Naturally I called my vet, Jennifer. At least I had the self-control to wait until 8:03 a.m., so I wasn't bothering her before the start of regular office hours. But it was hard. I swear, I was literally staring at the digital clock over my microwave, waiting for it to click to ":03" before I began dialing the number. After all, I don't want my vet to think I'm a crazy horse owner or anything like that. <*cough*>
I left a plaintive message on Jennifer's voice mail, explaining in grand detail Wally's life history over the whole 72 hours since she'd seen him last. And I ended it with, "So tell me precisely what to do. Like, how long should I lay him up? How much bute, if any, should I give him, because I want him to be comfortable, but I don't want to mask his symptoms and think he's okay when he's not, but I don't want him to be in pain, yet I don't want him to get an ulcer from all the bute, either. I need exact days. I need plan of treatment, Jennifer, a precise plan!"
She probably waited to call me back until she'd stopped laughing at how ridiculous I sounded.
When Jennifer did call she had a very conciliatory tone to her voice, similar to a kindergarten teacher telling a 5-year-old, "There there, now Margie, that's just a scrape. Doesn't even need a Band-aid. Now dry your eyes and head back to the swing set."
She gave me a plan: "Give Wally one gram of bute each morning for a week. Do not ride him, do not longe him, not even in the arena, because while the footing is nice there, the ground is hard on the trail, and we want that bruise to heal, not get worse and go deeper into his sole."
Somewhere in there she said, "He'll be fine." But I forgot that part as soon as I hung up the phone.
I wish someone would come up with a medicine that would calm the nerves of anxious, neurotic horsewomen like me who go into an emotional tailspin when their horses are lame. Or sore. Or ill. Or have a skin rash. Perhaps it could be marketed in feed & tack stores right alongside the multitude of equine supplements. The product should be something benign and non-addictive, because the typical crazy horsewoman would be reaching for it frequently. The product would also need a clever title and tag line. Here are a couple of my ideas:
Vet Bee-Gone Granules
Feeling helpless and abandoned? Natural herbs and honey extract soothe away the fears you feel as the vet drives away.
Lay-Up Time Tea
Kick off your boots, settle back and sip some tea. You won't be riding your horse for a while, so why not relax?
Has your grocery budget been decimated by vet and farrier bills? Just add water for a scrumptious drink that provides all the nutrients neccessary for an entire day!
"Is He Sound Yet?" Chewable Wafers
Designed specifically for compulsive horse owners who cannot control their urge to peek at their horse numerous times each day to check on the animal's recovery status. Studies have shown that chewing on these gummy wafers relieves stress and anxiety. (Limit 16 wafers per day).
If you have any creative ideas for curing the worries of the everyday crazy horsewoman (or any other thoughts), just click on "comments" below!