I have the WORST luck as a BO! - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 01-12-2010, 09:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: North Texas
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I have the WORST luck as a BO!

If you've read my other recent thread "Why do I always get the Lemons?" you know that I have the worst luck with crazy boarders, lame horses and drama drama drama.

Well one of a barn owners worsts fears happened to me yesterday...

Late afternoon my barn help was feeding and noticed one of the horse's wasn't eating his grain. Toby was a 21 y/o appy gelding and one of the last horse's I was expecting health problems. I was summoned to the barn to check on this horse and noticed that he was starting to sweat when he went down. I heard gut sounds but upon inspecting his gums noticed his mouth was a little bloody and his upper guns were severely irritated. Luckily my vet just happened to be in the area and came to the rescue.

He thought that he may have ingested something poisenous perhaps even chemical the way his gums looked especially since he had pooped a few times. (oh course that just added to my stress because there were still 16 horse's in the same pasture with him. My vet treated him as a colic case.. sedatives, tubed mineral oil and electrolytes and he also palpated his colon. He said it wasn't

The vet had another appointment close by and said he would be back but if he gets uncomfortable and goes down again that he needed to go to the hospital. Well the horse went down when we placed him in a stall with his head hanging out onto the isle way.. Of course boarders arrive to see their horses only to see this scary scene. LOVELY.

We ended up taking him to the hospital where they did an ultrasound, abdominal tap, and several tests. They didn't find anything to concrete but his lactates were elevated so they suspected a piece of dieing bowl somewhere. However, the owner couldn't afford the exploritory/colic surgery especially for a older horse who isn't even broke to ride. They pumped him full of laxitives and IV fluids hoping it was an impaction.

I called this morning and found out they had put him down. They did a brief necropsy and found out that he had a strangulating lipoma.

This was my first death as a barn owner... I feel mildly better knowing it wasn't my fault and nothing I could help but it's still sad.

What about you other BO's? How often does it happen to you?

~ Starline Stables ~
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post #2 of 25 Old 01-12-2010, 10:14 PM
Join Date: Dec 2009
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Ah boarding, and crazy boarders. Never boarded a horse - but I've worked at boarding barns and they are some nutty people at times!!!

I'd be a nervous wreck though if I owned a boarding barn, just like you were freaking because they had been out in a pasture together.

At least you got the vet to come out, and did everything you could.

I've got a lovely bunch of Neuticals,
There they are all standing in a row

Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head
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post #3 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 12:13 AM
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Wow.. sad story, first of all remember, its NOT YOUR FAULT. You seem to have a sweet and tender heart and take everything on your shoulders - that is why there is always Drama. This horse had a problem that was in no way your fault.. it was just his time to go. I am sure he recieved the best care you know how to give at your barn.. and thats all you can do .. I am sorry that problems have happened, but that is always what happens when people are involved. the Bible even states " When I go to do good, Evil is present".. meaning bad always goes with the good.. I have never boarded horses, or had to board a horse either for that matter, but my sister house sat for a lady once and during the night the mare (who had a 3 day old foal on her) coliced and died .. THAT WAS A NIGHTMARE... Hope things go better for you..
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post #4 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 07:17 AM
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Sorry, Starline, that's a tough one.

But the tiny silver lining her is that it's clear from the necropsy that his death was in no way related to your management.

Oh it's a tiny blessing that he died at the vet clinic, not at your place, so yoiu don't have the chore and the emotional trauma of disposing of the body.
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post #5 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 08:22 AM
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Starline, I can only imagine how stressful running a boarding barn must be. However, from this and other posts, it's a little unfair to be looking at so many of these situations only as it pertains to the impact it has on your life. I would be heartbroken if this happened to a horse that I knew and feel horrible for the owners. I'm sure you are, but the way you express youself comes across as "poor me". In this situation in particular, it's much more about the horse and it's owners who are grieving. You did what you could, and these things WILL happen when you run a business. I'm sorry to say this, but your barn might be a little less drama filled if you focused less on your personal feelings and the inconveniences to your life. You're a professional BO now, there will always be difficulties along with the "fun stuff".

Smart people listen. Not so smart people think they do not need to hear what others have to say.
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post #6 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 09:35 AM
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Wow, that sounds like uber fun. Makes me never want to beard horses.... You handled it well though, kudos. Glad you guys caught on before he just turned up dead out in the pasture when the owners came to see him...

Ω Horses are a projection of peoples dreams Ω
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post #7 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 09:56 AM
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At just about every barn Ive boarded at a horse has died. Mostly colic or old age. Its just part of the business.

Its horrible but you really should have a plan incase a horse dies on the property. You should already have the number of someone who will take the body. The owner is going to be very distraught in most cases, so you need to think ahead.
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post #8 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 10:14 AM
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Wow, what a sad story. The poor horse! How horrible for he to of had to go through that, but at least you, as a BO took the reins and got what you needed to be done - done.

Your Barn Help noticed signs, you came as soon as as possible and did the best you could.

This isn't your fault, and I know you are going to play the blame game, but crap happens.

What is a strangulating lipoma?

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post #9 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by MIEventer View Post
What is a strangulating lipoma?
It's an intra-abdominal tumor that can cause colic-like symptoms. Usually found in older horses, and for some reason, mostly geldings.

The only recourse is surgery, and the success/survival rate is 35-50%. Not great odds for any horse, especially an older one.

I think the owner made the right decision. My deepest sympathy on her loss.

OP, if you're a BO you're going to have to deal with sickness and death with other people's horses. If you can't take it, then you might want to think about another line of work. It's not all about you and your emotional trauma, it's about the horses and their owners.

It's okay to be upset, because losing a boarder's horse is a traumatic thing for everyone involved. It's NOT okay to turn it into a, "why do bad things always happen to MEEEE" drama.

Last edited by Speed Racer; 01-13-2010 at 10:59 AM.
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post #10 of 25 Old 01-13-2010, 11:18 AM
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I'm glad you shared your story Starline. Sorry others are attacking you for your post. This did happen to you so of course, you would tell the story from your perspective.
You did everything right, don't worry about what others say.

"Until one has loved an animal, part of one's soul remains unawakened..."
- Anatole France
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