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Cimarron's Story /page 3

In the fall of 1998, I woke up one morning with an overwhelming urge to go and visit Cimarron in his field, about a half a mile away. Skipping my usual morning shower and breakfast, and without pausing to feed the dogs, I dressed and headed out. As I was walking through the gate, I suddenly turned back to the barn for a halter and leadrope, although at the time I had no idea why.

Approaching the 40 acre field, I could see Cimarron waiting for me at the gate. As I drew closer he nickered silently to me, and then I saw blood pulsing 8-10" straight up out of his pastern, and he was standing in a very large puddle of blood...he obviously had a severed artery. I didn't notice that every square inch of skin on all four legs was covered in dried wounds. Later I found bite marks on his back, and later still a whole section of fence that he had taken out. He had apparently been attacked by a member of the herd and run through the fence... Stabilizing Cimarron and attending to the main injury took up most of that morning, and the vet was unable to locate both ends of the artery to suture it, so he just patched up the pastern as best he could and sewed the whole thing shut. It was pretty messy.

I insisted on treating Cimarron holistically, specifically homeopathically. All went well until three days later when I was kicked by another horse and broke 2 ribs. Treating Cimarron's injuries now became a major undertaking. The barn help was no help at all, so I opted to leave the wound unwrapped so that I could flood the wounds with a herbal solution every few hours. This worked very well, but the damage was extensive, and it was a couple of weeks before circulation and nerve connections were restored to the area, and then the wound could start to heal properly. The damage was extensive – it took a long time and I thought he would have a large hole in his pastern and would be outright lame, but incredibly today you have to look really closely to see the thin scar running parallel to the coronet band. The incident left him with a very subtle hitch in his hip, which I thought was coming from the lower leg. However this fall I started to do SENSE bodywork on him, and it seems to help him, so maybe it is just a leftover strain from getting caught in the fence...

This year he is 25 and looks and acts half his age. He now lives in his own field adjacent to his friend Oporto, my young stallion, where he is safe from aggressive herdmates. He has been the most incredible of teachers, inspiring me to challenge established practices, and opening my mind to holistic approaches to horsemanship and horsecare. Now that he is getting older, I rather expect that he will be challenging me to investigate equine geriatrics with a view to helping other horseowners ease old friends into a healthy older lifestyle! Cimarron will be teaching to the end, I feel sure.

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