine, and we'll be keeping an eye on him.

I'm hoping that starting the year with so much drama means we're getting it out of the way early and can enjoy smooth sailing the rest of the year!


thecrazysheeplady said...

That seems like quite enough!

Alanna M. said...

Yikes! I hope he's doing better today.

Anonymous said...

Ugh! My New Year's Day was similar. First I almost drowned my mare in the dam by accident (luckily she floundered her way out, probably saving both our silly necks in the process) and then my colt decided to get sick (he's better, thankfully). Here's hoping your theory is true! Lovely photos. Lance is a beauty.

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