Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Day After the Head-Shaking Incident

I'm feeling pretty sorry for myself today--not just about the head-shaking, but other things as well. I was thinking today, or wondering, if there would be a point at which I would walk away from horses. I've had friends who have done that. Sold the whole kit and kaboodle and walked.

Then, I look out my window and see all the other horses and it makes me want to cry. Maybe I'm just hormonal. Pre-menopausily moody.

Or, maybe it's just Cowboy. When he broke his P3 I got very discouraged. It was the not knowing. The vets (yes, two) misdiagnosed it for three months. That was five years ago. Then, while he was recuperating and we didn't know if he'd ever be sound, his twin nephew, the colt I'd raised and trained, coliced and DIED. Yep, that was one of the moments I felt like walking.

Instead, I got Beautiful Girl. I guess that's why I feel like crying when I look out the window and see her. It's like, Oh my god, what if something happens to HER? I kind of got myself in it for the long-haul here with all my horses. With things going wrong with Cowboy it makes me feel like things are wrong with everything.

So, it probably wasn't a good day for me to go out and seek donations for our association's bbq. I took the few rejections I got pretty personal. And the way they talk to you when they hear you're asking for a donation...don't they understand we're parent volunteers? We're their customers, for god's sake! One hotel that I LOVED (before today) that I recommended all my family stay at, that we've stayed at, that we eat out at, that we even have a book about on our mantle--flat out said NO. I don't understand it. It's good advertising for them, if nothing else. That's a pretty cheap way to reach over 1000 people. A one night stay in a room that would probably be empty anyway? Come on!

Or, maybe I brought the "no" on by some kind of negative lice or flea vibe that jumped off of me and onto them. Like, The Secret, I sent out some kind of bad karma today. If I'd asked them if I could have donated a free room to THEM, they probably would have still said no.

Anyway, it wasn't a good day and I am feeling sorry for myself. But, after Cowboy's dinner, I'm going to muster up a little confidence and walk him back out and see what happens.

Thank you for all your support today. I kind of feel sorry I drug you all into the sadness and uncertainty that is...Head-shaking Syndrome. Blah! It sounds like a made-up disease.

I filmed him eating dinner today so that you can see the difference and why I am so frustrated.

Negativity stinks.


  1. Looks like he prefers being in the barn. Good management will likely help a lot. Have you asked the vet about anti histamines?

  2. I’ve had those exact thoughts about getting out of horses and it’s usually when I’m dead tired but, I’ve often wondered if I’d mentally survive the loss of my horse Hombre who I’ve put all my heart, sweat, love and a million hours into or be able to even own another one after that. They’re such powerful animals but, seem to be able to hurt themselves or come up with things I’ve never heard of like the head shaking syndrome in an instant and it always seems to be something that knocks them out of commission or requires a vet visit or two – it’s exhausting. My vets know that if any horse can come up with something strange and obscure, it will be my horses! Usually when the sun comes up the next day I’m just so happy to look out my window and see the horses standing there waiting to be fed, that I forget all the bad stuff. I hope it’s nothing too serious with Cowboy. - Sharla

  3. Yeah, we talked about all our options when she floated his teeth, did the xrays and gave him his check-up. She was familiar with HSS, but I think she may have been wary about diagnosing it at that time. She told me to try the obvious things first--like a riding mask. There are pluses and minuses to using anti histamines and they don't always work. But she did say she'd prescribe them if I thought he needed them. That's why I want to hear from people who have experience with it and why I'm leaning toward natural remedies/management.

  4. I so know what you mean about taking things personal...I used to run a community newspaper and there were many months I didn't take a draw because I couldn't bring myself to make any more sales calls--I never learned how not to take "no" personally.

    I get a great deal of happiness and what I'd call "soul support" from my animals, but whenever you have to deal with a long-term animal problem (particularly with horses, it seems) it can be trying in a way I don't think many people understand. Horses require such a huge investment in time and money (not to mention emotion) that it can be a real blow when one of them has a problem. Any malady or injury requires treatment outside, in all weathers, and the cooperation of an animal that's ten times your size. It's a commitment with a capital "C" and you can't help but develop really intense bonds under these circumstances.

    Someone who's good with animals is usually a sensitive, perceptive, empathetic person--and those are exactly the traits that make it so dang difficult for a person to witness one of their beloved animal companions suffering.It's perfectly OK to fantasize about detaching--I think a lot of people do that in order to get through some rough times with their horses. Hang in there.

  5. Sharla, that's exactly what I was wondering, if I could survive many more losses...if there's a point I'd walk. If I lost Cowboy and Beautiful, I might walk. I'd probably retire my older horses and then start traveling like crazy. The "head shaking syndrome" (truth is stranger than fiction) really makes me think what the heck?!? He survives a broken P3 only to come down with some obscure syndrome that they don't know much about? Ah, well. I found out bad news about my dad last night that totally overshadows all of this and actually made my day today seem like heaven!

  6. Fetlock--I think you put your finger on it. There is a part of you that "fantasizes" about walking as if you're getting ready to protect yourself from losses. Then you look out your window and go...wow, what was I thinking? I had such a different day today than yesterday.

    So, that's interesting you know what I mean about taking it personal!! Yay, I'm not crazy!! Now I know why no one else wanted to step up for soliciting donations--or so few people--there are actually a few of us. Ugh!!!! It is the worst kind of work. That is horrible that you didn't pay yourself though--but I can so COMPLETELY understand!!

  7. Awww. Such a cute video of your boy. Sounds like your goat felt left out, though. lol!
    I enjoyed hearing your voice, too.



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