Wicked Nick, my heart horse, was taken from his paddock in the middle of the night, when I was on vacation. I dropped everything and flew home from Hawaii, because Nick meant more to me than anything else I owned. I had bought him as a spoiled two year old, and we had become a team. The people who took him had already taken everything they could from the house, and they came back for him in a sort of drug fueled orgy of theft.
The next week was a fog. With the detective’s help I posted a huge reward, painstakingly followed Nickie’s footsteps, and discovered where he had been taken. I was too late. He had been trailered off to the next state, where I couldn’t find him. Fortunately, Nick was a Bold Ruler thoroughbred, and had a high dollar value. That and crossing the state line (and being extremely lucky to have gotten the best detective in the Sheriff’s Office) brought in the FBI.
The reward offer worked, and so did the FBI. They found Nickie in Kentucky. I met them with a trailer, and brought him home.
Oh, what a wonderful day that was!
Unfortunately, it didn’t last. They had run him down the road, then left him out in an ice storm. Nickie foundered, then he developed navicular syndrome. Between the two, his feet deteriorated to the point where every day I wondered if that would be his last. Shoes and pads helped, but he kept abscessing. In one month he had fourteen abscesses. He foundered again, and that was the end. I had kept him alive for nine years.
Equinel™l would not have saved Nickie. It cannot prevent founder. But it would have kept him much more comfortable. I got very good at dealing with abscesses, and Nickie learned to bring them to me when the pain was just beginning. But it still hurt him, and it was awful to see him suffer. And I was out there every day, cleaning and packing voids, giving shots – I hate to give horses shots.
I finally found a farrier who knew Nick’s story and wasn’t afraid of him, but it took a while. Nickie had learned that when people were afraid they would hurt him, and he was very touchy. Bob was wonderful, but there really wasn’t much he could do.
The thing is, a horse isn’t just a partner, and it isn’t just a pet. You have a friendship with a wild thing, who can turn and walk away without a second thought, if you’re not worthy. They do what we ask of them, when they can. And they are so very beautiful. It’s no wonder we fall in love.