The Polite Way to Colic (If You Are a Horse)

1.  At dinner, eat very slowly — very. And do not lick your plate like you usually do. This should give them the first hint that something is not as it should be.

2.  At breakfast, eat a couple of bites … very slowly, then leave the rest. This should definitely get some attention.

3.  Maintain a somewhat worried look in your eye. This should also help tip someone off that you are feeling kind of puny.

4.  After breakfast do not rush off to the pasture after your herd-mates. Instead, walk very slowly with your head down. Don’t get worked up. Don’t breathe faster than normal or act weird.

5.  Stand around in the pasture and act like you’re trying to eat hay, but you’re really not.

6.  Try to cooperate and move only a little bit when your person pokes you in the butt with something small and hard and holds it there for 2 or 3 minutes. The good thing about this is that it allows you to pass a little gas, which feels really good so you lick and chew a little. And you know she always likes to see you lick and chew, so you are happy this pleases her.

7.  Stand very, very still while she attaches the side of her head to the side of your body for a long time, and then does the same thing on the other side of your body. Even if you don’t know what she’s doing, be very careful not to move. And your stomach is VERY still and quiet, so you know that won’t disturb her.

8.  Go very quietly with your person into whatever area she wants to put you in for “observation” and “treatment.”

9.  Be cooperative and stand still while she administers things in your mouth. One of them sounds like “vomit,” one like “chami…” something, one tastes like liquid grass, and one is gummy and pasty and not quite as nice as the others.

10.  Also try to stand still while your person pulls on your ears, kind of hard, and does funny little massage things all around them and also back by your rump, AND, ahem, RIGHT under your tail, which apparently is a spot that has something to do with making you feel better.

11.  Ignore your roomies who are standing around staring at you, wondering what is going on. Do not act panicky because you are not with them or try to rush over to be let out with them.

12.  Be patient. Your person may come and go for a while and you may be left to your own devices for a few minutes at a time. Do not get upset. Do not get dramatic. And Heaven forbid and above all, do NOT throw yourself down on the ground and start rolling!

13.  Always mind your manners. Be a lady. Or a gentleman.

14.  Lastly, deposit a very small pile of dry manure in your confinement area. This seems to signify some major milestone. Your person acts thrilled and loves you up, and since you always like to please her, this makes you happy. And you feel better now too!

*****************************************************************

My new mare, Corazon, colicked today and, in all my years of observing and treating colic, her manner and mode of doing so were completely new to me. I would never have suspected colic except that I knew her stoic personality so proceeded through my usual steps. Using homeopathics (Nux vomica and Chamomile), along with probiotics and body work on helpful acupressure points (including, ahem, the anus) has always done the trick for me for mild gas or impaction colic. But the lesson learned today: Certain horse personality types may not show you they’re colicking in the way most horses will. Check out how different they can be at my friend Dr. Madalyn Ward’s horse personality website.  I am grateful to my dear Corazon for teaching me yet another new lesson in the horsey realm. She is indeed the equine epitome of a lady!

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2 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Madalyn said,

    Leta,
    Good job at getting this handled so easily and recognizing the early signs. Metal horses have a high pain threshold so it is easy to miss a mild colic and allow it to get more serious. Madalyn

  2. 2

    A teacher recommended that I check out your site. I’m glad that I’m here.


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