My dear Sam was supposed to move to Virginia this spring, and his little nose would live just a few steps from my front porch. Plans were made, plans changed. I’ve been griping about it, so here’s the story up to this point.
My Sam and I have been separated for five years, seeing each other only when I went home to visit or cover an event nearby. I was moving back to Georgia from Alabama when I was offered the job in Virginia. Despite aching to be with him again, I opted to leave Sam in Georgia for the winter and bring him up in the spring. I felt like I was being a good mom. His feet had been doing so well, getting stronger with regular treatments and good shoeing. He would be living outside in Virginia, and combined with the usual cold, snowy winters in NOVA, I didn’t want him to back track. I thought ‘don’t throw him into a heavy winter he’s never experienced’ and ‘let his feet have a little more time to get stronger.’
It was hard to leave him, but I thought it right. Then of course Virginia had its mildest winter in years, with just a few dustings of snow, and temperatures comparable to back home. Wtf.
Early this year I started coordinating his trip. Since I’ll be traveling most of April, I felt like March would be an appropriate arrival time for him so I could be around while he settles. The other option was waiting until May. We used Rachel Devita-Anderson at Town n Country Transport to bring Bailey down from New York last June. She’s very attentive to the horses, is on time and professional, and we trust her. I refused to book any transporter but her to bring my Sam home. We had it all set up. The prices were reasonable (there were to be two other horses on the trailer coming to the same location), the dates were set and flexible, the contracts signed, etc. I was so excited.
I’m a bit of a basket case about Sam these days. I have an absolute meltdown anytime something goes wrong. Since leaving him to finish school, Sam has been generally healthy aside from his crap feet, a tick in his sheath (yea, ouch.), and other mystery injuries ponies pick up. Honestly though, as laid back as he is, he’s extremely high maintenance. Allergy shots, thyroid medication, treating his feet, managing his slippery stifles. Sheesh. Mom has been very gracious taking care of my boy, who’s been a brilliant, handsome, fat pasture ornament for the better part of the last five years.
So when Mom called me the Tuesday before Sam was supposed to come home (I’d been telling everyone and their brother, grinning like a kid and demanding we have a party to celebrate his arrival) she went through the “now don’t freak out, Sam’s ok, but” and my heart sunk. We aren’t entirely sure how it happened, but during the night while he was hanging out in his walkabout behind his stall, he either rolled or laid down or tripped or something silly, and upon standing again, he flipped his foot over the gate, got stuck, yanked back, and ripped up his left front foot. I’m told the angle of the blood spatter was wrong for him to have been playing games with Gamble over the fence. So the ding-dong did it to himself.
The pictures are pretty gnarly so I wouldn’t scroll down the page any further if you’re squeamish.
He ripped up part of the bulb of his heel, yanked a chunk off the side of his hoof, and did some damage to his coronary band. This is the first picture I received.
Mom warned me he probably wouldn’t be able to travel, which was confirmed by the vet when she saw him. They had to cut the loose piece off, it could not be stitched back. He was put on antibiotics, wrapped up, and put in the stall. He wasn’t happy being in the stall with his walkabout closed up, and he could do more damage being upset in the stall, so he started spending a few hours outside during the day when it was dry. No painkillers for that kid though, we didn’t want him to feel good and cut up in the pasture.
Yuk. Below is March 9th, three days after the incident.
I chatted with the transporter and the owner of the other horses. They were very gracious and we rescheduled them to travel two weeks later depending on how Sam healed.
Well, when the time came, he was healthy enough to travel but not well enough to go straight outside in wet weather. The wound had to remain wrapped still, and we couldn’t risk him playing with the new horses in the pasture and f’ing it up even more. So last weekend, the horses he was meant to travel with arrived in Virginia, and my baby boy is still at home, bothering his grandma.
I’ve waited this long to be reunited with my boy, and I’m trying trying to be a good mom and make the right choices for him even though I miss him terribly and want to smother him with kisses and stuff him with carrots. The good thing is he will heal, the injury could have been worse, and he’s been sound the whole time. In fact, I’m told he doesn’t appear to be at all concerned about his injury, he’s just pleased to be getting undivided attention. The wound is healing and we are managing the proud flesh. By next week it should be able to be unwrapped during the day and wrapped only at night when he is in the stall. I’m hoping we get all the details of his arrival sorted soon. Then. Then we will party.