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Grumpy Old Men (horses)

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  • Grumpy Old Men (horses)

    This is an email from an Ex-boarder who is still a dear friend. She now keeps her horses at her own place. She retired her old man to my farm and I found his cranky, grumpy ways endearing.

    In my eyes, he did no wrong- ever. She joking "keeps waiting for him to croak". I tell her every time she says that, he tacks ON 6 months to his life....He still cracks me up. This is her email to me......

    So I thought (falsely) that once again Dash was a goner this week. . . . I noticed he was stocked up in the back Friday night. Let it go until Saturday, then found a puncture wound on him, so started him on SMZs on Sunday. Everything going well. . . .Monday, he starts to be unable to walk on the back leg and refused to eat his food after I tried to stick Bute it in it. So promptly gave him new food, of which he ate. Monday night, he decided that since the Bute had poisoned his food once, he was not going to eat it now with SMZ either, which previously was not an issue. By Tuesday morning he is now 3-legged lame. . . So call the vet out. She says he has an abcess in the same foot and that the puncture wound is not an issues. But of course can not find any abcess to drain to make the money I just spent in a vet call worth while . .. . Take him off the SMZs, not that I could get him to eat them anyway! So I diaper the leg with poultice and we carry on. . .Well, since he doesn't do well with hay any more, I decided to leave him out since the grass is fairly plush yet.
    So last night, he manages to come in for dinner and eat his dinner. He tries to kick my head off as I try to remove the mud soaked diaper/poultice. Decide not to reapply since I value my head. . . .Forget to give him the Bute before letting back out. Grab lead rope and try and catch the 3-legged lame horse to give him the Bute. He can move fast enough to escape me, so no Bute. . ., no poultice. This morning, 5:30 still pitch dark. . . . Refuses to come in for breakfast. . . I decide to be the nice mom and feed him where he stands. . . .Refuses to eat the whole thing despite no meds. Did rangle 1 gram of Bute into him, with much protest coming back from him. This is killing me, either be a good patient or die already! A crotchy old horse that is a nightmare to treat and costing me money is not acceptable. . . . UGH!

    Hope you found the story humorous, even though you always had a soft spot for him. I think you actually admire his crotchiness. .
    .

    I do adore grumpy old men....
    Come to the dark side, we have cookies

  • #2
    I tried to find your story funny but I couldn't. It's just sad to me..... If there's any hint of seriousness in her emails.
    Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

    Comment

    • Original Poster

      #3
      Originally posted by CFFarm View Post
      I tried to find your story funny but I couldn't. It's just sad to me..... If there's any hint of seriousness in her emails.
      No- she's kidding. She loves him to death. Everyone deals w/ loss or the aniticipation of loss differently.
      Come to the dark side, we have cookies

      Comment


      • #4
        Wonderful, I am glad I am not the only one, I have a grumpy old man lovingly called "grumpus" yes he will come to that name, actual name is Galahad. He was just recently diagnosed w/cushings, has had skin problems all spring and now again that it is wet outside, so desitin is fun to apply chasing him around in circles in his stall. You even look at him while he is eating and he pins his ears. I love him and am dreading that awful day when the decision needs to be made. I have dodged that bullet so far but know it is sooner than I would like it to be. He raises his head as high as he can every morning when I have to orally give him his pergolide, he has pretty much snubbed his grain in the morning so I have to give it to him orally to make sure he gets it. He reminds me of the two old muppet characters, am I dating myself, that sat in the balcony and complained during the whole show but all they really wanted was attention. He is really a good boy and has never kicked unless he was in pain, luckily I have a very understanding farrier who knew that was out of character for him and dealt with it. He carried my daugher around her first xcountry courses with never a refusal and he will be with us until the end. Yay for GRUMPY OLD MEN!
        "They spend 11 months stuggling to live, and 25 years trying to die" my farrier

        "They are dangerous on both ends and crafty in the middle"

        Comment


        • #5
          I have a grumpy old man and he has a grumpy old friend.

          I own one and my friend owns the other. Both are 23 and going strong. One is an OTTB, one is an hanoX. Both are big, beautiful chestnuts. Both taught our DD's to ride, now are both lightly ridden by my friend and I. They get ridden together, they get turned out together, and yes, they get into trouble together.

          Last week both were turned out on lovely grass pasture while stalls were being cleaned. Indoor horses were grained while old farts were out on lovely grass pasture (remember this detail). Friend asks if I'd bring them both in from their lovely grass pasture. Of course, I say, piece of cake.

          I get to the gate, call them, and friend's old fart GALLOPS headlong to me. My old fart lifts his head from lovely grass and kicks into a swift trot to the gate. I turn to undo the latch, and next thing I know I narrowly miss being mowed down by old farts busting out the gate and galloping into the barn.

          These horses are big fellows and are now cantering into a busy barn aisle. First they encounter trainer and a full wheel barrow. They split and move past her. Next obsticle is trainer's mother who came by for a visit. She lunges for the open grain room door to avoid being run over. Lesson kids and ponies are a little further on, and proved to be little more than minor speed bumps in the way of these horse's quest for their grain. Each gets a HANDFUL, mind you, not anything to bust down a gate for!

          Finally wrangled by DD and friend into their stalls. Whew! No got hurt, thank goodness, but my face hurt from laughing so hard. Grumpy old men together. Priceless!
          Riding: The art of keeping a horse between you and the ground.

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by allpurpose View Post
            I have a grumpy old man and he has a grumpy old friend.

            I own one and my friend owns the other. Both are 23 and going strong. One is an OTTB, one is an hanoX. Both are big, beautiful chestnuts. Both taught our DD's to ride, now are both lightly ridden by my friend and I. They get ridden together, they get turned out together, and yes, they get into trouble together.

            Last week both were turned out on lovely grass pasture while stalls were being cleaned. Indoor horses were grained while old farts were out on lovely grass pasture (remember this detail). Friend asks if I'd bring them both in from their lovely grass pasture. Of course, I say, piece of cake.

            I get to the gate, call them, and friend's old fart GALLOPS headlong to me. My old fart lifts his head from lovely grass and kicks into a swift trot to the gate. I turn to undo the latch, and next thing I know I narrowly miss being mowed down by old farts busting out the gate and galloping into the barn.

            These horses are big fellows and are now cantering into a busy barn aisle. First they encounter trainer and a full wheel barrow. They split and move past her. Next obsticle is trainer's mother who came by for a visit. She lunges for the open grain room door to avoid being run over. Lesson kids and ponies are a little further on, and proved to be little more than minor speed bumps in the way of these horse's quest for their grain. Each gets a HANDFUL, mind you, not anything to bust down a gate for!

            Finally wrangled by DD and friend into their stalls. Whew! No got hurt, thank goodness, but my face hurt from laughing so hard. Grumpy old men together. Priceless!
            Baha ha!! Priceless is right! I enjoy these stories!!! I believe the old time saying is "onrey"
            Come to the dark side, we have cookies

            Comment


            • #7
              Precious email!! Very sweet, and I understand where the writer is coming from, because I share the same sense of humor. Anyone who has managed the care of a very senior horse can appreciate their quirks!

              Anyway, I have taken care of my share of grumpy old men and grumpy old divas. We lost one of our grumpy old divas a few weeks ago to a stroke, most likely. She was an amazing old girl and definitely expressed her opinions to her herdmates on a regular basis. I loved her because she was Maxine (from the Hallmard Card line) to a perfect "T".

              God bless the grumpy old horses!
              Alis volat propriis.

              Comment


              • #8
                I'd call the old guy cantankerous, not so much grumpy. Cleaning up his thrush last month ended up with me body slammed and a perfect circular hoof print on the arch of my foot so my Dh and I had to tag team the old fart to get the other foot and he'd still try to hop away dragging DH - but then when we diapered the foot he was an angel while we stuck on the extra duct tape. Go figure.

                Last year this time he was in the same shape as OP's fella, leg like a balloon, gave him the bute and he was feeling no pain so he had to act the fool and race the pony around the pasture - idiot, you're going to fall down and hurt yourself even worse - ah well.
                He's earned the right to every darn fool thing he does.
                Courageous Weenie Eventer Wannabe
                Incredible Invisible

                Comment


                • #9
                  THANK YOU

                  My lease on my grumpy, not so old (13) man is over today, and we're shipping him tonight to his next and probably forever home. He's been my friend and partner for the last two years and has taught me so so much. I definitely love his quirks, and our time together would have been so boring without them!

                  I'm getting weird looks from my officemates right now due to my wet cheeks, but I'm so glad I clicked onto this thread today.
                  Thanks all for sharing your stories!!
                  "It is the tragedy of the world that no one knows what he doesn't know--and the less a man knows, the more sure he is that he knows everything." Joyce Cary

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I still miss my GOM - gone nearly 2 years.

                    In his 25th year he developed a sole bruise that morphed into the Abcess From Another Planet & resulted in him sloughing half his sole.
                    It looked horrendous & required 8 months of doctoring. Soak/medicate/bandage/wrap w/duct tape twice a day.

                    It made me realize he had earned his GOM status.

                    All his time with me - some 18years at this time - he had been perfect to soak - stood in the bucket as long as I needed, sometimes loose in the aisle as I groomed...

                    But for this treatment:
                    No.Standing.In.Bucket.
                    He kicked over every bucket until the dim bulb went on in my head and I started feeding him his grain in the aisle as I unwrapped/soaked/medicated/rewrapped the foot.
                    It got so he'd walk out of his stall, stand in his spot & wait for me to deliver his grain pan.
                    No muss, no fuss, he'd stand eating until I was finished, then stroll back to the stall.
                    (BTW: all in my private barn so nobody there to inconvenience...except me...)

                    As soon as I got with HIS program, treatment was a breeze.
                    At least for him
                    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Can I ever relate. Have a 21 yo "retired" gelding, Heartly. Grumpy as can be. Recently came up 3 legged lame, and being the good, though poor, mom I am, took to the vet for an exam.

                      My vet understands my money concerns, and once he determined that the injury seemed to be in an expensive place to treat (stifle or hock), we left off. I just can't afford a series of nerve blocks and radiographs to determine exactly what is wrong. We decided to treat with stall rest and anti-inflamatories. Initial round was just 10 days.

                      You'd think Heartly would appreciate the stall rest. In the stall he gets fed twice a day, plus twice a day hay, vs being fed once a day and having a round bale on turnout... Let me tell you, he was NOT appreciative.

                      I worried about him stocking up, so tried to keep standing wraps on him. Until he started kicking.

                      I worried about him being lonely, so put a couple of colts in the adjoining pen at night. Somehow Willie and Gizmo ended up with teeth marks and a new fear of the end of the pen that butts against Heartly's stall.

                      I tried turnign him out into the small pen during the day. Heartly started bolting though the door and racing circles in the pen. One three legs.

                      After 10 days, he went bacl to the vet. No real change, ut no swelling anywhere. Decided on 60 days stall rest and 20 more days anti-inflamatories.

                      Heartly bolted through his stall door, leaping the wheelbarrow while I was trying to clean his stall. It took me an hour to catch the 3 legged lame horse... Who can gallop very well on 3 legs. And who I only caught after getting the rest of the herd up for dinner. He was lathered and tired, and finally decided dinner was a good idea.

                      In the next 3 weeks, I tried every combination of companion - he hated them all - even the other old gelding that is usually his best friend. Took two people to wrap his legs (someone had to hold up a leg to enable me to wrap the others). Had to snub him to a post to get the meds down him. Had to twitch him for fly spray (and he's never had fly spray issues). Had to arrange a chute to get him from stall to day pen as he would try to bolt away even with a chain over his nose.

                      Finally after about 3 more weeks, I just turned him loose. Figured if he didn't want to follow treatment advice, then he would just be lame for the rest of his life. He just worn me out. He's not a competition horse any more anyway, and is not used for lessons much, so he could just be retired for real and limp until he died. In like 10 more years.

                      And by the next day, the grumpy bastard was sound at a trot...
                      Aelfleah Farm, Scurry, Texas
                      BLUE STAR Arabians and
                      Arabian-influenced Sportponies
                      www.aelfleahfarm.com

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Glad to hear it was just "black humor".
                        Groom to trainer: "Where's the glamour? You promised me glamour!"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Another Proud Owner of a Grumpy old man...

                          My grumpy old man, who turned 19 this year, has cost me more in vet bills than all of my other animals combined. Don't get me wrong, I love the old bastard to death, but I think he feels its his priority to attempt to bankrupt me in the end. In the past 4 years, he has been shot by a hunter (he is a brown and white 16 hand pinto...gotta love the south), had 20 plus bone chips removed from his hocks (thankfully he was still insured for this), got bit in the eye by hornets, and stepped on a screw that blew a nasty abcess.

                          Of course, no expenses were spared with each of this incidences and they happen usually on a holiday or when I planned a rare trip out of town. He bullies my 17 plus hand Tb/Friesian cross, and with just an evil eye, he makes my former foster pony bolt in the opposite direction at warp speed. He never has a bite on him, gets first refusal at all hay piles in the paddock, and allows the other horses permission to drink from the 100 gallon water tub. I swear, he was a mob boss in another life.

                          He too is on a bute maintenance situation and God forbid he see's me coming down to the barn with a syring of bute/molassas mixture. I have more stains on my barn ceiling from his fake out of taking the syringe and usually end up with more on my clothes than in his mouth.

                          His two best friends are a wether goat the size of a shetland pony and a old chicken named 'soup'. The three look like the oddest group when they are out grazing in the pasture, or sharing a pile of hay, but at least I know he is happy. He may not have horse friends, or many human friends, but he has his crew.

                          And yes, he is planning on living forever. When he was at the vet school to get his hocks operated on a few years ago, he got an impaction. The vet tried and tried to get it cleared with tubing him etc throughout the night. I took shifts walking him every hour throughout the night to see if that would loosen things up. After careful considering on to operate or not for the impaction (he was 17 at the time and the head pasture puff at my barn already), I was standing outside his stall at about 5 am discussion his 'options' with the resident on duty on what to do if the impaction did not clear. I said that if it did not clear by 9 am that morning, I wanted to prepare to euthanize him. I know he heard me because at 8:55 am he dropped the biggest pile of manure I had ever seen. He then drank a half bucket of water and sprayed it on me through his nose. I swear the bugger was holding it back to spite me.

                          And yes, he lets me know he still has the upper hand every now and then with a nip or two. But he treats my Dad, who is almost 80 and clueless about horses, with kid gloves and adores the ground he walks on. He even has my dad bragging that he is a horse whisper as he will eat his grain, with bute, without batting an eye if my dad holds the bucket for him.

                          But he is dear to me in so many ways. I know that if I had to go to just one horse, it would be him (and his goat and chicken) as I would not want him uprooted and moved somewhere new after seeing him happy for the first time in his rather hectic show career. He came to me burnt out and tired, and I see peace in his eyes so the snarky behavious is okay with me.
                          Keep in mind...normal is just a dryer setting.~anonymous

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am glad our retired old men have made life interesting for us, but thankfully not by being grumpy.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I spent more than an hour today trying to catch my old diva, who is 32. Grabbed her pasturemates, tried to entice her into following them to the barn.
                              She spent the hour evading efforts to catch her by nonstop cantering and park horse trotting with her tail flagged (an Arab so of course she looked beautiful).
                              Finally gave up, opened the gate so she could rejoin the girl friends and she galloped full speed.
                              Told the trainer (as a joke) , "I'm moving her down to the big barn so you can give six lessons a day on her because she obviously can handle the exercise."
                              I love her to pieces, we've been together 24 years.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I have a GOM-in-training. An 8yo homebred TB gelding, so not particularly old. Gray, gorgeous, athletic. I call him the Cranky Uncle -- a bit salty on the outside, but a good hearted dude's hiding inside somewhere.

                                It's a personality I find quite endearing, actually. Suppose I'm a GOWoman-in-training myself.
                                "And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!"

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  King is coming 31 this winter. He is not as grumpy as he used to be. He can't see as well, hear as well, or run as fast as he used to. I was so lucky to have him as my first horse. As my horse experience has grown, and I have been blessed to have more horses, I have come to realize what an absolutely amazing horse he was ... and is.

                                  Greatest highlight of his days now is taking the granddaughter riding, a high honor for him that puts pep in his step for days after.

                                  I do know that he will go home one day all too soon. I just hope that I will be able to keep breathing when he's gone. He would be disappointed in me if I fell apart.

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