Thursday, January 16, 2014

Opening a Can of Worms

I just took the top off a can of worms this morning.  It's something that's been gradually building for a few years now, but in recent months has really picked up pressure.  I've been dancing around it because I know it's not going to be fun, or pretty, once the lid blows off.  Has to do with my working down at the horse farm.

However, recent events over there kind of pushed me into a spot where I realized that can of worms is going to open sooner or later, and now is a time of change, so I might as well grab the can opener and see just how big of a change how rapidly. . .

On Friday we had to put down one of the older horses.  She had gotten to a point where when she laid down, she just couldn't get back up again.  For several weeks I have been getting her back to her feet on just about a daily basis, but on Friday she just couldn't do it.  She didn't have the strength or the oomph to get up.  It was time to call the vet out to bring the giant hypodermic of pink juice.

Which, is, in itself, a stressful thing for us humans to have to deal with.  Putting down a horse is never a task you do without thinking, before, during, and afterward, if you could/should have done something differently to make the outcome different than ending a life at that point in time.

It also, has an affect on the rest of the horses at the farm.  Now that horse's partner/pasture mate is in need of a new buddy or group to go in.  So the farm owner/boss and I are discussing who should go where, and when, in order to not just get the now lonely horse a friend, but also to set things up so our summer groups will be ready to go live outdoors 24/7 when the pasture grass is tall enough.

And here's the rub.  That lone horse is special needs.  Also elderly and with teeth problems, it and the now deceased horse were both on special easily digested feed.  Which is why they were buddied up.  They were perfect for each other.  None of the other horses on the farm eat or need those special rations, and neither of the special needs horses were overly aggressive in a group.

One of my horses, the Old Man, is 30 this year.  He's gotten tough to keep weight on, and he is getting some special senior feed, but not nearly the same amount (nor does he get the other supplements) as the now lone horse.  The Old Man is also a wimp when it comes to defending his food in a group setting, much, much more of a wimp than the lone horse.

So, in the course of conversation about which of the remaining horses might be a likely candidate to live with the lonely horse this summer, the Old Man's name was brought up by the farm owner/boss.  I had to say "Don't consider any of my horses to be an option.  I'm not planning on having them here this summer."

Which of course required an explanation of why.

You'd think that someone who has known me for more than two decades, someone for whom I've had nearly non-stop contact for 19 years, someone for whom I have worked the last 13 1/4 years straight, would know that I've always wanted to be able to keep my horses at home.  That they would remember that keeping horses at home was the biggest reason DH and I bought the land that became this little place here.  That they would remember all the years we have wanted to finish the barn at this little place here and fence in the pasture/hay field but that finances again hadn't worked in favor of doing that yet.

That they wouldn't be offended when I said I'm (finally)going to move my horses this summer.  That they would be happy that I am finally going to be able to realize my long-time goal of having my own horses at my own farm.

Apparently not so.  Apparently their need for me outweighs my own needs or plans.

The can is open.  Now I'll just have to see how far the worms spewed, and move through the mess.

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