It’s been nearly four months since Belinda and I picked up everything and moved to a new barn in a new city for a new job.
The transition has had its ups and downs. I’m taking regular lessons again – for the first time in years – with a trainer I like and respect. The farm has a great sense of community. Belinda is happy with her new pasture buddies and is well taken care of by the property manager.
But not all is good. Belinda, my black Hanoverian, doesn’t sweat. We’ve gone years without it being a problem, and out of no where last month, the mare just stopped sweating. Let me set the scene for you: It’s August in Florida. Three possible hurricanes have come our way already and missed, but in their wake came torrential thunderstorms. We don’t breathe in the humidity here, we swim in it.
So panicked spaz mom (me) does everything possible to get the mare sweating again. Up her dosage of One AC supplement. Add electrolytes. Give her dark beer with her feedings. (One for her, one for me.) Add a fan to her stall. Limit her pasture time outside. Body clip (yes, you read that right… BODY CLIP MY HORSE IN AUGUST because she’s a yak and already growing a winter coat.) After several weeks of overheating and heavy breathing, we break a sweat. Thank God. (Another beer please?)
On to the next problem. Not a week later, Belinda comes in from the pasture three-legged. She is sore on the left hind, dragging it through the mud and skipping on it while trotting on the lunge line. Here comes the emergency vet visit. Not an abscess. (Or is it?) We block out her hoof, then she’s suddenly lame on two legs, now the right front, a leg that went a week without a shoe when she pulled in the mud from aforementioned thunderstorms. (Is there still beer in the barn?)
Belinda goes back to the stall, where she’s forbidden to leave for 10 days and we start dumping bute into her feed.
Ten days go by. Still lame on the hind left. Stiff on the right front. Happy as a clam on bute. Next call? The chiropractor. Take all my money, why don’t you?
Plans for that hunter pace coming up? The dressage show two weeks after that? Out the window. But I’m not even thinking about it any more. I just want my mare to be her (usually) healthy self and comfortable again.
Is it winter yet?