Moose River Farm Blog

Monday, November 12, 2012

Where Attention Goes, Energy Flows (Part 1)

        Good Evening,
      Today's post is actually the first installment of three.  While writing one story I realized it could not be told without another but, the length would be a bit much to read all at once.  Therefore, I have broken them up into three segments that will be posted in the days to come.  Enjoy! 


Where Attention Goes, Energy Flows, (Part 1)
       “You know, Anne, I have been working this little thoroughbred mare that belongs to my neighbor, Deb, and she is the sweetest girl.  Are you ever looking for more horses?”
       Those dreaded words were slipping through my friend Meg’s lips while she adjusted her daughter, (who was sitting on top of Zambi, (Riding Zambezi)), Danielle’s stirrup leather.
       Reflexively, I gave her my canned answer; “No thank you, the barn is full and I really don’t want a mare.
       Luckily, Meg kept the horse in our conversation over the next year and a half.
       “Remember the mare, I was telling you about?  She is going so nicely.  I wish you could just come down, (to CT), and have a look.”
       “No room, no mares, no thank you,” I replied.
       “I know, I know, but Deb, really wants to find a home for her.”
       “I was riding Makia this week and she was such a great horse.  Very comfortable and well mannered.  Sure you don’t want to…      
     “No room, no mares, no thank you.”
       And so the conversation continued back and forth between Meg and me until August of 2011 when great sadness enveloped the barn.  
        One week before the new school year was about to begin, Murray, an aged bay gelding of mine began to exhibit signs of colic or extreme abdominal distress.  The symptoms are enough to send a bolt of fear through every horse owner’s body.  While the horse nips and kicks at his sides, attemps to lie down to roll, and refuses to eat, the owner must decide whether or not the case is severe enough to summon the vet.  Our vet clinic is an hour away, but it may take the vet as long as 2 to 3 hours to arrive, depending on the current case load.
       Before making the decision, I followed my standard protocol of walking the horse in hopes that his intestines might dislodge the gas or source of discomfort.  Murray and I walked round and round the 'island' in our driveway stopping every once in awhile so that I could assess any improvement in his condition.  When there appeared to be none, I decided to inject him with a strong pain killer that would at least, relieve his discomfort until the gas dissipated. 
        By early evening, Murray’s symptoms appeared to be subsiding, but his appetite, had yet to return.  Eventually, the heat of the summer day released its grip as darkness began to fall.  By then, Murray had chosen to lie quietly in his stall and rest.  Due to my elevated concern, I dragged a portable hammock from our patio out to the indoor arena where Murray was living.  By the time I wrapped myself in a blanket and curled up in the hammock, Murray seemed at ease.  All that separated the two of us were the metal fence panels that had been fabricated into a temporary stall to house ‘just one more’ horse now living in my indoor ring.  Due to Murray’s good nature, confident personality and lack of anxiety about being alone in the indoor ring, he was the fitting choice to reside out there.  In truth he was less than thirty feet from the rest of the herd.  
       A check of the time revealed that it was close to 11:00.  I reached my hand out through the rails of the panel and lightly stroked Murray’s ear and jowl.  His eyes closed and his breathing became the normal wheezy effort that horses, lying heavy on their lungs, produce.  
       In that moment I was acutely aware of the clear summer sky; its sparkling lights and waning illumination from the crescent moon conducting all that twinkle through the large door.
With my hand on Murray’s face, I began to wonder if his condition was more serious than the gas colic I had treated him for earlier that afternoon.  The weight of this worry now turned its attention to my friend Michele, (Friends and Blessings), Murray's financial sponsor through the summer months.  Where I was Murray's caregiver, providing him with all of his equine needs, Michele was Murray's mother.  This role she played dutifully with every carrot that they shared, every grooming session they spent engaged in conversation and every ride where they traversed the Adirondacks basking in each other's company.  
       At this point, Michele was not even aware that Murray had taken ill.  I resisted the temptation to call her because she was scheduled to take pictures at a wedding the following day.  Fearing the news would prevent her from clearly focusing on her job, I had chosen to wait until after Saturday to tell her.  As crickets and frogs serenaded Murray and me under that brilliant night sky I fell asleep.  
        Two or three hours later I woke up shivering under my lightweight blanket.  Murray was still resting comfortably so I decided, reluctantly, to seek out my warm bed in the house.  Early the next morning, after a restless night in which I had gone back out to the indoor arena to check on Murray twice, I got out of bed and dressed quickly.  
       The air was warming up with no clouds to hinder the process.  I found Murray dozing on his feet.  His appetite had yet to return but, he was not displaying any signs of colic either.  After feeding the rest of the hungry herd, I called the vet clinic.  It was only 7:00 a.m. but, luckily a voice answered the phone thus, setting into motion the events of the coming day.  
To be continued....
Where Attention Goes, Energy Flows (Part 2)
Every great couple deserves a moniker.  Michele and Murray became affectionately referred to as M&M!

Handsome Murray taught many with his intelligence and patience.

4 comments:

  1. To be continued?! I will be waiting patiently for the next installment!

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  2. You cant leave me hanging like that!!!
    Jen

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  3. Suspenseful ending!!! I would have read all night as long as you didn't finish until the end!!!

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