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My sweet sweet boy, Sisco </3
My Sisco. He was my first horse. Im 42 but wanted a horse my whole life. A Palomino. I had a friend who said I could keep a horse at his place and he would help me with becoming a horse owner. My husband also has horse experience and owned horses in high school so he would help me learn as well. I went on my search for THE Palomino. I live in Indiana and I found my boy in Illinois. He was three years old at that time. The ad had his sire listed and information about him. It also had a link to his pedigree. He had Impressive in his bloodlines. The dam had Impressive in her bloodlines as well but there was no test result for her. I found out along the way that Sisco had been starved for a long time and was passed around to three different people before the girl got him. She was going to college and couldn't keep all of her horses. I got in contact with the lady who foaled him. :) I found out that she called him Petey. So cute!!! I told her what I had found out about his journey after he left her. She was pretty torn up about it but thankful that I had him now. One day I was hunting for information about Sisco's mom and I actually found an ad where she was for sale along with Sisco's full brother. The ad stated that she was N/N. My heart skipped a beat because my boy was safe!!!!! With both parents being N/N, that meant Sisco was N/N too!!
I never got Sisco tested once I found out that both parents were N/N. I worked with him and trained him and just loved the heck outta him!!! He was so amazing!! He had the sweetest personality, he was very gentle and laid back, he was also very smart and learned things quickly!! I couldn't be more in love with this guy!!!! My husband got a horse a few months later and Sisco had a brother. Mac also came from a rough past. He had been abused and passed around. He had some trust issues but has worked through them and he and my husband are very close. My friend ran into money troubles and had to sell his place so we had to move our horses. They actually went to the place where Mac and Trader (my current horse) are NOW. They were there about a year and did so well there!!! They had four acres and grass was very plentiful. We had to move them again because the lady was moving and her daughter was moving in and didn't feel she had room for our horses and hers. Part of the farm was leased at that time so she couldn't use all of her land. We moved them to a friends house. The lot was small and the ground was hard and the grass just wouldn't grow. We spent so much money on round bales, it was ridiculous. We also about lost Mac several times. He would colic about every six months. Each time he pulled through but it was horrible to have to see him go through that again and again. I had a thought once while Mac was colicing that if Sisco ever coliced I didn't think he would make it. I don't know what made me think that but I did. Mac was always the tougher of the two horses. He was forced to fight because of his abuse. We are so thankful that he never gave up. We never gave up on him either!!
In August of 2012, my husband stopped to check on the boys and called me that something wasn't right with Sisco. He told me to bring out the Banamine shot that we always keep on hand and that he thinks Sisco is colicing. The tears immediately started but I didn't have time for that, I jumped into action and got out there. I tried calling our vet on the way out and she was out of town!! Ugh!! When I got there my husband was trying to keep Sisco up and walking around. It didn't feel like colic but what else could it be?? He was sitting on his rump like a dog sits. That was something we never saw with Mac. Sisco wasn't trying to roll, he was just weak and kept falling into a sit position on his rump. We gave him the Banamine shot and kept him walking. It seemed to help. I got ahold of a vet that my friend used and told him the situation. He said we did what he would have done and to watch him and wait it out. It broke my heart that MY vet wasn't here for Sisco. She was always there when Mac coliced. We stayed out there for hours. Sisco seemed ok. He was eating and acting normal. Finally it got dark. My friend said she would keep checking on him and sending me updates. I reluctantly went home to my kids. She sent me updates and the latest one was at 1:30 am saying he was doing just fine. She went to bed and said she would get ahold of me first thing in the morning.
That is a morning I will never ever forget. She said that she just checked on him and he didn't make it. I thought it was a joke. It couldn't be true. My boy couldn't be gone.
My husband and I went out. I called my mom to come stay with the kids. The ride out was a blur of tears and white. I felt numb. I got out there and he was on the ground about 20 feet outside the barn. It had rained that night so he was all sandy. He wasn't his normal color. He had turned really golden that year. I rubbed the dirt off my boy. I just kept saying Im sorry. Im so sorry. He had a huge gash on his back leg. We don't know how he got that. I cried and we cut off some of his tail. My husband and I had a friend down the road who has a backhoe. He said he would come bury Sisco for us. It all happened so fast. Its probably good that it did because I didn't want to leave him. The backhoe got there and we had to shut Mac in the barn. He was in there crying out. I went in to be with Mac. Once I calmed him down I went back outside. Our friend had gotten the hole dug. He looked at me standing by the fence crying. Ill never forget the look on his face. He was so sad for me. A horse friend called and the poor girl listened to me wail and cry while Sisco was being buried. Literally the worst day of my life.
Once we got home. I was just so confused. What had happened to my boy? Why did he die? What could I have done to save him? I blamed myself. I still blame myself. I will always blame myself. I had to have missed something. I should have gotten the HYPP test. I should have stayed the night with him. I should have saved him!!!! He didn't deserve to die. He was only 7. I only had him four years. I wanted more time!! I NEEDED HIM!!!!!!!
Looking back, there were signs. But nothing severe. When he would eat he would twitch. We always noticed it but it never interefered with anything. He was starved and he was very into his food. He loved his grain. We thought he was just excited to have his grain. The twitches were small and never bothered him. Then there was the sitting on his rump thing. What was that? We had never seen a horse do that. I found out from my friends daughter that she had ridden him earlier that day and he just stopped. He was frozen. He wouldn't move. Or maybe he couldn't move. She wasn't very horse savvy. I figured maybe he was just showing her that he was in charge, not her. I wasn't there, I didn't see what happened. Sisco was always very easygoing though. He didn't really test you unless he wanted to eat. Putting all of that with his age and his Impressive on top and bottom. We started looking up HYPP videos online. We couldn't think of anything else it could have been. We think he had a major HYPP episode and it stopped his heart and he was gone immediately. How it is possible for him to have had HYPP though, I don't know? Both parents were stated as being N/N. So either someone lied or the HYPP is just so strong. I did find a video that said her horse had a Variant strand of HYPP. I don't know. I will never know. All I know is my heart hurts every single day for him and I miss him more than anything. I talk to him every day. I ask him to keep his brothers safe. I can tell Mac misses him. I can see it in his eyes. Mac and Trader get along well. Trader is bigger than Mac and Sisco. And he has a sweet personality like Sisco. He will just follow me around, like Sisco did. But he is also a bossy horse. He doesn't want to let Mac be lead horse, like Sisco did. So they bicker a bit. lol It keeps Mac on his toes. They are always side by side. They love eachother, they just don't want anyone to know. If I cant have my sweet Sisco here with me, then Trader is a great alternative. I have really been blessed with the horses I have chosen. They are amazing boys!!
Thank you for reading my story and sharing in my memory of Sisco!! <3
Here are some pictures of my sweet boy, and the pedigree and paperwork I found on his dam and sire for anyone interested.
It still could have been something besides HYPP. since an autoposy was never done, and he was never tested for HYPP, both parents were n/n, I would not just assume that he died from HYPP.
The Impressive percentage is actually very little, and its far back in the generations.
There are other viruses/infections that this could have been. a neurological disorder, aneurysm, heart failure. Theres just so many things.
HYPP would be at the back of my mind in this situation. Lactic acid buildup can cause tight muscles, cramping, twitching, extreme discomfort. That would be due to selenium/vit e deficency. perhaps magnesium deficency.
You will never know. But dont beat yourself up about this. It could have been anything.
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Thank you CLaPorte :) I try but I dont do a great job at not beating myself up. I'm working on it. I really appreciate your feedback on the HYPP matter. I guess it was an easy answer for a horrible sudden thing that happened. Maybe we made the pieces fit so that we had a reason for his sudden death. Youre right, we will never know. I have been trying to focus on what he gave me instead of what I lost. I just miss him so much it hurts.
Your post just made me remember that I wrote a letter to my vet and told her what had happened to Sisco and she wrote me back. She thinks it was circulatory collapse, an internal broken blood vessel that killed him. She said she wouldnt have ordered an autopsy because she is that certain. I dont exactly know what that means.
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Good for you, stay focused on what he was able to give you. Memories are good, think about him often. It is OK to cry, it is OK to laugh.
I too lost a horse suddenly this year. He was only 14 and I had him 10 years. I miss him so much. He was a character and a lot of my memories of him make me smile and cry at the same time. It is good to remember, you will always miss him.
Im sorry for your loss, Ride. Ten years, wow!! That has to be pretty amazing though!! You are so very lucky to have had him for that long!! It is very hard to come to terms with. Im sure the longer you have them, the harder it is. It still feels like yesterday that he was here. Having my husbands horse and my new horse help a lot. And knowing Im not alone in my loss helps too. It seems like its only through loss that you find others who share a loss like yours. :)
As the owner if a confirmed hypp horse I can understand how upset you would be at such a sudden loss.
My only advice would be to test for it the next time you have horse that you suspect has hypp.
With proper diet and management hypp horses (depending on the severity) can live normal lives. My hypp gelding has only had one confirmed attack more then 10 years ago (as I personally know previous owners) and has had none with me.
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I'm so sorry for your loss.
Thank you, natisha :)
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