Sunday, May 30, 2010


Choices can be a tough thing.  With Whiskey moving into the permanent lame category I've had to make some tough decisions.  One being even with her skin allergies to make the attempt to breed her.  Philosophically, I'm opposed to making that decision but I'm even more opposed to putting her down or having her sit in a field and do nothing for the next 15 years.

I've even had to make contingency plans.  If Whiskey stays and becomes a broodmare, someone else must go.  There is a limit to time and financial resources.  I've also decided that if she doesn't catch I'm going to give her to my farrier who adores her.  

I hate making these choices.  And I wish it would be possible to wave the magic wand and fix everything.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I've been mulling this post around in my head, not sure I was ready to write it and wanting to wait until I had a better idea how the end would turn out.  A week ago Sunday I went for a ride.  Nothing too terribly fun or spectacular.  Instead it was a conditioning ride for Whiskey and mostly involved long trotting (posting trot) with some gentle bending exercises.  As the ride progressed Whiskey went from feeling pretty darn good to gut clenching awful.  

Getting off, I asked her to move out a bit so I could see what she looked like.  Tears filled my eyes as I realized she was heart stoppingly lame.  Not just a little off.  But LAME.  Horrified I brought her back in and hosed her off.  As I stretched out her hind leg I felt a pop.  Tears streaming down my face I went and put her away.  

Making arrangements for the vet to come out I pondered the question of what do you do with a horse that's permanently lame.  Whiskey had always been a high performance type horse and would never make a kid or sometime rider type horse.  I had decided not to breed her but if my options were to have a horse sit in the field for the next 15 years or turn her into a broodmare then broodmare wins hands down.  

When Sam (the vet) arrived to check her out she gave a grim diagnosis stating she thought Whiskey had injured her stifle.  That combined with her touchy hock was not a good thing.  This horse was very lame.  We decided to give the horse a week's rest at which point Sam would come out and check again.  

As it stands right now if the leg has not improved significantly then we won't pursue any other treatments.  If the leg shows enough improvement we'll look at some options to see if we can get her rideable sound.  Friday is the big day.  And now I sit and wait and make contingency plans.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Horse Controversy

Warning:  Post is not appropriate for children or those overly sensitive.

Up here, in Canada a war is brewing.  There are two camps of people.  Those who have no issues with horse slaughter houses and those who are working feverishly to get them banned.  This issue has been getting quite a lot of media attention.  Tonight, the sound of the news drew me in.  And left me with images I'm having a hard time reconciling.  You see, I've always believed there needs to be an appropriate method of disposing (yes, disposing) of unwanted or "cull" horses.  I strongly believe there are horses out there that the world is just better off not having.  

However, tonight after watching the news I was filled with horror.  Horror because no animal should be treated cruelly, even the culls of the world.  I've heard many sad stories coming out of the United States (which have banned equine slaughter) about horses just left to fend for themselves and needless suffering.  Tonight I saw an all too real look at needless suffering.  I wouldn't condone this treatment for an animal that I dislike, much less one so intrinsically tied to my life.  

Tonight I watched the news on CBC.  I watched an article on slaughter house abuse.  It was not a pretty sight.  It made me feel sad, depressed and wondering what is the answer.  How do we balance the needs of the horse with the realities of the world?  

Here's the link to the CBC story.  Watch it if you can handle it.  I'm not sure I could...