Monday, August 15, 2016

One Week

One week since he died. 

I made it through the day without sobbing or even any actual tears. Loads of almost tears, but more of a bittersweet feeling than actual heartbreak. 

The farm is so different without him. It's quieter. 

We called him "The Princess" for a reason. Everything was always about Spider, and if it wasn't all about Spider he would find a way to make it all about him. 

The farm is quieter, maybe because the spark has gone out. 

I suppose we need to ignite that spark again. I don't know if I'm up to that yet, but I get a little closer every day.  

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Larger Than Life

I'm truly awestruck by the outpouring of condolences and love that Spider has received. I knew he was special to me, but I had no idea how many other lives he had touched. He was truly larger than life, and his absence is keenly felt on our little farm.

This was his farm, the rest of us just lived here to cater to him. He always called to me every morning when I walked out to the barn, even the morning he died. The hardest walk I've ever made was this morning's walk to the barn without his friendly greeting. 

We're still not sure exactly what happened, I didn't have a necropsy done. On Sunday afternoon I found him lying flat out in the pasture. I got him up, gave him banamine and called the vet. He laid down again in the grass next to the arena, and since he wasn't rolling or thrashing I let him stay there. He was down nearly an hour, until just before the vet arrived. 

I sat with him until the vet arrived.

The vet examined him, found a high heart rate and a grade 4 heart murmur, distension in his small intestine, but no torsion. We treated it as a colic, and decided to reevaluate the heart murmur when he recovered (the murmur had not been present at his checkup in April). He was up and moving around, and seemed to be doing better. 

The next morning while I was checking on him his gums and tongue started to turn blue, so I called the vet to come out again. While I was on the phone with her, he suddenly convulsed, then collapsed. He died with his head in my lap less than a minute later. 

The vet thinks his heart probably failed, but without a necropsy there's no way to tell. It was over quickly, less than 24 hours between the start of symptoms and his death. 

He was never sick a day in his life, until the end. He was still in active work until the day before he died. Sometimes I feel guilty, thinking maybe I should have retired him and then maybe his heart wouldn't have failed, but Spider wasn't a horse that would "retire". He loved to work, and certainly never showed any problems with stamina or energy. 

I know there will be other horses, but there was only one Spider. I told Jack today that it's a good thing he's so big, because he has huge shoes to fill. 

Monday, August 8, 2016

RIP Spider, 1993-2016

Today I unexpectedly lost my best friend, my partner of over a decade, and the best horse I have ever owned. I'm gutted.

Godspeed, Spider. We miss you so much. 

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Best Purchase Ever

Packing and unpacking the horse trailer is always tedious because it takes so many trips. I've seen other people with big saddle/bridle racks on wheels, but they're sort of big and unwieldy. I didn't want one of those. I wanted something light, small and easily maneuvered.

At the last show I went to, I saw somebody with a wheelbarrow made of canvas. Bingo! When I got home I immediately Googled that. Google suggested something even better: a collapsible canvas wagon! 

Set up and folded, respectively.

This thing is seriously awesome! Not only is it lightweight and maneuverable, but it managed to tote an ice chest, a grooming tote, a saddle, bridle, saddle pad, two buckets, manure fork, my show coat, and a bag full of trash back to the house from the trailer. 

Yes, it has taken me this long to unpack my trailer from the last show.

And it fits perfectly in the tack room:

I really need to sweep out the tack room.

Best purchase ever, next to wine sippy cups. Did I mention it even has cupholders for wine sippy cups? Win!


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