Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Our Lump of a Horse

Lump was not like most horses. He liked every person that came to visit. He had no fear of humans. He was a school horse in Roswell for many years but he must have enjoyed every minute of it. He was very settled and grounded. Lump lived with us about 10 years. His age was estimated at 40-something!

We have some horses that just walk freely around the farm, Lump was one of them. He sought out humans like ants seek sugar. If there was a crowd of two people or ten people, Lump would quickly work his way to the middle separating the people so they would have to touch him. People would have to look over him or around him because he had to be in the middle. We just got used to resting our arms on his back to have a conversation with the person on Lump's other side. We referred to him as 'the NAT' because you couldn't shoo him away. Lump became the Social Director of the farm. He was also the Greeter and the Drooler. OK at his age, it was easily forgiven when you parked too close to the barn and Lump left his drool of food and water across the hood of your car.

One morning I walked into the barn and saw Lump looking out over the shaving trailer. He had walked up into it then realized it was unstable and he froze in place. He whinnied to me for help. Like a turtle, I slowly moved Lump around to exit to safe ground as Roy watched to make sure his buddy was safe.

We lost Lump on March 22. He fell in his stall and injured his neck on Saturday night. We helped him up but he was in shock for about an hour. With the help of Lori, Brigitte and many loving volunteers, we helped Lump get stabilized. I conferred with Dr Marcella and he gave me a dosage of drugs to help Lump through the night. By Sunday morning his neck was painful and swollen. He needed special help to eat. We held his bucket up higher so he could finish his grain and drink water. We gave him the drugs the vet recommend and used the laser on his injury. By Sunday night he was getting more unsteady on his feet, losing his balance. He now was struggling with each breath. He was in pain. Dr Duval said she would come in the morning and do an ultrasound and xray to look for an answer. If she came Sunday night, I think I would have asked her to euthanize him right them. Watching him struggle to breath, knowing he was in pain, it was heartbreaking. Dr Duval asked me to check a few things on Lump then told me what to medications to administer. In 10 minutes, Lump was now more relaxed for the night. I felt better and was very hopeful we would have some answers in the morning.

Early Monday morning, I placed Lump's bucket of food on top of a tack trunk so he wouldn't have to bend his swollen neck to far to reach the grain. He was more unsteady then ever. Amy helped as we walked him into the hallway. He took about 10 steps and collapsed to the ground. While waiting for the vet, Bobby, Brigitte and other volunteers arrived. We made several attempts to get him up on his feet but we failed each time. Dr Duval came and gave Lump some injections to ease the pain and again our attempts to get him up were in vain. The ultrasound and xrays didn't answer many questions. Dr Marcella also came to look for a way to help Lump. Both vets, several volunteers and the tractor still couldn't get him up. Lump was loosing feeling in his mouth. Lumps tongue was hanging out of his mouth. I gently squeezed his tongue with no response until I was about 5 inches into his mouth. The vets were checking his spinal responses and they were also gone. Lump had a spinal cord injury. That explains why he got worst over the 3 days we tried to help. We great heartache, we made the decision to let Lump leave us forever and he was very humanely euthanized. He was surrounded by humans who loved him dearly. He left us with 10 years of happy memories that will stay forever in our hearts. Rest In Peace, old man. We love you Lump!