Tuesday, March 23, 2010

King - My Old Cowboy needs some prayers....

There comes a time when our best friends call on us one time or another for support on the phone and you drop what your doing and it doesnt matter what it is...your there by they're side to help them through whatever crisis it is. We give our hearts to our friends, our friendship and trust and often depend on them to pull us through hard times that come up. Many times we disappoint each other, and sometimes its not by fault of our own, just our of our ignorance that we dont understand the need someone has for us at that moment. I think that those of us who have horses in our lives love them so much for the reason that they never let us down. They are steady and true, they are always the same from sun up to sun down. You can bet your horse is not gonna change - he is who he is - and you can bet he will love you more tomorrow than he did yesterday. If he trust you, he is going to until YOU do something to loose that trust. Its all up to you on how your relationship will go...he wants it to work out and is eager to see it succeed.
A bond with an animal, horse or otherwise, can be stronger than with any human friend we have. Thats how it is sometimes. They get us through those rough patches when we call on them - they never say no. They stand and let us saddle up, or groom away our troubles. Then there is that time they call on you.....My Boy King has had his times he's had to call....you may recall I saved him from the killers at a horse sale, starved and one of THE ugliest horses I've ever seen. We thought then he was about 25 yrs old. Everyone said for years he was a dead head....fattened him up and got him healthy and sold him - he was Mr. No Personality. I really didnt like him, but did feel so sorry for him. The same man who bought Gypsy from me when I had to sell her 4 years ago bought him just 6 months before buying her. So they were together, until I moved here...I was reluctant to buy him back, he is so tall, and again...Mr. No Personality. Dead Head...again that name came up. BUT for a beginner like me, really he was the perfect trail horse. Fate had plans for both of us...fate brought both of my horses back to me and I'm so grateful for that. I made King a challenge, I saw that his eyes were dead...but he had get-up-and go....yeah, he was a dead head...but not in the way they were saying, this horse had been hurt in his life and I was going to reverse that. Tear down those walls and make him happy again. I did that...it took me almost 2 years and I have today a happy horse who loves affection, loves to know whats going on, doesnt hang in the backdrop anymore, and has become the leader of his herd. I was told last year when we got his teeth floated that he was maybe 15 or 18 yrs old, and I was so excited!!! He was fat, muscular, and acted every bit of that! He loves to run and has a proud canter.
Then last Wednesday, My best friend called on me.....I noticed suddenly how thin he was Tuesday..overnight, he was standing funny. LITERALLY overnight. Okay things like this dont happen overnight I know, but when you have a laid back horse its easy to miss some of the signs of what I missed...or so the Vet tells me....doesnt make it any easier on myself...I should have seen...My Boy went down and went down fast....his poor body is sore from arthritis all over. His hips appear to be the worse, but every joint is just popping. Then On Friday He was holding his front right hoof out straight! Oh no what now..already he was on a large dose of bute...and his feet were checked over and they were fine 2 days before. Wed he could barely walk as it was...now it was heartbreaking to watch him struggle to move. One of the other Vets came out after hours, luckily the other horseman and he looked him over good, found an abscess that had come up over night from an OLD abscess that was there a year ago. He explained to me that where that old one was...and all the pressure he was putting on his front legs to relieve the pressure off his rear end, had festered that old abscess back..yes the old one was healed completely...but where it was there was still a hole...and the problem was that the new abscess is growing inward toward his bone rather than outward toward the hoof wall. And the second part of that problem is that it is very near the bone. Instructions are to soak his foot in Epsom salt
daily and change his wrap daily and apply ichthamol (okay the spelling is way wrong on the medicine packing ! LOL) He is on antibiotic shots...and after today (since its taking him over an hour and half to eat just one flake of hay and 2 scoops of grain - yes he is getting more hay thats just what I had laid out for him while I was doing his feet) he is now on ulcer med since the bute is so hard on their stomach. The pain med is not doing anything for him. Well actually the Vet told me today that it is, if he was not on it, he would probably be down or not moving at all.
So..I've never been here this is new territory for me. I found out King is NOT 15..he is 30 or older....the abscess endangering him of complete lameness and poisoning his bloodstream and bones with infection, he can barely walk his body has gone down so fast with arthritis that actually has probably been present for awhile, but being such a laid back horse, the signs just wernt as visible and it was very gradual until this week. It could be that he, well.....I hate to even speak the words but that he is going down and that these are his final days. I'm a realist and I had to ask the Vet his opinion and his thoughts are what I am fearing the most. BUT I'm not giving up. I cant. I didnt give up when everyone else thought My Boy was a dead-head, when all along there was this wonderful horse inside all along just waiting for someone to find him. So we have cornered off a small grassy lot thats soft ground for him to graze...he has already put weight on so fast its crazy...he is eating better since I've been feeding him apart from the others, now that I know they have been pushing him out of the feed.
This is Norm and Neil putting up the hot wire fence in his new lot
He can still see the others and get fresh grass on soft ground, which will help his foot tremendously!
Here he is...eating his hay, which shortly after this picture he gave it up for the grass...of course!
He is not liking all the meds and wrap changes, his foot is SO sore and it hurts to stand on 3 legs so badly, but in all he is a trooper and thankfully he is such a well behaved horse that will do anything I ask...today however after giving him his bute paste and THEN giving him his first dose of ulcer med that is also a paste he was SO not happy with me and was VERY hesitant to take his treat...he thought I was tricking him into more meds!
You can see how he doesnt put any pressure at all on his leg, especially right after a wrap change.
So...I'm praying that King will heal from this and my worse fears wont come true, he's gone down bad and gone down so fast. Its going to be the hardest thing to go through when that time comes to say good bye, I hope I have more years with him- I need that...I'm just not ready, and I'm not ready to give up on My Boy...he needs your prayers!
This evening after tending to King, Norm brings me a little orphan...probably a twin, starved and took to the bottle right away. If you remember Oliver - the first bottle calf I had....this is the only calf since then that has been like him. I am hoping that I have a little Oliver in this calf. He began following me from the moment he took the bottle, took me as mom! Just like Oliver did! Next to Oliver, this calf has been the 2nd easiest calf to take to the bottle. He is a few days old so I was prepared to have to tube him, but luckily I didnt! I am already in love...just need to think of a great name! More pictures to come for sure!
Yeah I was blabbing...as usual! My mouth is always running, hard to get a good picture like that...and easy to keep a calf still when your fingers act as a pacifier!
This is Mari...she has been helping me with King and our newest venture.....CHICKENS...yes FINALLY..I got my chickens 32 total now! Here is more of the calf (need a name!!!) then some baby chick pics! Here are some cute baby pictures and silly me..I didnt take a picture of the baby-coop we made...DUH ME! We did so good too! Mari, Leah, and myself did so good! I'll have to take those later! So enjoy, I'll write more on these guys later!

This next little guy is Leahs chicken - she calls him her Chicken Coop!


  1. I am so sorry to read about your King. It made me cry. Your story is so true. It's so sad that he was so beaten up and it took two years for him to trust you and be a horse that was loved. I will keep him in my prayers. Love the pictures of the peep's and baby calf.

  2. Sometimes we are blessed with a horse that helps us to be better horsemen and better people; it looks like King is that one for you. I will offer prayers for you and your beloved horse.
    The calf is a nice chocolate color; how about Koko?
    The chicks are so cute, will they be layers?

  3. HI Rae...send me your Phone # again!!! 503-927-7854
    I am praying! Maybe "standing wraps" for the front legs would be good too- if it is dry out-will help with the uneven pressure and swelling.
    Your calf is darned cute and the chicks too...they are little heart gifts, to help with the pain of what is going on with King.

  4. I will add my prayers to those already offered for your sweet King.And whatever may happen , he is in the best care with you as his loving owner.

  5. Thanks so much guys, I just updated on King. Kacey, I'll call you tonight..I've been so busy with King and the other animals, and the farm....forgive me I'm not ignoring you I'm taxed out girl....and if I dont call, its been a bad day and I just cant talk about it...you'll see why in my update...promise will call soon....love you - love you all for your prayers and well wishes.


Thanks for visiting the farm! We love comments and hope to hear from you! ~ Rachel, Norm, Kiddos, and all our furry friends!