In the middle of a breakdown. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 14 Old 07-06-2010, 02:29 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
Posts: 6,634
• Horses: 2
Unhappy In the middle of a breakdown.

I'm frayed at the seams, I don't even know where to start sewing myself back together.

For some reason, Ricci and I are just having such bad luck. First, it was a swollen leg a few months ago. Then a week ago it was a splint. Now, it appears her tendons have bowed. They were perfectly straight yesterday. She isn't lame at all. Came galloping up this evening when I noticed it. No heat, no tenderness. I'm just baffled and panicked and I can't stop crying.

So now I'm scrambling trying to get money. I'm begging everyone for just a few dollars hoping I can come up with enough for the vet. I just moved, so with the increase in rent and gas to commute, I'm REALLY struggling right now. I even took my horses off grain because they don't really need it anyway. And quite honestly, I can't afford it right now.

But I feel like such a bad horse owner and I can't help but think I should just sell them to someone who has the money to call a vet when they need one. Have I really become one of those people? Who cling to their animals long after they can no longer afford them?

They've always been sleek and happy and healthy the whole time I've had them both. They've always had their shots, their floats, their farrier work. They've always had good feed/hay. They've both blossomed with me. Until now with Ricci. Then of course, there's the rather high possibility that I caused the bowed tendons by somehow forgetting how to polo wrap when I had them on her for her splint. But until the last few months, caring for them has never been a problem.

Ricci is my heart horse. Ricci is my everything. She's the one and only being I've ever met in my entire life that makes me feel complete. I effing love that horse. I would DIE if I had to sell her. She is quite literally the one who pulls me back from the edge.

I'm just at a loss. My heart is breaking, and all I can do is lay in bed and cry. And cry. And cry.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."

Last edited by riccil0ve; 07-06-2010 at 02:31 AM.
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post #2 of 14 Old 07-06-2010, 09:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Wyoming
Posts: 2,044
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Okay, you need to step back and take a deep breath... Maybe two or three of them. Now, you say Ricci is your heart horse and your best friend. What about your other horse? She is fairly young, isn't she? Maybe at this time in your life you can do with just one horse. Sell the other horse and concentrate on Ricci right now. With one horse your expenses will be less for all things, board, feed, vet, farrier.... Sometimes one animal of any kind is just overload at a time when you are feeling your worst. Sometimes having just one "heart" animal is what will make you think and see clearly. When times are better and pick up, then maybe you will decide to get a second horse, that doesn't mean you have to have one now. Besides, you can only ride one horse at a time.
As far as the vet. I work for one and we have people that have to deal with the issues you have, no money to afford an emergency... But, we have also worked out things with them, sorta a barter. They come and work, cleaning stalls, cleaning cages, walking dogs, mainly the "dirty" work, but it seems to work for special circumstances. I am not going to say"see if you can make payments" because most vets are in the financial dumps like everyone else these days. But, maybe you can work off the labor part and just pay the actual cost of medications. Talk to your vet, it might work.
If for some reason when you did the polo wraps too tight or wrapped the wrong way and it bowed her tendons, so be it. Don't beat yourself up about it, its done and over with. You can't go back and do it over and if indeed that is what happened, then you need to move on. Help her by hosing those legs and doing what needs to be done now. If she is not lame, thats a good sign.Maybe hosing and some rest will help. Again, EVERYONE makes mistakes and sometimes it effects our beloved animals, but if there is anyone on this list or anywhere who owns animals and says they have never done anything wrong, they are not telling the truth. From wrapping a leg wrong, to tying up a horse wrong, everyday we all do things we later wish we hadn't. I have a show dog that had a few mats on his back leg. It had snowed and he had some snow/ice wrapped up in the long long feathers. I had to hurry in to work and figured I would clean it up when I got home. Well, he chewed his hair off, right down to the skin and made it bleed. I was SICK about it and kicked myself because if I had taken a few minutes to brush the mats out it would have been fine. I had to treat his HUGE red oozing area for weeks. I was so mad at myself. But, at that point, nothing I could do would take back those few minutes. Had to move on, he is fine now and just got his first Championship points at a show a few weeks ago. I know this is not a horse, but I have shown/groomed dogs for years and knew better, but made a mistake. Was I mad at myself? Yes, I sure was. I was so upset. We all make mistakes. You did not do it intentionally, it was a mistake.
So, take a few breaths and quit crying and relax. Go hug your girl and think about what I said and what I am sure others will say. Step back and reevaluate how things are. If you need to sell your other horse, then do so and it will make things a bit easier for you. If you want to keep both horses, then start thinking of ways to "barter" for things you need to have to make your life easier for a bit until things are a bit clearer.
Have a good day, sending nice thoughts your way
wyominggrandma is offline  
post #3 of 14 Old 07-06-2010, 10:11 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
Posts: 6,634
• Horses: 2
Thanks for that. =]

I could sell Gracie. I love her, but Ricci is my heart horse. The problem I have with selling her is that it really isn't costing me much extra to have her. A little bit extra for feed, but my board will stay the same whether I have her or not. To be honest, I wasn't sure I could afford a second horse when I got her. She kinda fell into my lap. But I've been able to without a problem, just have to save a little extra for the annual vet visit.

I was so looking forward to starting her though, she's going to be a fantastic little mare. Ugh. I don't know.

I will talk to my vet about paying it off somehow. It helps that my vet is rather fond of me.

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
riccil0ve is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 07-06-2010, 10:36 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 880
• Horses: 5
I understand what you are goin through. I am 21... and have all my bills. Rent, electric, insurance, gas, cell phone. I go without alot. I dont have cable or internet at my house. But I choose to do that so I can keep my horses. I own 3 and a mini. I have been at rock bottom... didnt think there was a way out. Especially when my 3 month old puppy needed a $700 surgery.
Just keep trudging. Hose her legs with cold water, confine her if you can. Talk to your vet. And keep you chin up. WyomingGrandma said... there is nothing you can do to change how you wrapped now. (if that is the cause). Just do the best you can... get out of you emotional state.... then sit down and figure out if you want to sell Gracie... but dont make that choice in an emotional state =)

PS.... give her bute if you can

Many people have sighed for the 'good old days' and regretted the 'passing of the horse,' but today, when only those who like horses own them, it is a far better time for horses. ~C.W. Anderson
Cowgirl140ty is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 07-06-2010, 10:41 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Idaho, USA
Posts: 650
• Horses: 7
Hang in there!!! WY Gma gave some great advice. . . I don't have much to add. . Technically, my vet does not accept payments, but in actuality, they have let me make payments before, when my dog had to have three consecutive mammary cancer surgeries. I couldn't afford it all at once without sacrificing neccesities, but I really didn't want to put her down if she had a fighting chance. . . Anyways, it never hurts to ask. . . If your vet won't work with you, keep calling around, you may find one that will. Best of luck!
payette is offline  
post #6 of 14 Old 07-06-2010, 12:44 PM
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: in my stables
Posts: 1,210
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If you havent had the vet to confirm it i wouldnt be signing myself over just yet. How is she in herself?

Im gonna tell you a story. My neighbours are only a young couple not much money at all. They just had a baby girl and are struggling to make ends meet. Anyway the wifes heart horse came in crippled one day literally 3legged and all hell broke loose what were they going to do with everything etc. This is horse had a very swollen and sore tendon. The vet came out and booked a 1000euro x-ray as he thought he had broken the seasmoid bones in his leg.
Soo this couple were distraught they were literally broke as it was without all of this on top. 3days later the leg started going down each day just a tiny bit more smaller. With 3 weeks stable rest he is perfect now the vet thinks he shocked his leg and it caused a reflex of swelling!

Anyway my strory is to show you as riders we automatically assume as soon as oour horses are the slightest bit off that they can never be ridden again We are all guilty of it!! So before you breakdown maybe go out recheck her as rationally and optimistically as you can and get a vet check

To give a horse your heart guarantees a love that will last forever undamageable
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post #7 of 14 Old 07-06-2010, 03:32 PM
Green Broke
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 4,510
• Horses: 2
Just breath girl! It's no where near the end of the world!

How do you think I feel about my horses sometimes? I have suffered through leg problems on my last FIVE horses - Playboy foundered (rehomed), Zena developed a calcification of the tendon (dead lame, rehomed), Zierra has been no end of a headache to me for two years with her horrible feet and her tendon sheath injury, I was selling an Arab mare who came up with a mysterious lameness the day of sale and we took $1000 less for her, and now Jynxy popped her splint!

You definitely get to feeling like a lousy horse owner sometimes - like how can it be FLUKE that my last 5 horses have been crippled on me? I had no money to take Zierra to the vet when her leg was all screwy, and she was never lame, so I just stopped riding her and started cold hosing it. A few months later, Shay-la and my sister sprung $80 for ultrasounds for my birthday. And what did she tell me? NOTHING. Told me to give her a good six months off and she'd be fine. Nothing has EVER changed - she's never been lame, but the leg will consistantly swell with fluid anytime she's worked fairly hard.

If your horse is not lame, quit panicking. There is NOTHING a vet could tell you but stall rest and cold hosing for any sort of lower leg swelling - even for a bowed tendon, that's the only real advice! It's frustrating as all heck, but these are our horses! I would sit back, do your best to make her comfortable, save your pennies for the vet, but I certainly don't think you have a massive urgency if she's running around her pasture and not lame at all!

We all hit these rough patches so just sit back and breath and quit doubting yourself! We can all preach all we want about being able to "afford" emergencies and it's ridiculous - a lot of horse owners don't have a spare $1000 laying around, especially if they're going through some personal change themselves. I could barely afford the teeth floating this year, and if one of them needed a major emergency call, I'd be making payments!

*HUGS* You're wonderful for your horses, they wouldn't be better off with someone else who may not even CARE enough to TRY and help them for every little thing!

I hope God tells her to smash her computer with a sledgehammer.

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post #8 of 14 Old 07-06-2010, 03:57 PM
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 22,258
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Agreed. Take a step back and take a few deep breaths. You are seeing everything right now through your heart and letting your feelings cloud your mind. I know, it's hard when your loved one is possibly hurt but you can't seem to do anything about it. We have all been there. That is how I felt when Dobe had those melanomas come up. I was panicking because I just knew that he would die and I wouldn't have the money to help. Sometimes it just takes a deep breath to be able to see things rationally (plus some support from good friends here at HF ). MM is right, it isn't some huge emergency if she is still sound and there is no heat in her legs. Just stall her if you can, cold hose her, maybe spend some time just hand-walking her every day. Take some time to really figure out what you need to do. She isn't going to die, she isn't going to be permanently lame, shoot, she isn't even lame now. Just breathe, in.........out. Take some time to talk to the vet, maybe they will work with you on the payment. If not, well, you can burn that bridge when you get there. Most vets realize that sudden things come up and not everyone has an unlimited supply of money trees to draw from. They are working people just like the rest of us and most of them are very reasonable people. Just take some time, take a breath, and take it one step at a time. ((((HUGS))))
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post #9 of 14 Old 07-06-2010, 10:43 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Washington, USA.
Posts: 6,634
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Thanks everyone, you're great. =]

My boyfriend gave me a good chunk of change for the vet to come out today. Since last night [when I noticed it] the swelling is half the size although it still looks slightly bowed. He noticed her standing over at the knee, which is new for her. That's putting a lot of strain on the... suspensory flexor? causing it to swell. He told me I can either give her Bute and handwalk, or not Bute her and turn her out, that's up to me. He said it would be ideal to have her in her stall [as opposed to large turnout] but if she's getting so upset to just let her be, but that it takes 24 hours for the last dose of Bute to wear off. But other than that, it was the basic, "cold-hose, stall rest, standing wraps," deal. He's going to talk to my farrier about maybe a heel wedge, because Ricci doesn't have enough heel. He said it wasn't bowed, just strained.

I feel better. Maybe I didn't HAVE to have the vet out, but I'm definitely more at peace now.

It's not like me to melt like this, but everything's been so tough lately. Of course Ricci chooses now to fall apart, when I can't afford it and I'm so stressed about money. I can't talk to my roommate/best friend about it because she's even worse off than I am and I'd feel bad. I can't talk to my mom because she feels terrible that I was thrown out into the world before we wanted. And I can't talk to my boyfriend because he just doesn't get it. He did loan me some money and he's great about that, but he doesn't understand the stress because he doesn't pay his bills. Plus, it's easier to spill your guts to strangers. So again, thanks. =]

"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds."
riccil0ve is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 07-06-2010, 11:09 PM
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Orange County, NC
Posts: 6,226
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Originally Posted by riccil0ve View Post
I feel better. Maybe I didn't HAVE to have the vet out, but I'm definitely more at peace now.
Sometimes having the vet out is indeed more for our benefit, and that's perfectly OK.

Hang in there. Nature does a pretty good job of healing on its own.

On the sixth day, God created the Quarter Horse.
On the seventh day, he Painted the good ones.
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