A Note about Sugarbush Draft Horses

I see it over and over again, and no matter how many times it's said, it's still wrong. "Sugarbush Drafts are just an Appaloosa Draft Cross". Uh.... no. The Sugarbush Draft Horse was a breed created many years ago in Ohio. While the initial cross was made using Percherons to Appaloosas, in the many generations following, the breed has been solidified into a consistent type. Saying these horses are "just" a draft cross makes as much sense as saying that AQHA horses are "just" a Thoroughbred cross, American Cream Drafts are "just" a dilute Belgian, or that Morgans are "just" a grade.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

It's not getting any better

First I lost Hex to colic.  A little Sand Clear resulted in a little sand colic.  She was recovering, and seemed to be improving.  When I went out to check her again, she was dead.

 Then, upon hearing of Hex's death, my mother suffered a rare condition called Transient Global Amnesia.  She lost all memories of the day, and still has some short term memory loss.  I worried that my mother had suffered a stroke, aneurysm, or potentially had a brain tumor.  Mom is still suffering with anxiety and depression over the stress of not being able to use her mind like she wants to.

Yesterday morning we found that Rowdy had passed away in her sleep.  We knew that we were killing her with kindness for the last few years, but I didn't expect her to go quite so soon.  I'm not sure if you can ever be ready for it though.

And now

Melody cut herself on her left hind.  At first, it appeared to be a severe but non threatening laceration.  She was weight bearing at first, then suddenly became lame.  Her condition is not improving, and the vet suspects an infection of the tendon sheath.  Prognosis: poor.  We're trying a course of treatment for a couple of days, and just hoping that it works.  

Melody was born at Iron Ridge, and is now owned by an adorable young lady named Rachel, or Ojo (because we have a couple of Rachels) as we call her.  Ojo is 10, and this is her first horse.  She has only owned Melody about 6 months, and is currently learning to ride.  When Mel hurt her leg, I gladly agreed to haul her up here, and do the bandaging and soaking, and hydro, and medicating.  All the good things that come with leg injuries.  Last night, she began to weep a fluid that did not look like pus (she has an abscess on top of all this) so today we had the vet come out.  He is very concerned that the infection is in the tendon sheath.  

As there is no blood flow inside the tendon sheath, there's no way to get antibiotics there except for surgical methods.  Because of the abscess, we are hoping that a specific medicine can be wicked up, and into the tendon sheath, via the abscess cavity, carrying the necessary antibiotics with it.  It's a long shot, but it's a hope.  Joint, tendon, and tendon sheath infections are very serious, and often result in euthanasia.

She may no longer be my horse, but I still adore her.  She's now the love of a little girl's life, and Ojo loves her.  Kris, her care taker is being forced to make some very difficult decisions, and have some very horrible talks with a young girl who should never have to experience this.  So, if you're religious, please pray for Melody and her people.  If you're not, please cross your fingers for her and her people.  

And me.  I'm ready for a happy ending!  I thought bad things came in 3s, not 4!  I am pretty sure I can't take much more of this.  We all do what we have to do, but could fate please toss me a bone already?  I'm sitting here thinking about how hard I work to keep them all healthy, to do the right thing for every animal and person I know, and yet things don't always work out like we want.  Yet, how many people out there never treat a wound, never worry about sand in the guts, never could be bothered to medicate a dog twice a day, and end up having the best possible outcomes.  It's not fair, and I'm upset enough to be childish about it.  I just don't want to see a young girl's heart broken.  I can take it, I'm mature enough to understand.  But I'm not sure I can handle the emotional turmoil of seeing this poor girl go through this.


  1. Good. Grief.

    About that karma dance we were discussing...

  2. That is just devastating - I'm sending prayers, hopes and anything else I can come up with - these sorts of things do happen as all of us with horses know, but to have them happen to a young girl is just plain awful.

  3. Oh my, how heart breaking for everyone. Lots of prayers and good thoughts.

  4. I've been reading your blog for a few weeks and I am enjoying it. I will keep Melody and all the people involved in my prayers.

  5. FernvalleyappaloosasSeptember 11, 2011 at 12:41 AM

    Hugs to you and Rachel , and prayers for Mel.

  6. Awwww, how terrible. Prayers for Melody and Ojo. Hugs, too (((((())))))

  7. So glad she seemed better today. I know she's not out of the woods yet, but there's hope.