It occurred to me last night that Tristan has, in the last two years, reversed the natural horse progression. He went from being an easy keeper, barefoot, tough as nails horse to one that had surgery, wears shoes, needs grain to keep weight, is on daily medication, and starts wearing a blanket when it goes below 40. When I lay it all out like that it sounds awful, but I’ve always said that he gets whatever he needs, and nothing has been done frivolously.
I started thinking, though, about finding a silver lining and to my surprise I kept thinking of good things, so I thought I’d share a little list with you.
1. He just looks so stinking cute in his jammies.
Seriously, I can’t even.
2. When he gets his extra layer at night check, someone lays hands on him.
That’s his stable sheet, out to tell the night check person to put it on him. That means that someone has their hands directly on him for a few minutes every night. It just makes me feel that much more secure that someone’s not just looking in the stall at him but is actually interacting with him.
3. True friendship
The day after Tristan had his colicky episode, a good friend of mine had arrived to give him a massage and had brought with her two of her old horse’s blankets. They fit him beautifully, and they were just what I had been about to take a deep breath and order from Smartpak. Some stitching, some new waterproofing, and they are not shiny new but they are practical and they are loved.
4. Matchy matchy
Okay, so I did buy one blanket. Tristan’s old fleece cooler was the long kind, without any straps on it whatsoever. It was less than ideal as a base layer: it moved around quite a bit when he laid down. So I did order this Smartpak fleece cooler, and I got to order it in Tristan’s barn colors of black, gray, and white. (I know, not exciting, but have you SEEN my horse? He clashes with everything!)
5. He’s going to be okay.
It’s not my favorite progression, and in an ideal world he’d still be that tough as nails easy keeper. He’s not. That’s okay. We have a plan, and that plan is feasible, and I have good people helping me out. He needs blankets. He gets blankets. He feels better. The rest is just gravy.