By the time I get this posted, I’ll have been back home and back to work. Back to the real world. But I had a great vacation in South Dakota and I’m most anxious to share it with you. This will probably take a few posts, relying on what I emailed to the Horsetales group while we were away.
We had an interesting start on the day we left. As I got the horses ready to load, I found Fancy missing a shoe. Our new farrier is an hour the other direction and provided we could get ahold of him, realistically it would put us about 2 hours behind. We had about 600 miles in which to find one. John drove and I pulled out my iPad and posted my farrier request on a statewide equine Facebook page. Within thirty minutes I had a farrier offer to meet us along the road. A call-out to Ryan Jacobi of Monroe. Just like a pit crew, we pulled her out, he reset her and we were back on the road in no time. The power of the internet!
However, my biggest concern when we loaded that day was Windy. She did not follow the other horses up from pasture when I called them that morning. Before I could fetch her, she came up on her own but wasn’t interested in sharing the grain I offered the herd. She just didn't have her normal spunk. When I checked her during the shoeing episode, she had pooped, but she still didn't have that perkiness about her. You know, sometimes we just know. When we met our friends, Kathy & Rich, in Broken Bow, she had not pooped again. She was just droopy.
We planned to stay the first night at the Outriders Trailhead in Chadron. Storms threatened us on the drive but none came to fruition. We made it there in good time, checking on Windy at every stop along the way. There was no change and no poop. She didn’t show any discomfort; wasn’t sweating or kicking at her stomach – she just was listless. I walked her at the Outriders Trail Head and nothing. She was eating grass, drinking... just not pooping and still a bit lethargic. There was no cell coverage at Outriders so we decided to load up and go into Chadron and find a vet even though it was after hours on a Saturday night.
The power of the internet failed me this time. I had plenty of numbers but no vet would answer or return calls. We went as far as Crawford trying to find SOMEONE and no go. So we pulled through Ft. Robinson and camped at Soldier Creek. Here she finally pooped. Now granted, she had no signs of being colicky other than no poop. But something wasn’t right. I gave her some Purina hydrated hay soaked in water and she ate that well and said my prayers that she would be better in the AM.
Come morning, she had a lot of gas. John was up first and said her poop was real watery and she was terribly gassy. She looked perky and herself. I loaded her in the trailer and got a good sized poop out of her. We decided to ride a bit and check her way of going. I was thrilled to find her 100% fine. If I hadn’t known she was off the day before, I wouldn’t have suspected anything was wrong with her. That was a relief.
We made it to Keystone, South Dakota later that afternoon. We had reservations in Elk Haven Horse Camp, conveniently located near Custer State Park and some of the other trails we planned to ride. We set up camp to be semi-portable as we would be trailering to some of the trail heads. Our friends, Jules and Steve pulled in a few hours later and Robyn after them.
The next day we planned to ride to Harney Peak.