Thursday, June 14, 2007

Thursday's Thoughts

I haven't been around much this week as I have been taking care of my sick buddy, Buddy. He is my 26 year old Appaloosa horse that my husband bought me for Christmas about 14 years ago.

We had been out of the horse business for a number of years due to life changes and interests that didn't involve weekends on the road to horse shows all over the New England states. We had bought a camp on a lake near by and most weekends were spent there soaking up the sun, fishing, swimming, four wheeling, and slinging hamburgers to a bunch of hungry teenage boys. We enjoyed every minute of it and wouldn't trade those times for anything, even the occasional 'mooning' that they found so hilarious at my expense! :o)

After about ten years the horse bug started gnawing at me slowly but surely plus Funsize (my niece) was about 10 years old and getting the horse crazies like most young girls do at that age. My friend Ann and I started looking around at different stables for something suitable for me and also suitable for a small 10 year old girl. Now, I am a good sturdy Maine woman at 5'7" and a hundred and plenty pounds so I wanted a good substantially built horse but it had to be gentle enough for Funsize to ride too without getting hurt.

We started looking at different possibilities. We went to one stable and the owner said "oh I have just the thing for you, an Appaloosa (which I wanted) and just the right size." This was sounding good. We went out to the barn and she brought out this horse that was trying to nip her all the while she was putting the saddle on. Hummmmm this didn't look like a child friendly horse or an adult friendly horse for that matter. Guess we'd pass on that one.

We went to a few other places with no luck and then stopped to visit Ann's Aunt Linda to see if she had heard of anything. Bingo! She knew of one that had just gone up for sale as the owner was going off to college and had to sell her horse.

We hopped back in the car, drove over without an appointment and went to the door. The gal graciously asked us in, I guess we looked pretty harmless, and asked what kind of horse we were looking for then she took us out to the barn to see Buddy. I fell in love immediately, without even riding him I knew he was the one for me. He was H.U.G.E.! He was an Appaloosa and he was gentle and kind. The price was more then what I was thinking of spending so I reluctantly left but came home talking about this horse. He had been used for jumping and dressage and I wanted a western trail horse but hey that didn't discourage me from wanting him.

A few days before Christmas my husband, who BTW is always late with his shopping, was out one night and I called him on his cell phone to pick up something at the store and thought he was rather short with me which isn't like him at all but figured it was the shopping which he hates to do on a good day let alone an evening after he's worked hard all day.

Anywho, Christmas Eve came and we were in the family room around the tree opening a few of the gifts before the whole family came for our annual get together and I saw a small box and it looked like it had a picture on the top. I looked more closely and sure enough there was a picture of Buddy on the box and I couldn't believe it!!!! I said, "you bought me that horse???" Yes he said, I was in the middle of negotiations when you CALLED ON MY CELL PHONE! Hummm, no wonder he was a bit short!

Anyway Buddy (Downeast Moonbug) has been the perfect horse for us. He has been reliable, willing and gentle. In fact Funsize dubbed him our Gentle Giant as he is a big boy at about 1300 lbs. He easily transitioned to a western pleasure trail horse and never looked back plus was very good with Funsize in her early lessons even though she looked like a little munchkin on him.

So here we are 14 years later with health issues that we are dealing with. Laminitis affects the feet and his are extremely sore to walk on and his xrays showed more rotation of the bone then I would ever have wanted to see. We are soaking his feet four times daily in ice water plus he is on bute for pain. He wears pads on his feet fashioned out of very thick Styrofoam type stuff that is held on with vet wrap and duct tape. He cannot have any grain or green grass but can have hay and takes his bute mixed in applesauce.

We are hopeful that this will all help. We don't know if it will or not. This is hard. Our vet says that if he doesn't come around in two weeks we will have to make some difficult decisions. We will not have him in pain just so we can still have him in our lives, he has been too good of a member of our family to do that to him but we are giving this our all and will continue to work as hard as we can to make him sound again. We are optimistic and he is being pampered like a king! :o)


the moose buyer said...

I know all about taking care of horses and the cost of same. My daughter who is now 31 competed with Arabians when she was 8 to 16 (notice on my blog "my daughter's mother in in town" my grandson arrived when she was that age and the horse was cast aside in favor of Cole's father the "moron" who fortunately is no longer my son in law).

I sure hope Buddy gets well soon.

dcrmom said...

Okay, first, "hundred and plenty pounds" - LOVE that one.

Second, I'm so sorry Buddy is ill. I hope he pulls through. The kids want to see him this summer!!!

palmtreefanatic said...

I pray Buddy gets a quick recovery!!!!

Susie said...

It must be so hard for you to see Buddy that way. Thanks for sharing some of the history of your relationship with him.

Dawn said...

I would love to come to Maine someday - it looks so beautiful.

I have a co-worker who had her horse for 20+ years, and he just died recently. It was very hard for her. I know nothing about horses except what I've observed and it seems like a lot of work and expense, but they are very loved.

Donna said...

My previous horse grass-foundered. Once we put him in dry-lot he got over the sore feet, and could be ridden. But we were never to give him grain or alfalfa hay again. He wasn't good with kids, so I later sold him. I'd be very depressed if my present horse were to founder.

BarnGoddess said...

I hope Buddy gets over his founder.

He looks healthy and your doing the right stuff so I would think hes going to be fine again soon.

Thanks for sharing your "buddy" story, I loved it!

Tonya said...

I'm so sad for you and for Buddy. They are such a huge part of our lives and it is awful when something happens to them.
I know you are doing everything you can for Buddy!
Y'all are in my prayers!

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

What a sweet story. I hope Buddy feels better soon.

Myrna said...

Sorry to hear about Buddy. He is a beautiful horse. I know, especially after all these years, it is difficult for you to see him in pain. Hope your treatments work for him.