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March 16, 2014: Horse Care: Worried

Spoke to Pete a short while ago, via the hand held device. This was in order to let him know that I’d be getting on the train to Talkeetna in the morning, at 8:15 a.m, and that I’d meet him there in the late afternoon.

Pete’s unexpected news was not good. He is now dealing with Signy, who he says is ill. We don’t know exactly what the problem is. The bad news is that she’s listless and is not eating. The good news is that she isn’t sweaty and isn’t wanting to roll.

The bad news seems like its trifling, but it is not. Icelandic horses are big eaters. They live to eat, as opposed to eat to live. Someone in Iceland once remarked that these horses make for poor plow horses because they will when asked to work, stop and eat. I think that this is

why Raudi hates arena work or being in the round pen. She would much prefer to be cruising around, snatching at grass. Even in the winter (if allowed), all our horses will grab at branches and eat the dead leaves under the trees. Signy is far more polite than Raudi, but if she had her druthers, she’d be dining on drek.

I am not worried because I know that Signy is in excellent hands. Pete is a very good and attentive horseperson. I ran down my mental list of things to do, and he’s done them. He’s checked her temperature, her capillary refill time, and pinched her neck, in order to check for dehydration. He’s blanketed her and given her some Banamine. And he’s been walking her all afternoon. He said that he’d called Dr. Wellington to give him a heads up, and iif she isn’t soon on the upswing, that he’d call back and tell Dr. Wellington that it was looking urgent and ask for more advice.

What’s going on is probably minor. Signy is a strong mare, and right now in excellent shape because we’ve been riding her all winter. The day before I came up here to Fairbanks, I took her for a ride, and she moved out fast. In fact, she was so eager to get going that she was trembling. She’s a wonderful mare; I call her our lucky Irish horse because she was bred and foaled there. She inspires confidence in me as a rider in a way that Raudi does not. Why is this? I think it’s because she’s willing and adept at giving her all. And how cool it is that Pete and Signy have bonded. Like Siggi, Signy chose Pete

I often wish that I was a veterinarian. This is never, ever going to come to be. Now it’s the age thing. Early on, it was the math and science obstacle. I am now too old to be considered a serious candidate for admission to a veterinary school because once graduated, I’d be of retirement age. Plus, I have never had a science mind. Actually, I might have a science mind, but to my knowledge no one has found a way of successfully imparting science and math related concepts to right brained people, meaning lecturing at us just doesn’t cut it.

I do think it’s quite wonderful that people can actually figure out what’s wrong with an animal, since they themselves cannot give us verbal clues as to what the problem might be. It’s equally wonderful that they can then fix the problem, and consequently (in most cases) extend the animal’s lifespan. I have more respect for these individuals than I do for those in any other profession. In fact, I revere those who I consider to be super human.

I must now return to thinking about more mundane matters, like packing and getting ready for the next phase of my ongoing journey.

Next: 76. 3/17/14: Signy’s Passing