At the risk of sounding hardassed, this tale and the assorted sadnesses is not the best example of sterling equine management. Which neutronjockey seems to be well aware of, especially since he's not in charge there. Neutronjockey is a pretty savvy horse handler himself, and I give him kudos for the excellent start on that one little mare...sigh. Damn. Wish she'd pulled through.
Oy. But, sadly, it is all too true, especially given the lack of quality horse management out there these days. Some owners *are* too frickin' cheap to get the vet out to take care of a sick horse. When you take in rescues, you take in messes. And, as the wisdom of the wreck.eq says (rec.equestrian), as we all know, horses are big four-legged exercises in self-destruction. Give a horse a chance, especially if you've just dropped a lot of money on it one way or another, and it'll find a way to seriously hurt itself.
These are sad, sad stories. Saddest of all is that several of them could have been prevented. Arrgh.
I've had my own times of horse angst, such as losing my very first, beloved pony who thought the sun rose and set on me to a nasty, nasty bout of twisted gut that went into peritonitis. Not preventable at all. At the time, not treatable at all (and, these days, only by highly risky surgery of the sort that risked losing him on the table while dropping a Lot of Big Ones to even try it). Hours of pain, where he kept turning to me to find some relief. Drenched in sweat. Rolling or attempting to roll. Vet on call elsewhere, taking hours to get there (this was pre -current era paste pain meds like Banamine and Bute that most barn owners have on hand to treat these problems so we had no pain meds on hand).
It started with the one call (from my mother who'd gone out to do barn chores that morning) that no horse owner wants to hear--"Your horse is down and sweating."