Thursday, January 17, 2013

Farm Life Hardships

Black_Thoroughbred_by_Pro_Racer It's a miserable day here. It's freezing and raining and snowing and sleeting. And it's a sad day, because a horse had to be put down.

One of the horse boarders recently acquired a rescue off-the-track thoroughbred. He was a real sweetheart and I had taken to feeding him treats over the fence since he hung out near the house constantly. But adjusting to a new home is always stressful on a horse, and herd dynamics don't make it easy. He was not in the best condition to begin with, and he was picked on by one of the other geldings. He ended up falling down and getting trapped under the fence on our property line last Friday evening (right outside our dining room window, in fact). It was as close to a real "ox in the ditch" situation as I've probably ever encountered.

We enlisted some help and managed to get him up and taken care of, but if this were a movie, that scene would have been foreshadowing a darker moment. I got a knock on the door early this morning by a passing good Samaritan who had seen a horse stuck along the far back fenceline and thought it was ours (the pasture is right beside the house, so it's an easy assumption to make). It was the same horse. I quickly called his owners and ran out to check on him. It wasn't good; he was stuck down and had obviously been struggling for quite some time in the wet, cold mud. After removing the fence, calling in reinforcements, and the eventual arrival of the vet, it was to no avail. There may have been other health conditions complicating matters, but there was nothing anyone could do by then.

He'd only been here a few weeks, but to have this happen so close on the heels of DaVinci's death really hurt. Loss is part of love, but since we've been on the farm, we've had to part with three chickens, a dog, and now a horse. Farm life isn't for the faint of heart.

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