I’m going to try and start writing some of my old ‘musings’ posts again. Regularly, if I can. They might not have a lot of photos, since it’s optimizing everything that takes so much time up when I’m making a post. More like journal entries from Wild Ozark. Today’s topic is Chichi and his colic. When I’m not doing art or making prints or paints, I’m doing homestead stuff.
I got off to a sluggish start this morning because yesterday evening was fairly stress-filled and anxiety-ridden. One of the horses, Comanche (who is nicknamed ‘ChiChi’) got colic. Earlier in the day I’d seen him laying down by the gate and I thought he was just sunning himself, so I didn’t think much of it.
But then when I went outside again later, he was laying down again, this time in the front paddock on the hay that was still left on the ground. The little bits they hadn’t picked up yet. Well that was unusual, but it was in a sunnier spot, so maybe he just moved to a better location. At the moment I had my hands full with something else I was working on and I made a mental note of it. It was soon going to be time to feed them, so I’d check on him when I went outside.
Right before dark, I went out with hay. He and Shasta both came over and Shasta started eating. He just looked at the hay and didn’t even take a nibble. Now I was really concerned. It would be another cold night, and the hay is what helps them stay warm through it. Then I noticed him pawing with his back hoof at his belly. The dreaded ‘colic’ went through my mind. Great, it’s almost dark and now I have a situation on my hands.
I walked him to the back end of the field. He wasn’t very enthusiastic about that, but eventually gave in and began to follow more readily. We stopped at the creek crossing to see if he wanted water. Nope. He didn’t want to cross the creek, either, but we got past it. At the end of the trail before it crossed the creek again in the back 40, I unleashed him so he could walk himself back up to the gate, which he did. But not with nearly the eagerness he ordinarily would have. Ordinarily he would have left me in the dark back there alone, lol. This time he waited for me to catch up each time he went ahead of me a bit.
This time, when we reached the creek he did stop and take a good long drink. That made me feel better. It’s been cold lately and although the water isn’t frozen in the creek, it is quite cold. Maybe he hadn’t been going to drink as often as he needed. Maybe he had impaction from the dry feed and hay.
Moving To the Stall
He still didn’t want to eat once we got back to the front gate and the hay. I have him a good belly rub and could feel that he seemed bloated. He didn’t like the belly rub so much, but I persisted and finally began to hear some noises going on inside him. So I decided to move them both to the paddock by the house where I could more easily keep an eye on him. Massaged his belly again until he was really irate with me. I went in the house to see if I had any magnesium citrate and I couldn’t find any. That’s supposed to be good for impaction colic.
When I went back out to check on him, he was down on the stall floor and it was beginning to drop to around 30*F by that time. I covered him with a heavy blanket and went in to keep looking for the magnesium and see if I could find a vet on call. Never found the magnesium, but when I went out to check on him again, he was up and eating and acting his old self again. So I was much relieved and gave him some warm mash made with senior complete feed, and after seeing that he was eating it with his normal gusto, finally went to bed.
Today’s Task List
Today I had to find some more hay, bring new inventory to War Eagle Mill, get groceries, and run a few other errands. Any time I have to go to ‘big town’ (Fayetteville/Springdale/Rogers) it makes for a long day.
Finally made it home, unloaded the feed and hay and groceries. Winding down now for hopefully a calmer evening than the one before. And NO colic!