Thursday, April 15, 2010

Where does the time go

If it has looked like my more recent posts are anchored to a day rather than than a task, that is correct.  Aside from all the stuff everyone deals with this time of year:  taxes, school; faux-farmers: lots & lots of yard work; Floridians: gotta clean that pool, clear those gutters, sweep the roof etc., we have also been dealing with a great big extra, so let me catch you up:

Becca the appie was ultimately diagnosed with EPM.  This is not great but so far it looks like it can be treated & managed.  Unfortunately for anything else that might have been on the horizon, the treatment is hands-on & the management is frequent.  This has meant canceling all trips away from the farm for more than a few hours for the next six months.  Not that there were so many in the offing, but now it is official - no vacay-away for us this summer, no weekends visiting friends, nada.

This also means I have shorter-than-before stretches of time for projects.  I am not biotching, I know I have disposable time the way Paris Hilton has disposable income.  Just that once allocated, no matter how frivolously, that time is gone for me just like it is for anyone else.  & I do not think time spent caring for an animal that has taken good care of me is all that frivolous, even if the best case scenario is she will live out her abbreviated days doing nothing but eating, pooping & dozing in the sun.

Horse people have the reputation of passing the buck when it comes to equine-retirement & from what I have seen, they mostly deserve it.  To be fair, for many a horse is a tool, a vehicle that can travel across terrain otherwise impassable, gathering in livestock, repairing fences & other outlying equipment. To keep a truck around once the block is cracked would just be silly.  The funny thing I have seen though is it is NOT these people who are likely to neglect a sick horse.  They might euthanize rather then treat, but they do not generally leave an injured animal in pasture, circling or limping or coughing to let "nature take its course".

Serious recreational horse people are also, in my experience, unlikely to neglect.  Not to say they are the norm- serious recreational horse people generally have the income to maintain an animal that is not working.  besides, even if the animal never works again, often they are worth the feed if only to maintain the family environment for the others that are performing.  I have never met an avid hunter-jumper who was harder on his horses than he was on himself.

For the record, I do not consider thoroughbred racing stables in the "serious recreational" category; they are akin to the coaches of GDR women's olympic teams & are more than prepared to sacrifice the future health of the competitors for a short-term, sport-specific gain.

The real slackers I have met are the ones who talk the biggest game about how they would never sell so&so a horse because she would only mistreat it.   There is a gaggle of them nearby who are trying to convince each other to call animal control on another of their number, but no one wants to do it.  I think in their hearts they know they could not withstand the same scrutiny themselves.

& so is it really such a surprise I would rather spend my time & money with an old mare who had rather a raw deal, then came here & trail road for a while.  Now she needs a little extra help to get through a little less time on the planet.

1 comment:

  1. I have a dear friend who is spending a lot of time and money to keep her childhood horse comfortable in her last years. For her there was no question about what to do.