But We Lucked Out In the End
When I went to the chiropractor, Toby was lying down in the paddock. Since it was warm and sunny, I didn't think twice about it.
When I came home, he was lying down inTucker's stall looking very unhappy. Then he started to roll, and from the mud and shavings in his tail and on his sheet, he'd been rolling a lot.
I got him up, which took a bit of encouragement and got him outside. He started pawing. I walked him a bit and he kept pawing and looking uncomfortable. So, I called the vet.
She was about 40 minutes away, about to visit another farm, so she told me she would be about an hour and a half if I needed her. She suggested I lunge him and just monitor him.
Since he was quiet again, I did a few chores and kept an eye on him. He pawed a bit, walked around seemed Ok, but then lay down on the hill by the arena. This time, Tucker would have none of it, went over an prodded him back to his feet, then herded him off to the end of the paddock.
I got the lunge line, brought him in, took off his sheet and began to lunge him. At first he was very sluggish and kept putting his head down as if he was looking to go down. I trotted him for about 10 minutes and then...he passed some gas--a really good sign. A moment or so after, he brightened considerably and began to trot out better.
At that point, my vet called me. I told her the developments and also that his temperature was at about 98 degrees, a bit low. She said that was OK and wanted to know if she needed to come. I told her that as of then, he looked a lot better. I'd monitor him and call her if I felt he was worse.
I decided to ride Chance a bit, so I let Toby go into his stall with a carrot, which he took eagerly--another good sign, and a flake of hay. In about 15 minutes, he dropped a nice pile of manure that was of a good consistency and good color. To any horseman who understands colic, this was an excellent sign that his digestive tract was working properly again.
I rode Chance for about 20 minutes in the ring, working on my seat to control his steering and turns. It took a good part of the time before he decided to drop his head and lift his back under me, especially since I didn't pressure him with all kinds of corrections. When he did offer on his own I praised him mightily. I am hoping he will figure out that carrying himself well is far more comfortable than moving with a stiff back. I'd rather he discovered much of it on his own, because that way he will be far more willing to offer than if I have to keep telling him. We finished on a nice note and went back inside.
The phone rang. It was my vet again, checking up. I told her all looked well and she assured me that if I needed her later I should not hesitate to call. So far, so good. I am going out to dinner in a bit, so I'll check him before I go and again as soon as I get back home.
I schooled Tucker for about a half hour, working, as well as I could, on the exercises Patrice taught me. I am not 100% sure I had a handle on everything, but I kept my focus on my position, no matter what Tucker did. He was easy to turn and quite willing to do the lateral exercises with very little effort on my part. The other nice thing is that he never hesitated in going forward. I didn't put my spurs on, but even without them, he was pretty responsive to my leg. I do get a quicker, more accurate response when I use them, but it's nice not to have to depend on them when I ride. By the end of the session, he'd worked up a bit of a sweat, so I had a fair bit of walking to do before I put him in as well.
I gave everyone a nice bran mash for dinner with some carrots along with the first bit of evening hay. Toby was quite insistent about getting fed, so it appears his tummy is once more feeling fine.