In which kitty dodges another bullet and a new pony joins the family…UPDATE: :(kitty
I could do without another 4th quarter like this one, thank you very much, but it is ending on a better note than I feared.
My 16 ½ y.o. cat Sneezer recovered from pneumonia right when Pepo died, but then had other issues I couldn’t get resolved. Our vet was in this part of Haiti today so I had him come over to suggest a new way to deal with them or else have The Talk, since I have to be out of country for about 2 ½ weeks and I was afraid kitty would get into a crisis while I was gone. Dr. Keith had a solution the catsitter can deal with and kitty is still clearly interested in life around him, so I didn’t have to put him to sleep so soon after losing Pepo. Whew!
The real horse part is, today Mano and I went back to the Petite Riviere livestock market to see the pony we were offered in abstentia last week. It was an ‘only in the developing world’ scene! Entire male pony comes in with the owner sitting on his rump while ponying a (likely pregnant) mare behind, with her foal trailing the group. Pony is in a local halter and lead only, minding his manners until owner rides him up to a group of weanlings who start the sniff & squeal deal with him. We, owner, and pony head for a somewhat less congested area. This pony isn’t quite 14 hands and is more cowhocked than I like, but he’s at least a half-hand bigger than anything I’ve seen in weeks of looking. My options are him or a multi-day trip to the north coast for some blind shot searching, or a TB cross from Port (no farrier access= no thanks on the last one). So we check him out with a crowd gathering around.
As usual, pony isn’t trained to give his feet or mouth but he’s well mannered and gives in enough for a look. Teeth suggest he’s around 12, not too bad. No visible major issues in the feet or legs, no clear lameness, but cowhocked. Also usual, he has a chronic sore over his withers from bad tack but the sore is superficial, no sign of deeper infection. When I ask to see him ridden, the rider mounts by getting immediately behind pony, using his big toes to pincer grip the tendons above the fetlocks and hocks as stepping stones as he clambers over the tail to sit on the rump. Pony is being held but makes no offer to kick – BTDT.
Walk and gait are sound, hocks aren’t knocking as he moves – which for here means his conformation is average to good. Everything else seems to work normally. I’m not riding a horse with a wither sore since I haven’t tried to master butt-balancing. As clearly as we can tell (admittedly not that much!), he just needs groceries, time off and meds to heal the sore, and gelding surgery. No chance at X-rays, PPEs, or any of that! So I took the chance and bought him. Pix following.
Of course I have pictures, this is COTH!
Owner just called him ‘chwal’, horse, so I’ll have to name him. He has been chowing down ever since he arrived home with Mano. He’s already been introduced to the vet tech who will start treatment and deworm him tomorrow. The vet got a quick look before nightfall and agrees he’s around 12, we started planning to geld him sometime after I return.
The owner seemed proud of him but people here work like proverbial dogs, so the horses do also. Thus the chronic sore. Pony’s (typically) a bit head shy. Doesn’t have any concept of carrots being a treat, I doubt he’s ever been offered one before. He was looking worried whenever I or Dr Keith tried to examine him in my pen, likely because his entire environment including language just changed – the pale humans even sound different from what he’s used to. And we don’t react to him or give him orders the same way he’s used to, so I expect a reaction of ‘what’s happening NOW??’