Sunny By Chance

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Sunny By Chance

Post by Guest on Sun Sep 13, 2009 8:07 pm

I met my little friend, Sunny by chance. I was looking for a dressage horse to teach me more about dressage. I had only just started looking when a friend phoned me one Sunday morning to say she had heard of a horse from someone she trusted who sounded good. Could I some and see it now. I knew to trust her so I drove the 3 hours to her friends place, sat on Sunny for about 10 minutes, allowed my more knowledgeable friend to tell me his dressage good and bad points and bingo I agreed to buy him. He was the colour of copper with a white blaze and one white sock but he also had a few feint white dots on him and a small patch of white under his belly. He was for sale because he was not good enough to go to the top and had been part exchanged for a better horse in Germany by his young owner. I had to make the buying decision quickly as he was due on a boat to Germany in 3 days if not sold. He was the most expensive horse I had ever bought but he felt special.

He was vetted on the Tuesday and was mine by Wednesday. We now had to get to know each other. This was the first time I had bought a trained horse, before my horses were always youngsters which I trained to showjump. We were both confused for a long time. His whole life had been turned upside down in a short space of time. He learnt to go in a field with other horses . He seemed very worried the first time we put him in with an old timer. He kept coming back to the gate so we had to take it slowly and let him get used to it for a few hours a day over a few days until he was happy spending all day with his new found friends. He really liked the girls so he was put in the paddock with a lady friend most of the time. We lived in an area with beautiful hacking that included ‘wild’ ponies, donkeys and pigs roaming the countryside. For a dressage horse this was a lot to cope with. He was scared and walked out the yard with very straight legs . But bit by bit we built up his confidence.

After 6 months I bought a place with 2 stables and took him home. Oh what a pleasure to have him there with me every night. We grew a lot closer spending so much more time together. Initially he wasn’t happy at home as he was alone. Altho’ other horses were near , they were not together . He couldn’t go with them as the lady who had those horses didn’t want another in her field. I quickly borrowed a pony and cut a hole between the 2 stables so they could talk at night. He settled well. Soon I had found someone to use my 2nd stable and the pony could go home. Sunny had a more permanent friend.

We entered many competitions and always did well. He taught me so much. He put up with me learning the subtleties of dressage after I had spent many years showjumping. I learnt about the quality of the pace, the rhythm that he was so good at maintaining, the real reason for riding into the outside rein (you can’t do half pass unless he’s really into it) and so much more.

We always knew that his canter was not his good pace and in April 99, he really seemed to be battling with it now I was asking for more collection. The vet came and after some x-rays were taken , he was diagnosed as having mild OCD in his stifles. That’s some cartilage bits floating round and some rough cartilage edges to the joint. We discussed treatments and chose to have an injection into the one joint that the vet felt may be bothering him. He received the injection and over the next few weeks improved and over the next few months went forward in leaps and bounds, happily accepting his work and producing some fantastic dressage test at competitions. We won a few and qualified for the regional championships. What a little star.

Winter started to come and we were now learning flying changes. Things were going well but suddenly he was not happy with the canter work again. The vet came to see and said the stifle joints were bothering him again. The next course of action was to operate and clean up the joints, removing the floating cartilage and smoothing off the rough joint edges.

My Sunny went for the op , it went very well, he stayed in the vets a few days and then came home, a bit miserable but we hoped he’d pick up once home. The next day he hadn’t drunk much , nor eaten much and had not passed dropping since I’d brought him home the previous evenings. I spoke to the vet , he said he was probably just miserable being kept in, feed him some nice carrots and let him pick at the grass in hand. He seemed interested in the grass and a few carrots and enjoyed being out of the stable. But by just after lunch he went down with colic. The vet came out, treated him with pain killers and oil . He ate some hay and looked a bit perkier but the next morning, still no dropping, very little water consumption and off his food. The vet came again and said he could feel some impaction, give it chance for the oil to work through, took some blood to check no infection in the joints . The next day (Monday) the vet phoned me with the blood results - all okay. Sunny was st! ill a bit miserable and still no droppings but I was told wait and see. About the only thing he was interested in was picking at the grass. Tuesday came and the vet was now worried, he came out to treat him again and I was told if he’s still like this Wednesday then he must go to the clinic to be put on a drip. He went to the clinic and I felt he was in good hands - now they would get him right. My poor miserable boy. I got a phone call early evening. It had all gone wrong, my Sunny had now developed a twisted gut and was in incredible pain. I needed to take him to the big veterinary hospital 2 hours away where they could operate. He was given morphine and he reluctantly loaded into the trailer.

Two hours was too long …. His guts had ruptured by the time we got there. To show how amazing he was , he was still on his feet and still allowed them to get him ready for surgery, they had to be sure you see. He was opened up and the surgeon came out to tell me. All I can say is thank goodness for Morphine and what a brave chap he was.

I miss my Sunny and I wish I could have known what could happen. There are lots of ‘what ifs’ and ‘why didn’ts’ but they don’t bring him back. I believe everyone involved tried their best at the time. The main thing I think of is maybe he knew what was needed to make him better - all he wanted to do was be out his stable eating grass. Would it have helped I don’t know but I will listen to my horse next time and see if it does.

This tale is a tribute to a wonderful horse who touched me deeply and who is now in big fields with many friends, eating lots of grass. To my Sunny


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Re: Sunny By Chance

Post by Guest on Sat Mar 19, 2011 1:35 pm

No but you do have a better chance the mailman will deliver you the check by mistake than you actually winning the lottery.

Finally something good comes from government ineffectiveness.

Seattle Car Service


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