Sunday, February 5, 2012

Long, scary story; happy ending

I have been the world's worst blogger lately. Mostly, there have been several scares with Willow and a visit from my mom keeping me occupied. I'm now feeling much more focused and inspired!

Two weeks ago, I had a call from the owner of the barn in Liberty Hill, Texas, where Willow moved to in November. Willow was having a terrible choking spell, and rinsing her mouth with water and administering Banamine were having no effect. It was late at night, and we finally decided to call the vet out. She determined that it was bad enough that Willow should be moved to the vet hospital. There, she was able to clear the obstruction after a couple tries. A scope showed no abnormalities, so that was good news. But then Willow started to choke again the next morning, and they had to clear another obstruction, this one made of her bedding. Silly mare, eating her bedding. So for the next five days, they kept Willow at the hospital in a dry lot, to keep her from ingesting more wood shavings. Then, she was able to go home for a week of stall rest.

Then, last Friday night, Willow started to choke again. The barn owner called me immediately for permission to take Willow back to the hospital, and I agreed. This time, because we didn't wait as long, the obstruction was cleared much more easily, and Willow was able to go home Monday. For the first few days after her return she was coughing during meals, but still able to eat, and now she seems to be doing well again. They are thoroughly wetting her meals, and I suggested they might try adding large river rocks to the bucket to try to slow Willow down. That mare does love her food.

The scope showed no abnormalities, so I had blood drawn for an EPM test. It showed an exposure but no active infection. I'm wondering if maybe the nerves in Willow's throat might have been affected? She's never had this problem before.

Through all this, I was feeling really down. I had begun planning to bring Willow back to Oregon, since it had been almost two years with no buyer. But now, with the choking, I was terrified to try to ship her so far. What if she choked to death en route? Brrrrrrr. No way. So I had several folks in Texas casting about for someone who might want her as a broodmare. All along, all I have ever wanted is a good home for her.

Suddenly, out of the blue, a student at the barn where Willow is housed popped up and said she wanted her. This lady has had some hard times in her life recently, and she had been volunteering to hand-walk Willow while she was on stall rest. At some point, she became very attached, and when she heard Willow was probably going, she decided to jump in and take her. I don't think she has ever owned her own horse before, but she has been riding all her life, and the barn owner (also the trainer) has known her since she was a child. She thinks it's a good match.

We are at almost two years to the day since Willow got on the truck, bound for Texas, then Louisiana, then Texas. It's hard having a horse for sale that long. In this economy, you wonder if you'll ever find a good home. And then, click, it all works out. I'm so happy for Willow, and happy for her new person. The barn she's at is amazing. If you're ever looking for a barn for jumping or dressage, near Liberty Hill, Texas, let me know and I will hook you up.

Huey is doing awesome as well! Now that I won't have to pay board on Willow, I should have a little extra $$ to take Huey to some rated shows. I would love to try to earn my bronze on him.

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Very glad to hear that Willow has found a great home! I remember when you decided to sell her (amazing that two years have gone by!) and I can imagine that this is a huge emotional and financial weight off your shoulders.