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December 18, 2018: Colic Attack

Colic in horses is generally caused by an impaction in the large intestine. There are many types and causes of colic. Ultimately, it is what does horses in. Some horses that reside near veterinary clinics undergo surgery. The percentage of horses that live after isn’t that high.

Horses have very primitive guts, so this is why this happens. What goes in one end has to come out the other. Hay in, poop out, if it gets stuck, the horse is in trouble.

Yesterday evening Raudhetta colicked. Pete took her for a ride in the late afternoon. I did not go riding because I seem to have this reoccurring tight muscle

Raudi and Hrimmi

problem in my lower back. We do not know what causes it, but I could hardly walk. This has been going on now for two weeks. No, it is not age-related (as some would like to believe), so I will deal.

Pete came in the cabin and announced that Raudi was colicking – she was showing the usual symptoms – lying down, not eating, not drinking. She was not biting at her flanks, which is also a symptom. He went back outside and I quickly joined him. Raudi was tied to the hitching post, staring out into space.

Here’s where Pete saved the day. He started listing the things we should do, and I did them. I did ear slides and TTeam lick of the cow’s tongue on her belly. I checked her flanks for gut sounds – there were none. I took her temperature; it was 99.9, her baseline. Her gums were a bit pale. I did the skin pinch test – she was not dehydrated. Pete gave her Banamine and I blanketed her. We then took her for a walk around the loop. She did not indicate that she wanted to roll.

Here’s the strange part. At one point, down the road, I saw three sets of eyes in the dark. They belonged to neighborhood dogs. Right then, it reminded me of when Raudi was eight months old and got into the bird seed and saw wolves chasing her around the garage storm drain.

She then, and now, had a choice. Her spirit could either come or go. The dogs ran off and we continued on. By the time we got back, Raudi was better as was evidenced by the fact she was nibbling at her hay. Pete got a syringe and squirted water into her mouth. She took a drink. I did the cow’s lick and she farted. And she then began eating more vigorously.

We put her in the space Tinni occupies at night and watched her for a while. She appeared to be okay. We went and ate dinner – I checked on her in a bit and then Pete checked on her. Pete said that she was rubber necking under the gate, in an attempt to get the hay Hrimmi was eating. I then knew that she was just fine.

Hrimmi and Tinni knew what was going on, Tyra, less so. She was envious of the attention that Raudi was getting and wondered when she’d get her time in the shed area.

Raudi is one of a kind. She’s very tough, very willful, very determined. And this is why she’s still with us. I was again reminded this morning, as I removed the blanket, that she’s a spirit horse. Raudi is a spirit horse. She has taught me many things and by her very nature forced me to consider positive reinforcement/TTeam/Intrinzen/Centered Riding training techniques. I have detractors, but I know that I could not have done anything any other way. This horse and I are joined at the hip, and when she was colicking, I felt this bond.

The same holds true for Pete. If he hadn’t been so on top of things, the outcome would have been different. With Pete, I’m joined at the heart.

Next: 53. 12/19/18: A Conversation with Thelma and Louise

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