This episode of TLH is accompanied (in your head) by the following sound track: “Feeeeelings….nothing more than feeeeelings…..trying to forget myyy…..feeeelings of luuuuuuv…”
I continued to stalk Hudson, trying for a nice photo. I had three problems.
- Hudson has no interest in being photographed.
- Hudson has been miffed with Jane ever since she tried to kill him.
- No photography assistants. Jane has turned into one of those horse owners.
She’s working with a 2×4 to try to find her normal self again. Existential question: when one flagellates, is it considered cheating to wear a helmet, or proper martyrdom, since a helmet clearly prolongs the flagellation process?
Back to the important stuff: getting a photo of Hudson that doesn’t make him look like he’d been imprisoned in Guantanamo for “questioning”.
This does not look like a loved horse. This looks like a horse handcuffed in a cell with the woman who attempted to kill him.
He’s telling the truth. I did try to kill him.
I almost killed Hudson over my feelings. Now there’s a wake up call.
I felt inadequate. I felt I wasn’t covering my responsibilities; a number of huge holes opened up in my life, and I wasn’t shoveling fast enough, or competently. I felt like I was flitting instead of focusing: not enough support for Shaun, the kids, the dog, the house, not enough riding/care for Hudson, not enough support for Lily and Tiny, and not present enough for Daisy, to whom I committed to fix some new-house issues.
(I need to keep up my Dyke membership card. Helping Daisy would have totally brought me up to date. Quick, hand me a hammer and that laser level.)
I felt guilty. I lost the first commandment of horse ownership: Never Act When Feeling Guilt.
Jane guilt = Food. Big surprise. More supplements! His coat will shine even more! I bought flax-seed, and eased him into a quarter cup a day, along with his other supplements.
Jane thinking = Flax seed is benign, I won’t bother Bella yet again with (good) questions. (Is he allergic? Has he had them before? How did he react?) Nope, that would be (responsible) annoying. Besides, I’d always fed it to my other horses…20 years ago.
Bing bing bing bing bing! 10 days later, allll that flax-seed built up in his now highly irritated intestines, and he got colicky. Bella was worried. (I hadn’t told her I’d added flax-seed.) He’d never colicked. He was pooping normally, if a bit runny. Thank god she knows him so well. He never got past the “not quite right, wonder what’s up?” stage. She saddled up Dinero, threw a halter on Hudson, and phoned me from the saddle. She ponied him for nearly an hour until I could get there.
It didn’t dawn on me that the flax could be causing the colic. (Non-horsey: don’t read this part.) I found his poop on the ground and kicked it apart. Undigested, pointy little seeds. I know, I know: there’s a number of studies showing most horses have no problem with whole flax-seed. Key word: most.
Older horse with allergies, emotionally reactive, with a known touchy stomach. I might as well have thrown gravel in his feed. Of course he reacted to the flax.
Owner guilt is probably the cause of more horse-related problems than anything besides the philosophy “It’s Just An Animal”.
Bella was so kind to me. I immediately confessed to owner guilt and my brilliant solution: fling flax at the guilt.
I was mortified. Of course she’d want me to ask about him. What was I thinking?
Once the cause was known, the cure was easy, and we could both relax. He was over it within a few more hours.
Thanks to K is for Kiki’s suggestions, I did manage to get a better-ish photo:
Next project: find Jane.
I actually asked Bella how she had kept Hudson’s fitness level up. You remember Hudson, the horse I’ve been riding for a couple of years as part of his conditioning plan? If she has any desire to throw things, she hides it marvelously.