Saturday, May 25, 2013

This is a Test... Repeat, This is Only a Test.

There comes a time in every equine's life when he wonders to himself, just how prepared are my humans in the event of an emergency?  Would they know what to do?  Will they perform under pressure?  At such a time, a horse has no choice but to perform a test of the Equine Emergency Broadcast System.

Apparently, Tucker found himself in such a quandary yesterday, and had to find out just how capable we were of handling an emergency, should one ever arise.  So promptly upon coming in from turnout, he began his little experiment.  Lest we not a be particularly clever group of humans, he chose to exhibit textbook signs of distress: he pawed, he kicked his stomach, he swished his tail, he rolled, and refused to eat his hay.

To Tucker's relief, everyone snapped into action.  Cindy (my dressage trainer and our barn manager) texted me right away to see when I could get to the barn, put a scrim on him since he was wet from the drizzle this morning, and took his temperature.  She put him on the cross-ties and he stretched his hind legs out behind him, which made us all suspect it was a gas colic, if anything.  Anyway, Tucker found this course of action and her prompt attention to his broadcast signals most satisfactory.

Ricardo (who works at the farm and helps take care of the horses) took Tucker for a walk around the indoor until I arrived, and remained visibly concerned for Tucker's well being for the remainder of the afternoon, regularly inquiring after his health.  Tucker likewise approved of these efforts and was truly touched by his concern.

Thankfully, I was working from home so I think I also passed his little test. I pulled on breeches and a fleece in under three minutes and raced to the barn like the hounds of hell were close on my tail.  He must have been timing me and I must have made his deadline because as soon as I arrived, he took a deep breath and started munching his hay. He still had a quiet gut on the left side, but plenty of noise on the right side and didn't seem the least bit distressed.  But hey, I'll take a scare that amounts to nothing over a real colic any day.

I'd say we passed Tucker's emergency-preparedness course with flying colors, because we even managed to have Tucker's vet arrive within the hour (he was there to do some injections on another horse, but Tucker doesn't need to know that).  It was a good lesson about crying wolf, I mean getting to stay home from school and watch cartoons is one thing, but a trip to the doctor... well, let's just say Tucker has heard what happens when the vet thinks you are colicking and didn't particularly relish the idea of an arm up the you-know-what.  So once he saw Dr. S in the aisle, he promised he was feeling 100% better.  No need for poking and prodding, thankyouverymuch.

Thankfully, it seems he must have just had a gas pocket or something. I blame the drastic change in weather.  After a worrisome half hour or so, he seemed to have gotten over whatever was bothering him and I even ended up riding him (figured it wouldn't hurt to get the gut moving).  He ate his dinner and all his hay, temp was normal, and by the time I left he had pooped three times. And yes, of course I texted a picture of the pile of poop to my concerned horsey friends!  What are horsey friends for?


  1. I bet your horsey friends were happy to get it. ;)

  2. Shaun just asked me last week, "Um don't you think it's a little weird that you and Bella text photos of horse poop to each other?"
    Why no, I don't, lol. With the drastic temperature swings (40 to 95 degrees) we've all been on stress colic watch. Such a relief when our kids poop!
    I'm glad you passed the test, and Tucker passed the...
    okay maybe there is a natural stopping point?
    Nah. Glad he pooped!


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