Sunday, 9 September 2012
Headaches and Highlights
It was Sunday morning, and I went to go and turn Hillary out in the field. I approached her stable, and noticed that a part of her forelock looked wet. I didn't think much of it; it had been a little wet in the night, and I assumed she'd had her head out of the door. As I got closer, I realised that the 'wet' in her hair was red, and that there was a few red droplets on her face. Again, I didn't panic- maybe, the flies had bitten her and drawn blood. But the appearance of blood made me decide to check her thoroughly. I tried to move her forelock away, and as she resisted, I saw a cut, and below it, a hole.
My knees buckled, and I immediately felt weak and sick. It was a split second, but I was sure it was a hole. I ran down the yard and found someone. Then I rang the vet.
Hillary was sedated, and the hole (which can be seen in the above picture ) was cleaned out. It was possible that underneath the huge swelling, there would be a fracture in the skull. I felt so sick. I stayed all day, and began my attempt to clean and put gel on the wound, which would become a routine for the next two weeks.
The vet came two days later, and suggested that there may still be a fracture. It was like a nightmare. Back on painkillers, Hillary still didnt like being touched on her head. It was a difficult task trying to get the prescribed gel on, but eventually, she gave in.
I then went on holiday- my first real holiday in nine years, and my first plane flight. To be honest, I didn't think I'd go away with Hillary being ill, but her head began to heal well, and she was able to go out.
Prior to her head being injured, Hillary had become stressed, and felt uncomfortable when ridden. So, my holiday, had become a way for her to be a horse again, without any ridden work. I too, felt a relief to be able to have a few days away, and to be able to switch off (with daily updates on her general health, of course!)
When I got back, Hillary's head had become a closed up bald patch- the beginning of a scar.Whilst her head was healing well though, she still unfortunately felt very stressed. So I began to look for a calmer for her. In my opinion, she was struggling with a new place,with her decreased sight. By putting her on a calmer, I hoped to take the edge off the worry and give her chance to chill.
I found epsom salts, and give her some for a few days. She finally began chill out (this is my opinion, knowing my horse, and doesn't in any way intend to publicise this product!).
Also at this time, I made a new friend, and with her horse recovering too, we decided to hack out together.
I have been on several hacks now, and with several different horses. Hillary has been amazing, even coping with a set of 8/9 stairs in the country park. She has followed quietly, and even led. She has proved that despite her ailing eyes, and her recovering leg, she is a trusting, trustworthy partner.
My confidence is growing non-stop and our bond is amazing. There is no-one in the world that even comes close to the way I feel for her. She is my best friend, and my everything.
Life is great.