Monday, December 21, 2009

Ryegate Nubbinette, 1984-Dec. 21, 2009

This morning, Dr. Dan Heistand & I had to help Snubbers over. She had been having troubles and finally, before things got real bad for her, I made that hard decision. Without a necropsy, our best guess was a lipoma starting to strangulate her intestine. She enjoyed about a half dozen carrots this morning and peacefully crossed over.
She was a special and unique horse. She happily went her own way all through her life and always had much enthusiasm. She never knew where she was going, but she got there with enthusiasm. When I would open the back gate to send the horses to the barn for rain or Santa Ana winds, all the horses turned left towards the barn--except Snubbers who took the scenic route to the right and got to the barn on her own good time. She was scritchy buddy with Beans, but most of the time didn't feel the need of a herd.
I have a multitude of Snubbers stories...
We were very very privileged to have had her in our lives. Now she romps the universe--with enthusiasm.
The following 3 posts celebrate her life in photos.

Snubbers, pt 1

In Vermont, at Lester Welch's Ryegate Morgans, meeting Snubbers for the first time. She wants to take David for a walk.

Early summer, her yearling year.

2 years old and not wanting to stand still.

3 yrs old, at the opposite end of the acreage from the other horses.

1989, her first foal, SSM Nubbin's Aaron Moro.

Snubbers, pt 2

photo by Carol Dzindzio, age 5

Taking David for a ride, with enthusiasm.

For a brief while, she lived with Mike & Darlene MacDonald, Ramona CA. She had a colt for them. Here she is w/David, doing her Medieval War Horse stance.

Taking David for a ride, again with enthusiasm.

Snubbers, pt 3

Early Summer 1995, w/her filly SSM Bessie Nekomia

Summer 1997, photo by Julie Heise, Claire Wagner in photo.

Winter 2005, a year of El Nino rains and lots of good eating. This is very typical of Snubbers. The other horses are one place & she is off by herself. Yes, that is a burned-off hill on the other side of the road. We were in the middle of the 3,000+ acre Milton Fire, July 2004.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

After the Rain, pt. 1

Spirit Seeker and Lil' Red charge up the hill upon coming out of the barn after 4 days of on-and-off rain.

Lil' Red is nearly flying.

Monday, December 7, 2009

It Takes a Village to Tend a Sick Horse

Snubbers, age 25, was not doing well Sunday morning and so I called my vet. After we discussed all the symptoms, he said it really sounds like she has sand in her intestines. It has been well over 10 years since I've had any sand problems with my horses because I continually improved thier feeding areas to prevent sand and I had not even considered sand as the source of her problem. A check of her manure showed no sand, but it is not a definitive test as the sand can be in there but not coming out in the manure. And her symptoms just did not fit anything else. In times past, back in the early to mid-90's, the vet would tube with about a pound of psyllium and mineral oil to move the sand. But that particular brand of psyllium is no longer being made and all other psyllium will simply clog the pump and tube. So the answer is to give her Banamine for comfort and feed oat hay and psyllium in the hopes that the sand will get moving. I had Banamine on hand and gave her a shot and she perked up a lot about 30 minutes later. She even ate some psyllium. But I had no oat hay and I no longer have a truck.
I called my feed store, which is open on Sunday, and they were willing to make a special trip out with some oat hay. While they were organizing that, I called my friend & handyman, Mike, and asked if perchance he could make a run to the feed store. He could! I called back the feed store & told them he was coming. I surely do appreciate that the owners of the feed store were willing to do extra for me--hats off to Big Pete's, aka Diamond Valley Market.
So Mike brought up 3 bales of Forage Hay--oat hay, barley hay & wheat hay. Snubbers chowed right into that and has been eating that happily.
But, I was down to only one more dose of Banamine. Over the years, my vet and I have had various "drive-by drug deals on corners" as we call them. One actually was on a corner, as I waited there for him so I could pick up some meds. Other times, I have chased him down to another ranch, and sometimes he brings meds to me at my book store. I called him and he dropped off more Banamine for me this morning at the cleaners next to my store as he was down there very early. Thank you Lewis Cleaners for my strange request that you hold a bottle of horse medicine for me.
It is now more then 24 hours since her last dose of Banamine and she is drinking water, eating her forage hay and has a good demeanor. We may be over the worst; I certainly hope so. I am truly grateful for the people who went the extra mile for Snubbers & I.