Sunday, November 8, 2009
Cash... You Never Count the Cost
Last winter, during a heavy wind storm, I found Cash stumbling in the wind and rain outside when I went to feed. I didn't know what happened, as it was dark, could barely see by the ambiant, residual light. He nearly toppled over me as I was putting on his blanket. I walked him two steps at a time back to the barn, and closed him into a smaller stall with a door to be seperated from the other horses. Being late at night, with only a small flashlight, I assumed perhaps a stroke/seisure. He stood with frightened eyes, and stood with his legs splayed out for additional balance. It was a long night.
The following day, I found 2x4 boards in one of the stalls bent and broken, and the vet also concluded head trauma by viewing his eyes and witnessing the structural damage to the barn. Not sure how it occured, but mostly likely the fierce wind had something to do with it. The horses have free access into the barn at will from the pasture.
Nearly a year later, he's still recovering, with still a slight tilt of the head, but even that is nearly gone. He's doing well, even kicks up his heels when called up for dinner, though his gait is a tad unsteady. He has a harder time keeping his weight up, probably bc he eats slower. It was touch and go last year, as he got so thin and sick that we nearly lost him. It was daily intensive care, as well as the meaningful times sitting in his stall, talking to him. He needed to be stalled for long periods of time away from the other horses, as well as for the harsh Oregon winter weather.
Prior to his head trauma, he was top of the rung in the equine social pecking order here, but sadly dropped below the young filly, who too also attempted to pick on him, and behaved like a cutting horse in attempt to dominate him. He had to be kept away from the other horses, for his safety, as well as being able to eat enough without the other running him off.
Now, he waivers between being back at the top, down to second with the mane mare, Blaze.... but he continues to assert himself and continues slow but steady improvement.
It was a long road, but Cash is one of those horses with those big gentle eyes, that no matter how bleak the situation, and how I was urged to put him down by others... I couldn't let go, and wouldn't give up, no matter the cost.