I got to the barn early this morning. I wanted to have enough time for Rose to eat, groom her, and just have some relaxing hang out time before she left.
That did not go as planned.
When I arrived at the barn Rose was happily munching on some hay that the barn owner (BO) had just threw her and her paddock mate. All was well with Rose and she was certainly enjoying the sunshine. However, a rather distraught looking BO started running my way as she headed for the barn to call the vet. Her 23 year old gelding was down in the pasture. I made sure that Rose was situated and then went to help the BO. Her gelding was not colicing and his hind left looked oddly contracted and despite trying he could not get up or put any weight on that leg. He was laying with that leg against the ground so we couldn't get a good look at it. I hung out with the BO in the field until her husband and the vet arrived. Then I got Rose's things quickly organized, groomed her and threw her in a foaling stall with some hay and returned to the field with the others.
The diagnosis was a broken tibula, and it had happened rather recently. Not that that makes it any better, but at least the poor old man hadn't been suffering for long. Bears have been coming down from the highland recently so they may have spooked him. Perhaps he ran into a golfer hole? It's rather hard to guess how it could happen. Following the diagnosis, the rather devastated BO made the decision to put him down. I don't think that there would have been any other option regardless of his age. I'm fairly certain that healing a broken tibula would be a monumental task in an equine patient. At this point the hauler still hadn't arrived, and I was glad as it was nice, quiet, and peaceful at the barn. However, the moment that the vet injected the old man I saw the hauler's trailer turn down the drive.
Quickly I took my leave and headed down the driveway to stop the trailer for a few minutes so that there would be less chaos for the BO to deal with during the final few moment's of her geldings life. Luckily the hauler is actually a vet as well so they completely understood what was going on and were fine with waiting.
After it was all over we packed up Rose's extra feed and travel documents for her new owner and loaded her up. I was quite proud of her. She hasn't been on a trailer other than mine since she was two, and this trailer had a giant (close to 2') step up. It took a few minutes and then she got right in and got busy eating hay. I had just that quick goodbye, and then they were off down the drive headed to Colorado and I was back in the field with the BO giving a combination of condolences and goodbyes.
It was an odd morning, and certainly put things in perspective. I started out the morning a bit melancholy thinking about Rose leaving and then ended it grateful that she was alive and healthy and headed to a wonderful new home. Sometime the Universe makes its point loud and clear.
Happy trails and swooshing tails!