Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Playing Telephone

Cell phones are not a sign of power, they're a sign of subservience. ~Doug Pappas

Yesterday was rather interesting. When we arrived at the horse barn, the Princess noticed immediately that several horses were not there. I had forgotten the dates, but I knew that the girls with their horses would be going to a week long camp during the summer and since only the boarded horses were missing, I was not alarmed. Not at that...but there was something that caught my attention and did cause me some concern: Dunny was limping.

Dunny is a new horse to the barn, having been there only two weeks. He is owned by a friend of Miss Annette, the 4-H leader and owner of the barn. Dunny is being leased by one of the 4-H mothers, who also boards her own horse there. She is leasing him for the 4-H'ers to have horse to ride, since Molly is the only large horse owned by Miss Annette along with the five mini's and two ponies.

After bringing the horses into their stalls and Dunny to an outside pen at the corner of the paddock as we have no available stalls, I took a quick look at Dunny's leg. It was bleeding and there was a cut into the hoof at the coronet band, where the hoof wall and the skin meet. At first, I thought it could be the cut causing the problem and it would be deep to cause him to limp so badly, so I had the Princess knock on Miss Annette door, but not only was no one home, but the dogs were not as well, which suggested that she was either with the girls at the camp or, as I later found out, she is on an Alaskan cruise.

Now the problem is my cell phone gets very bad reception at the barn and just a bit better when I am up by the house, but only enough to hear and give very broken messages. I needed to call the woman leasing Dunny, but I had to call home hoping my husband had not yet left on to go to another state to work. He was home and after ten minutes and two calls, because we got cut off, I finally had a phone number, but no answer and, yes, her daughter was at the camp so she could have had her mother's cell phone.

My husband called another mother, whom he knows, and texted me to look for the emergency numbers in the feed room notebook. I got them walked back up to find the best signal and called all three. One went to a bank and the other two were no longer in service.

In between the walking back and forth with the cell phone, I cleaned up Dunny's left fore leg with hydrogen peroxide and really examined the injury. He is a gentle horse and allowed me to lift his hoof without fussing. There was a cut in the hoof, but it was just the outer wall and it was not bleeding. What I found was that his pastern was bleeding all around with a general rawness and that he was swollen in the same areas. Before he was fed and after, he was pawing between the pen bars with that same leg, so I deduced that he was causing himself injury and that we would need to either have someone stay with him while he is in the pen or feed him somewhere else because at this point the tendons were swollen and warm. I was also concerned about infection, particularly because I could not find the purple spray that we use on cuts and abrasions. I wrote a message to place near the white board relaying information about Dunny's pawing injury to the other barn families and planned to call the leasing mother when I got home and went on with our work.

About ten minutes later three vehicles come whizzing in. Children run breathlessly toward the paddock and one says, "There's Mack!" pointing to the Iceland pony coming up from the upper field looking to get a drink. Another one echoes the same words as if she could not believe Mack would be there. I said, "Well, of course there's Mack." The children went on naming the horses they saw, ignoring my questioning look. These were 4-H homeschooling families that live nearby. Finally, the three mothers came up with questioning looks also.

Apparently, the mother my husband called got the impression that all the horses were missing and only Dunny was there...and he was injured. I thought he may have misunderstood me due the the signal breaking up. Later I would learn that my husband mentioned that some of the horses were not there as I had told him and he understood they were at camp. However, "horses missing" and "Dunny injured" must have been the terms that made the mother must have assumed that the horses had gotten out. Relieved the mothers talked awhile, examined Dunny, and planned to feed him in the arena or watch him in the pen. The Princess was delighted to play around with so many children that she likes so well, while we talked about how the emergency numbers failed and how to improve organizing the barn, maybe even having a phone in the barn. (Annette's husband works for the phone company.) One mother texted the mother leasing Dunny to update her about his habit and injury, which she texted back that she would check on him later.

Just as the three families began to leave, another came. This was a homeschooling family I had not met so we talked some after the other left. Three of the families were still homeschooling, not that they planned to homeschool in the summer, but they had not finished the year yet. I am so glad I just homeschool year around, although lately it is very light. The last family now feeds on Wednesday morning. There used to be a feeding schedule posted in the barn, but we do not have one now and that was one of the things we discussed about organizing the barn better. By the time the last family left, it was noon and rather hot, so the Princess did not ride and we left to run a few errands and eat lunch at home.

It just was not the typical Tuesday, but it was less typical when my husband called to tell me that he is all right, which is his opening line when he has been in a accident. I was relieved to hear that it was an accident with rubber coming off the tire of a semi truck. However, it caused some damage with the van and to fix it was going to cost far more than if he was home and able to go to our favorite garage...and maybe cost more than the van is worth, but buying another vehicle would cost more and is not in the budget right now so...I am just wandering where this will go.

~ My Lord, help us to hear truth as it is not as we fear it could be and also guide us into making the best decisions about the van. ~

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Thank you fellow travelers for walking and talking with me along this journey.