Last night a horse burned the midnight oil next to me. She was not exactly my stablemate (normally who's stalled there is a horse that looks exactly like spirit of the cimarron). But, she was moved there because she had been laid out flat. She had a tube in her nose. When I got there this morning she was down. Her owner came over to her and said, "Come on, get up. You're not dead". Now, you have to put a kind edge to that voice when you read that, because this person loves this horse. It has colicked nearly six times last year alone. And its a small horse, it never seems to get any bigger. It just sort of stays there in that pattern of getting sick, getting over it, and getting sick again.
Well, yesterday, she was really bad. She had laid down and cut herself on her backside and the front of her head. And today she had the same thing going. A horse doesn't normally sleep lying down. They tend to spend most of the night standing, and just sort of let their head fall. But last night, they left the night light on for her - she was hurting all night long.
I took one look at this horse in the morning, while I led my frisky, submissin' mare out to the pasture - happy to have a horse that was at least a challenge to get to know and just skipping along with here. I saw her there when I came back down, and she was just standing there completely still - with a tube sticking out of her nose. And I just said to myself. Put the horse down. Goddamnit.
But at this exact moment I couldn't bring myself to say it out loud, and I won't until I see whats really going on. Which is to say, I'm pretty sure this horse will make it but just barely. Still, out there in the wild. That horse would have been food for the wolves.
I think leaders tend to sense what the herd is sensing, but they can clarify that feeling into action. And they can make tough decisions. I will wait and watch because, like he said. That horse isn't dead yet. But I would have put it down if it were me. Its 1.00 a pound at the rendering plant.