There is nothing in the world (probably) that horse owners want to hear less when they pick up the phone than "Your horse is colicing." Because our first bout with Lena was so bad and so terrifying, we may be extra sensitive to that phrase. (Very long and scary story short, we thought we were going to lose her to colic two weeks after we got her back in August of 2005.)
So when Peter called us last night and said Lena was laying down and colicing, we got right in the car and headed to the barn. We left my daughter Katie here with her dog, Jake, promising to call and let her know what as going on. I also called in and left a message for our vet, just in case. (Lena has had a couple of small bouts of colic that did not require nose tubes and Banamine, so I didn't want to declare an emergency if it wasn't required.)
We drove silently, trapped behind holiday drivers who were either completely lost or had perhaps imbibed a bit too much before getting in their car. For once I wished for slightly more reckless driving from the tourists in front of us.
As we pulled into the driveway at Peter's, I looked up at Lena's pen and could see her in a cloud of dust, looking as if she had just stood up. That was the first good sign. The second good sign was that there was fresh manure in her pen, and we'd cleaned it once already that morning.
We noticed immediately that she was definitly a little bit "off." When Lena gets snuggly it means she isn't feeling great, and she was super snuggly. Steve cleaned out her pen and I walked her around the property, talking softly and hitting some accupressure points when she would let me. Mainly, she wanted to walk, so we did, around the barns, and down the road. I even got her to trot with me, and when she started tossing her head, I started to think she would be okay.
Her gut was making good noises--we both checked--and her temperature felt fine, so after we took all the hay out of her paddock, we decided we'd done all we knew to do and left, telling Peter to call if he noticed a change.
I stayed up until midnight, but no call came, and we hadn't heard anything by the time we headed out at 11 this morning--me to the barn, Steve to our storage unit to start cleaning it out.
Lena was definitely feeling better when I got there, looking for treats and perhaps a bit miffed at missing a meal, but much more her normal self. Peter told me she'd had her breakfast and suggested we ride her. Relieved that she seemed better, I promised we'd be back after we finished clearing out storage. (Bleh.)
We had lunch and headed back to the barn with Katie and Jake. We cleaned the pens (again) and Steve rode Lena while I longed Bar. Steve said she wanted to run, but was controlled and cooperative, too. We walked them down the road and then I gave her a bath. She was beautiful and spotty, and seemed to be fine, nuzzling pockets for stray carrots and dipping her nose to check out Jake, too.
We'll probably never know for certain what sets her off, which is frustrating. I'm just glad we're close enough to show up when she needs us and very thankful that this time turned out okay.