Friday, June 17, 2011

Our Baby Alvin

Last year, a little earlier in the spring than now, our good head horse, Alvin, came up lame. We took him to our vet after a couple of weeks of seeing no improvement in his condition, and the diagnosis was nearly devastating - a broken coffin bone. The only good news about this diagnosis is the fact it was a hind leg, not a front one. A horse carries over 70% of their body weight on their front legs, so it is almost impossible for them to overcome a broken coffin bone one one of the front legs. The back, however, is far more likely to heal. So all last summer, after being cooped up in his stall and turnout for the winter months, Alvin was confined even longer. While all the other horses were turned out, he was contained, and it was hard on him. Right before Christmas, we took him back to the vet for more x-rays and to see how he was doing. When we loaded him up, he was perfect, walking without any limp at all. When we got him to the vet, however, much to our panic, he was lame. Although we didn't know it at the time, he had rebroken his foot in the trailer. Newly healed coffin bones are very fragile, and we had a lot of other things going on at this time, and we simply forgot about giving Alvin something to keep him calm after being confined for so long. So more limping along, although not as bad as before, for the next several months. He is finally starting to do better, although he still steps short, and it is going to be another year of recovery time for him. The interesting thing about the entire situation is how much his personality has changed over the course of his recovery. He used to be very hyper and a little on the wild side. Now? He is a puppy dog. He loves to be loved on and has taken to licking my face. He is the sweetest boy ever, and much calmer. He will stand tied to the fence like a true gentleman, now, and not prance and dance around. Brady and I decided to turn him out a couple of weeks ago, after having him in his small paddock for over a year and a half, and it almost made me cry to see him out in the pasture, happy as a lark. He is in heaven! So I took a few pictures of him and Brailey's horse Tex one day when I was feeling creative with my camera. Alvin is such an amazing horse, one of the best head horses in the country (if you're unfamiliar with roping, this is the horse you rope the head of the steer on), and we are praying he makes a full recovery. Check out the pictures - isn't he a doll? He's the one with the white face...

1 comment:

  1. I loved this story - I thought I left a comment but it didn't post (probably because I did it at work..) anyway, Alvin is so sweet and that top picture you took is a beautiful one, like a puzzle or a magazine cover! Will he ever be able to rope again? hugs, love coley


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