Recovery Isn’t Linear

No Surgery Is the Same

Unfortunately, this isn’t the first horse that I’ve had go in for colic surgery. In fact, my last horse ended up having colic surgery for a colon displacement. We brought him to an equine hospital to be put on fluids and observed through the night, and the following morning it was decided he would need to go into surgery. His recovery was smooth sailing. He was home from the hospital within days of his surgery. Within a year of being on the operating table, he and I qualified for the AQHA Amateur World Show in four different events and managed to place in the top 10. 

My current mare’s surgery was a little more intense. A colon volvulus is one of the most lethal forms of colic. We had minutes to decide on surgery. Had we waited any longer to get to the hospital, it may have been too late. Her surgery required her to have a longer stay in the hospital than my last horse and has taken longer to heal overall. But every time Keira lets out an ‘I’m fresh’ squeal, nickers at me when she sees my car pull into the driveway, or gives a mini-buck in her small turnout, I’m reminded that she continues to fight. 

While we aren’t completely out of the woods yet, seeing Keira bright and happy to see me gives me faith that she continues to get better. Photo by Nichole Chirico

Remember to Thank a Vet

My horse wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the vets and surgeons who are part of my health care team. They have answered every question of mine. Been there to comfort me when I had tears in my eyes, and have been so supportive during this entire journey. But most importantly, they care about my horse as much as I do and have been working tirelessly to ensure that she makes a full recovery.

As we continue to see a shortage of veterinarians in our industry (be sure to read “Emergency Exit: Don’t Get Left Behind” on HorseandRider.com to learn the five rules of emergency etiquette), it’s even more important to thank your vet for all that they do. 

In The Summer 2023 Issue 

Speaking of vets, have you ever texted your vet a medical question or sent them a photo of your horse with a cut on his leg asking what you should do? Since COVID-19 telehealth has become much more prevalent, but there are only certain things your vet can do or say over the phone. Be sure to check out “Help Is (Sometimes) Only a Phone Call Away” on page 50 to learn more about telehealth and telemedicine.

Plus, we have more of the horse-training content you know and love. Learn how you can prevent a spook on the trail with Julie Goodnight on page 44. How to stay safe when bringing your horse back to work after some time off with Al Dunning on page 34, and how to gain confidence in the show pen with Shane Brown on page 36. 

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