My scare at Eastern Regionals

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Well-Known Member
Aug 9, 2004
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Douglas, MA
Everyone that helped me out. We arrived at the Fairgrounds at about 9am Thursday. We unloaded and I walked my mare around then got her stall ready and put her in. She seemed to be herself so after watching her for a little bit we headed to the hotel and catch some sleep. We had been up all night driving. At around 3pm we went back to the show grounds and I took my mare (Mel) out to the ring and lounged her, she kicked her heels up and pranced around. After that we measured in and headed back to our stall area. I then did her “facial†and gave her a bath. I put her slinky sheet and hood on and her neck wrap then fed her. She was picking at her grain but mostly wanted her hay. Not a big deal, she does that at home. She loves her hay 1st. We left and went to grab dinner and then came back to the show grounds. Mel still had some grain left but was acting normal. I took her out and brought her to the ring and practiced some obstacle work, she was doing awesome. When I was finished I put her back in her stall, she then went to the corner and pooped (I had cleaned her stall earlier and there were 3 piles in there and a wet spot) she then took a big drink of water and went back to her hay. She looked and acted normal so we figured we would go back to the hotel for the night.

Within 2 hours my cell phone rang… my heart sank. I just knew it wasn’t a call I wanted, sure enough when I answered the phone the voice on the other end was telling me my mare was starting to colic bad! We left the hotel and headed back in record speed, I then called the O’Connell’s because they were staying at the grounds. By the time I got there she had been given a shot of banimine (sp) and a sedative. She was pretty much out of it, they had called a vet in but we didn’t want to wait, her guns were white and she had no gut sounds. We hooked up the trailer and rushed her to OH State. My daughter and I road in the trailer with her. She did great in the trailer, I was so afraid that she would try and lay down in there but she didn’t. Once we got her to OH State they took her from me and one of the assistants took me to the reception area to get all of her info. That was when I completely lost it and couldn’t stop crying. Once we finished there the woman took me to the area Mel was in. I just held on to her and rubbed her face. By the time they started working on her she was already improving. Her gums had returned to normal color and her gut sounds were getting stronger. They did an ultra sound and blood work, that all came back normal. Then they tubed her with oil. She finally started to wake up and we brought her to her ICU stall. Of course they use straw as bedding so she immediately went for it, so I had to hang on to her head so they could fine a muzzle for her. We finally left for the night, I think it was close to 2 am, they called my at 8:30am to let me know that she had finally gone to the bathroom and was doing much better. They were going to release her that day but we were scheduled to leave Saturday morning and I didn’t want to bring her back to the show grounds for a day and then head home so I asked if she could stay the extra night. I just wanted to be sure that she was ok, I felt better that they are there and could watch through the night.

Friday was hard, I was watching some classes and my eyes would start to fill up with tears, I just wanted my baby back. The vet called me in the afternoon to give me an update and she was still doing great. Finally they called me Saturday morning and gave me the great news that she could come home. The assured me that she would be ok for the 14 hour ride home. So, she is now home and back to herself. I’m so grateful that she is ok.

I just can’t say enough about everyone there that helped me. I feel awful that I don’t even know some of their names, but the names I do know are Tom & Lorraine O’Connell, Jonathan Whitt, Michael Nunes & Mike McCabe. So many others helped. I was amazed by the concern so many had, when I was at the show on Friday so many people came to me and asked me how Mel was. I was shocked, these were people I didn’t even know. It was so thoughtful. I was overwhelmed by the compassion that everyone had. I still can’t even begin to express my gratitude to everyone. I hope that some of you that were there see this.

So to wrap things up, it’s Monday morning, Mel is still doing great and is happy to be back out with her friends.
And once more, [SIZE=21pt]THANK YOU EVERYONE!!!!!!![/SIZE]
Aren't horse people great??? I'm bawling my eyes out here.

I'm so glad Mel is okay!
Glad your girl is okay. Amazing how horse people come together in a crisis, I've seen it happen many times, regardless of breed & discipline.

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[SIZE=14pt]So thankful you had help and a good outcome! Reminds me of the last R nationals in Mo....a tornado was headed towards the grounds and there were 5 tents full of horses on the top of the hill. My 3 were among them. We were in the arena showing and didnt hear the weather only knew there were big winds rolling thru there. Some kind people too many to mention went up the hill to get EVERY horse out of there and down in the lower barns. We had to look for our horses later but we were so thankful that they were all safe![/SIZE]

What a happy ending story about great horse people. I am so glad it all worked out and your Mel is happy and healthy once again.
You are was a BIG scare! Laura Rothfuss, Blueprint Minis ("blueprint" on the forum)...said Connie come look at this horse...dont know who's it is...but think its in trouble. I looked in...she'd been rolling and was laying on her back...went in she got up, I found her wet with sweat....started ripping off blankets and wraps while she kept falling down on me and I'd push her back up to her out and started walking her...she was kept falling down...I yelled for Tim to call the number on your card....knowing it was a call no one wants to get. Her gums were white, dry and kept curling her lip up in pain. Everyone agreed she needed an IV shot of banamine...and all I had was paste banamine...people all wanted to help but were afraid to IV her without owners approval....all I could think was Dear God please dont take this lil mare...I walked and walked and walked her in the dark and kept saying hang on lil girl....Finally I saw Mike McCabe drawing a shot...and I wheeled her inside and said OH MIKE....THANK GOD!! He said the office got hold of the breeder who was with the owner and approved the shot.

The show vet on call was on the phone said get her to Ohio State University. OSU is like an hour away...and I had typed direcitons in my day planner to grabbed them hoping they might help.

I gotta bad as Mel was surely a blessing from God that she pulled through and didnt have to have colic surgery! I was thrilled to hear that news!!!

I am so happy for you and Mel...that everything is ok now!!!

You are right...people came from everywhere to help. Laura Tennel, Phoebe Kerby from Rocking K, Mike McCabe all ran to the office to get contacts & help. The Leonards from Mini Cedars were out there coaxing her to stay up and walking. And...I know for had a gang praying for her that night!

It is such a relief to hear she is doing so well. Thank you for posting an update!

Wow - so glad it worked out!
Thank God for people who were willing to step in and take care of her as if she were their own!
Connie - I believe you were the one that handed me the directions to OSU. Thank you so much! And thanks to Blueprints! I had forgotten her name, I'm bad at that.

In my 20 + years of having horses I've never experienced this! and to think I had checked in on her less than 2 hours before and she had gone to the bathroom, drank water and was eating. She gave me no signs! I think for me that was one of the worst parts, I wouldn't have left if she had given me some sort of sign.
Thank God she is ok - aren't horse people great. Goes to show you never know when a problem can happen.

Good luck!

WONDERFUL, that she's ok now

It's true about horse people, they will help out when the chips are down! And, at a show like this, you have many who have a tremendous amount of "first aid for a horse" knowledge.....often been there, done "someone" normally has whatever you don't. It's a good feeling to know you aren't alone.

Hug Mel for all of us.

I am glad it has a happy ending!

Liz M.
I am so glad that Mel is doing better!!
It's just amazing how most equine people band together and help each other out in time of need... A big hug to your little Mel, and to those that helped you out.
Yes...I am the planner with the looked at me like you have what...typed directions in your day planner? LOL...I know...probably an obcessive compulsive

When I was taking her blankets off...she had her hood pushed up so far that her ears were coming out the eye holes...and her eyes were covered by the solid part that usually is below the she couldnt see....I wondered if she got herself all worked up because she was "blind" from pushing her hood up over her eyes..maybe felt itchy or something.

I didnt notice if that hood had velcro around the muzzle area...but might get her one that you can tighten around the nose so she cant work it up over her eyes.

Who knows...these guys can sure get themselves into lots of trouble and scare the bejebbers out of us all cant they!!!! You could tell she was a really well cared for horse....she just kinda got in trouble after you left. Like me...I beat myself up for things thinking I should have this or I did that...but things still happen.
So glad that everything turned out ok!

My mom always says "Those horse people are just of a different breed"

I always take it in a good way... It touching how everyone pulls together in the time of a crisis. Horse people really are amazing.

Glad there was a happy ending!

Hi Heather,

I'm thrilled to learn that you and Mel made it back home and things are getting back to normal for you both. Please don't let this incident prevent you from traveling and showing in the future. Probably will never happen again. I learned an important lesson from this. I've never left "contact" information on my stalls at shows before. I mean "what could possibly happen" to my horses while I'm gone overnight? Now I know! I'll be leaving cell phone number and hotel phone number on my stalls from now on at every show/exhibition.

I watched you in the costume class. I'll bet you are glad it "cooled down" some before you had to put on that hot costume. Hopefully, taking home a plaque from the show gives you something positive to remember about the show, well, along with meeting me and Connie!


Blueprint Miniatures

KUDOS to you Connie, Laura, Mike & everyone else that had a hand in helping this little mare.

When horse people see a horse in's like seeing a child in pain. You can't ignore it...doesn't matter who the horse belongs to, you feel like it's yours & you just have to help! Glad everything turned out OK. OSU is wonderful!
Heather, your mare was so fortunate to have these people around her!!!

I know most of them and they are simply the BEST....there is not a one who wouldn`t go the distance to truly had hero`s in your midst.

I am so glad Mel is doing OK, and you too!!
I will be going to my first show in a few weeks and I am glad to know that there are so many people out there to help me if I were to need it. I have also learned a lesson and will make sure that I post all of my contact info on my stall. I am very glad to hear that your little girl is alright. Thank you for sharing and teaching me a good lesson.
Hi Laura - thank you again for noticing my baby! It was so nice to sit and chat with you for a while on Friday.

Yeah, the costume class was fun. Although the sheep costume was made to fit Mel, the mare I used was a bit bigger so we had to do some cutting and pinning. Poor Mystic, she was a good sport.
Thanks to Mike and Carol Nunes for letting me dress her up and take her in.

Dona - You are so right about OSU! They were wonderful and didn't mind me bawling my eyes out the entire time I was there, they even gave me a box of tissues.

Well, Mel is still doing great. She's not too happy about not getting her grain, but she only has a few days left of hay only.

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