In The Country Magazine
poorly horse, girl comforting horse
In The Country

Trials and tribulations

Happy Monday everyone! Xx

For the first time I think I am glad that the weekend is over.

What a weekend I have had…

beautiful coloured horse

Firstly, it started off as a lovely long weekend, I had so much planned and managed to get THREE new posts scheduled so I was feeling super happy with a sense of achievement.

I had taken the day off to use up some holiday before Christmas but also because it was my younger sister’s birthday.

Seeing as I had missed her birthday last year as I was travelling I was determined to be there this year and so work, traffic, horses and just life in general was not going to delay me in any way – well that was the plan at least.

I had prepared everything at the yard earlier that day so that my other half could bring him in for me, (saving me getting dirty and smelling of horses again – not that I would have minded too much, but being non-horsey I think they wouldn’t appreciate it as much!).

The POA was I would get ready at home pop into town and James would bring the horse in straight after beating and then get ready for dinner – I could then pick him up and off we would go.

Nice and simple and all smooth sailing.

So I had opted for white skinny jeans, a small cropped t-shirt and straightened hair TOTAL non-horsey outfit.

I had popped into town to do a little bit of shopping just whilst I waited for James to get ready, when I got a rather panicked phone call… ‘I think you need to come to the yard now.’

My stomach immediately began summersaulting and my heart was in my mouth, ‘Simba doesn’t seem right…’

I practically ran out of the shop and down the high street to my car.

Luckily the yard is only about 5 minutes outside of the town, once I got there I shoved on my ‘chammies’ barefoot (I know – cringe!).

I hadn’t planned for a sudden emergency horse visit, ran over to the stable block where the other half’s family were crowded round his stable… he really didn’t look well.

I may sound like a crazy horse lady, but I could of sworn his ears and eyes perked up when he saw me arrive.

He knew he wasn’t right.

What happened? Good question.

Hedge monsters as far as we can tell, in a split second he went from calm and collected gentle giant standing by the gateway waiting to come in to petrified flight mode tearing through his fencing up the track, past James’ parents and into the first open field.

Once in there he had continued to gallop around terrified of these bloody  twilight hedge monsters none of us could see, snorting and puffing himself up.

My already giant baby, grew about another 2 hands through fear…James’ dad, an experienced horseman, eventually managed to catch him and lead him to his stable to calm down.

He had cooked himself and his soft, fluffy winter coat was now crimped and dripping with sweat.

Thank goodness James took his rugs off!

When I turned up, he was starting to paw the ground – immediately the alarm bells started ringing – COLIC!

I grabbed his head collar and quickly lead him out of the stable into the nearest field and began walking him around. I was terrified… the thoughts going through my head of all the horror stories you hear on the internet about horses colicing repeatedly whirling round was making my hands shake with fear for him.

Please let him be ok I just kept saying over and over in my head.

I have had my fair share of bad luck these past couple of years – no more now.

Thank god James’ mum was chatting away (much to James’ disapproval), trying to keep me calm and talking to her – I would have been a wreck otherwise. 

After about half an hour of constant walking we stopped for a minute just to see how he was, immediately his legs started to buckle and he tried to go down, it took all my strength to pull him back up again, then it really hit home.

It isn’t until things like this happen that you realise how much they mean to you…they aren’t indestructible or made of steel, and can be taken from you just as quickly as they arrived.

I have always said there is something about my youngster, he has such a gentle soul and seems so appreciative of people.

I know he was in pain and he knew it too.

I knew I was missing my sister’s birthday meal and felt awful, so naturally tried calling mum to let her know… and why is it in times of need – NO ONE ANSWERS THEIR PHONES!

Next stop, dad = nothing.

Finally I resorted to my sister (who’s birthday it was) and asked her to pass me to mum.

I must say, that for my mum and sisters who are not ‘horsey’ at all and have never even met my horse, they were INCREDIBLY understanding and supportive.

Dad could empathise with my panic stricken messages, after growing up on a farm surrounded by animals and sent me the most supportive and encouraging words.

I cannot thank you all enough, you were all brilliant, I don’t think I would have stayed as calm as I did without you all.

              It was so lovely and reassuring to know there were people who love and care for him even after not knowing him that long…

I called the vet who thankfully was available and would only be 20 minutes or so, so we carried on walking him until she arrived.

It was the same vet we had called out about a week ago for vaccinations, which was a small relief to my stress.

After managing a year of no call outs he has seen the vet twice in one week!!

Once she arrived, she examined him and diagnosed him with spasmodic colic, she gave him some Bute and sedation to try and manually relieve some pain.

We were on strict orders to starve him over night in the hopes that he will pass droppings without making matters worse, then small amounts of warm bran mash 4 or 5 times throughout the next day.

I felt awful not giving him any hay or feed but it was for his own good and I knew that.

James and I waited with him until he woke up from his sedation, it was freezing.

I couldn’t feel my toes, and I had blisters from walking round in the paddock, but I wasn’t leaving until I knew the worst was over.

I am so grateful to James and his parents for their support (despite them thinking they didn’t do much, to me they were amazing!).

He is part of the family now – his mum was saying, we can’t let anything happen to him.

We checked him 3 or 4 more times that night, I would have camped out with him if I could have – but I think my toes might have fallen off, besides the stables are only in the garden so he was close enough.

The next day we checked him again regularly – it was a real team effort, and I love everyone for being so brilliant!

After checking him after work this evening he seems back to his usual self. I am still being cautious for the next few days just to be sure we are out of the woods.

hollie ella cuddling horse simba in stable

He is too special for me to loose.

If this is anything like being a real mother – I am not looking forward to it.


Lots of love, Hollie-Ella Xx

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