Saturday, October 31, 2009
The Throbbing Heart of News
On Wednesday the vet came out to vet the horses--the usual shots, Coggins, teeth, etc. He also gave us some very bad news. Two months ago Linda had had a mass removed from Shorty's sheath and we had hoped that this would take care of it. The mass has come back, and the vet says it is a very aggressive melanoma; Shorty has six months to a year to live.
I am so saddened by this news, it is not describable. Shorty is such a special guy. I call him Spotty (my affectionate special name for him, that only I am allowed to call him :). Not only is he a cool looking Leopard Appy with an awesome personality, he is gaited. Smooth rocking gaits, you don't even need to post to his trot, just sit back and enjoy. Another special advantage is that he performs to the level of his rider with nary a complaint. My son has been learning to ride on him, and he is the horse I rode frequently when I was getting my nerve back after my broken shoulder on Jackson. Recently, I have been working on my canter with him to get my aids down (and my confidence up!) before I attempt my green guy.
Linda has raised Shorty, now sixteen, since he was foaled from her red roan. She had no idea her roan threw Leopard apps. so she says she was quite surprised to see him appear! She has gone through times (when he was younger) when he was totally unsafe to ride--even she wouldn't ride him (and she'll usually ride anything)--but he has turned into a steady, reliable mount and it has been wonderful!
He is currently not symptomatic other than the fact that he doesn't run in from the field anymore at feeding time. He still enjoys trail rides and lessons. This is the life he knows, and he will be lightly ridden until he shows that he can't be anymore. Obviously, knowing Linda like I do, she will do everything and then some to keep him as comfortable as possible and then let him go when it is time.
Oh, Spotty, I do love you. We will make the most out of the time we have left. Of course we will see you again in heaven, waiting at the pump--Linda and I already have sent early requests to be in the horse and dog department.....