As horse owners (especially with that learning experience called a “first horse”) we encounter everything under the sun. Just when you think things will go back to normal, horses manage to do something you never expect. I love this story by Christina Suzann Nelson, a fellow writer and horse-owner. Read on to hear about her daughter’s horse and an encounter with a bit too much sweets. -N
My oldest daughter, Aleasha, started her pleading for a horse about the time she learned to walk. No farm toy or stuffed animal would sway her from that quest to own her own, real-life horse. She took lessons and then one day a friend mentioned a four-year old mare that had come up for sale. I should have known better, but we went and took a look.
That was the day that Bella won our hearts.
Aleasha was ten by this time. The first morning after we bought Bella, I looked out my window at 6:30 in the morning and found her wobbling on the edge of a watering bucket, trying to climb onto Bella’s back. The horse stood there with a ridiculous amount of patience.
I’m not saying she’s perfect. No, Bella has a strong personality and often reminds us that she’s young and willing to throw a fit if she doesn’t get her way. But there’s just nothing like looking out in the field and seeing that beautiful animal.
Well, until the day I looked out and saw Bella weaving back and forth like a drunk sailor. Everything froze and I lunged out the door running for the barn. By the time I arrived she’d fallen and was struggling to rise. I didn’t know what had happened for sure, but I did know that the market lambs had just been fed.
We’d been careful to have the lambs in a separate area for feeding so that Bella couldn’t eat their grain. You see, Bella’s favorite pastime is eating. She loves to eat everything except carrots.
Those she finds completely offensive.
Somehow, Bella had twisted her head around a corner and through a gap in the wall and must have reached a bite of sheep food.
I screamed up to the house and my husband appeared. We called our friends who just happen to be our amazing vets. They were two hours away and couldn’t get there in time so they recommended getting the vet at the university nearby to come right out.
Bella wobbled to her feet, such a sad sight, but what was worse was the bright red, tear-streaked face of my daughter. She stood a field over and watched from a distance as though coming closer would make the situation more real.
Finally, after much convincing, Aleasha came to Bella’s side. The result was amazing. The horse that moments before could barely stand, began to nibble at the grass. She seemed to gain steadiness as the minutes ticked by.
That vet did arrive and administer treatment, but I’m pretty sure Bella was on her way back anyway. A few days later our regular vets came out and declared Bella healthy. So now we know, sheep food can be deadly to horses. And the bond between a girl and a horse can be the greatest medicine.
I’d love to tell you this was the end of Bella’s “mishaps” but within a couple months we had the vets out again for another emergency. Don’t worry. She’s doing great, and we’re all getting better at life with a horse.
Check out Christina’s blog here to keep up on her writing adventures (and possibly a horse adventure too!)