Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunday Stitches

 I was up at 7 am, made a Kerig coffee in my room, and headed back to Miller.  D and B greeted me with a nicker as I fed them and filled water buckets.  I then took a walk to submit my coggins and paperwork in the show office, watched a few horses get early morning workouts in the warmup, and headed back to unpack and set up my space for the week.  Now at least I have sunlight, and could see what I was doing as I unpacked, re-orchestrated things inside my tack room, and set up a functional home-base with cross ties, mounting block and chairs and cooler for relaxing.   Katie is my best helper ever !   She filled water buckets and cleaned out the horse’s stalls when I removed each to take them to for their shoeing.  Every year Terry Moran does my horses shoes to perfect show requirements - and this year was no different.  By noon we had shiny new hooves, set to perfection.  Yeah - this afternoon we can get a practice ride in!  

Ashley, Katie and Peggy take a
moment to pose at Miller.
Emily is going to ride B in a youth class this year - so we wanted to make sure to get her a few practice rides before the show.  I tacked him up, and walked into the ring.   He was a little nervous as he chomped on the bit - but got right to work.  It was a bit fast, but he was rolling nice in the footing.  I worked him awhile - and then let Emily get on too.  This was a good for me - as now I got to watch him go.  I never get to SEE him ridden under saddle, since I’m always the one riding.  I get some idea when I’m lunging - but this was great to see him being ridden.  He continued to be a Speedy Gonzales - but Emily was doing a great job getting a feel from him.  And, she was smiling and enjoying him, I could tell.  His ears were forward, so I could tell B liked her too.  She practiced one-handed for western too - as she’ll have to ride him that way in the class - and did it very proficiently.  Okay, CHECK, this will go well - Emily is a great rider.  I’m so excited!

Next up - Diva.  Saddle, bridle and draw reins on - and we were back and riding in the arena. Diva felt a bit stiff, and she too was covering ground quickly.  I did a few circles, and then back on the rail.  Emily was watching, and I wanted to see what Diva looked like, and asked her to give her a spin too.   Again, it was great to see her go - and again Emily did a great job riding.  But, I could see Diva was a bit stiff, and nervously speedy.  That’s okay, we have a few days before showtime.  It was a long ride in the trailer, so I’m sure she’s still recuperating from the trip - I know I am! I rode her one more time around before getting off and heading back to the trailer.  I gave her a pat, good girl!

Dr Wright on call vet
for emergencies.
Then it happened.  It took a split second. A split second that I want back.  I want a DO OVER.  And it happened in slow motion. But I couldn’t stop it.  One moment I was leading her towards the trailer, reins in hand - the next moment her bit and reins were on the ground - the bridle broken right in half when she stepped on the reins that had been pulled right out of my fingers.  Nooooooooooooooooooo!  I looked at Diva, and she was opening and closing her mouth, as if she was saying, owa owa owa - and sticking her tongue out and rolling it around.  I grabbed her by the cavesson, which was all that was left on her head, and saw the blood in her mouth.  Nooooooooooooo!  I guided her the last few steps to the trailer and slipped on her halter.  I then proceeded to try to get a hold of her tongue to see exactly what damage was done.  I rinsed out her mouth to remove the blood for a better view.  Yikes, it looked like a cut down the middle of her tongue on top and the bottom.  Noooooooooooooooo!   Okay, who’s the vet on call - Katie sprung to action and ran to the show office for a phone number.  I headed to the next aisle and returned with Jana Anderson who took a quick look and reassured me - it isn’t too bad, but get the vet to take a look - we may want stitches.

Dr Wright, the on call vet, pulled up and tended to Diva right there.  We set up a mini operating room, and she got 5 neatly tied stitches - like a badge of honor - placed down the middle of her tongue.  Me, I was the nurse assistant, who held her tongue during the operation.  And, we had a whole Wisconsin crew of onlookers.  It didn’t take long, and Diva was a very good patient. I was provided with care instructions, antibiotics, and some antiseptic mouth wash to use after her feedings to keep things clean, but only time will tell if I’ll be able to show her this week.  All the work, all the time, and a split second freak occurrence and it may be all just a wishful dream this year.   
OUCH! 5 stitches needed.

I continued to check on her into the evening.  I tossed her a bit of hay much later that night and she ate.  Slowly.  But she ate.  She drank as well.  But mostly she stood pouting in her stall.  I didn’t blame her - and I joined her and pouted a bit too with her as I rubbed her ear, her neck and let a few tears fall.  I’m so sorry Diva.  I’m so sorry.  And she looked at me, and I could tell she liked the pampering - so I gave her more pampering - all that she wanted.

Carlan grabbed me and hauled me off for a quick something to eat.  I’m glad she did - as I otherwise wouldn’t have eaten anything.   I returned to Miller and I hung out well into the dark of night. Katie Livingood stopped by to check on us, and we sat and talked for a while.  And Katie held her head to help me apply the antiseptic wash.   It was past midnight when I arrived back at my hotel.  I think tonight, more exhausted than from the long ride.  This is emotional exhaustion now.  As I tossed and turned all night - reliving the split seconds over and over - I still can’t figure out exactly what happened.  Maybe she stopped or turned to look at something - I really don’t know - but whatever it was pulled those reins from my fingers and just out of reach for me to grab them back before she took her next disastrous step.  Cher - if I could turn back time - if I could find a way.   
Nurse assistant Renee.

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