Monday, July 15, 2013

Critical Information

Modeling the crossties
I think most of you know Jen from Wyvern Oaks. She faced the horse owner's nightmare situation with the passing of the beloved Oberon this past weekend.

The situation got me thinking. I don't have the luxury of keeping Cuna at home, so if something happens to him, the odds are quite good that I won't be the first one on the scene. I adore my old man horse, so I've been making a point of very explicitly spelling out my wishes in case worst comes to worst and I'm not around or somehow out of contact.

J, our boarding buddy, is the first one who needs to know. She and her family are generally first on the scene and I've been quite pleased with the level of care they provide. In addition to being upfront and explicit about what I do and do not want done to Cuna, I have provided an emergency backup number to reach me at in case my phone is out of service or on the fritz.

Making faces for the camera
In addition, I have gone over the same information with my husband (also my emergency backup). That way, if I am unreachable, he can make decisions for me and know that they are exactly what I wanted.

These aren't fun conversations. It's easy to want to gloss over information to hide from our emotions, but it's so important to be sure that this information is out there before it becomes an issue.

It's easy to forget that my standard of care is not the same as everyone else's. In order to make sure my horse is taken care of, I have to take responsibility to get the information to the right people so they have it if they ever need it.

Herd life
I don't anticipate having these problems and I'm pretty well addicted to my phone, but I always want to overcommunicate this information to make sure that no matter what happens, Cuna gets the best care possible.


  1. So sad for Jen, but you're right these are important things to think about.

  2. Always these things should be at the back of our minds.

  3. Definitely a good thing to be prepared. You just never know when something unexpected will happen.

  4. Definitely a good idea to have a plan. I think that by making sure these things are covered we ensure that our horses are looked after to our standards.

  5. These things are VERY important to think about, and it's equally important to have a plan in place and know what you will and will not do. That way if you are faced with such a choice, you know what your options are.

    As much as it sucks to think about it ahead of time and go down the worst-case scenario route in your mind, trust me, when you're in the situation and have to make decisions under pressure and with emotions running high, it's much easier.

  6. Always good to have a plan.

  7. I think this is smart regardless of your horses age/condition etc. My barn is a solid hour drive away and even though someone lives on the property (an advanced eventer lady), the people I board from (ie, the people that would likely make these decisions) do not. It's so important to have a plan!

  8. Good post... I would NOT want my BM or BO to make any decisions for me- only my trainer.. guess I need to lay out a plan too.

  9. This is a really great topic to post and very important. Every week, my BO knows my work travel schedule. When I'm out on the river, I often don't have phone service, so he knows to just call Dr. Bob and do what needs to be done. Horses always bring heartbreak, even among all the joy they give us.

  10. I keep an updated and signed set of directions in the barn that stipulate who can make treatment decisions for me in my absence. The directions also include a statement that neither of my horses is a candidate for colic surgery. Each person on the list knows more or less how how aggressive I would be willing to go for treatment. And since this actually happened, I know my friends and family will honor my choices. My last mare had to be euthanized due to in inoperable colic, but it was a friend who made the treatment decisions until I was able to return from an out of town weekend. Definitely important that several people would know what to do for your horse.

  11. Excellent post.

    You're right. Nobody likes to think about it ever happening to them or their horse, let alone talking about it and it often goes undiscussed until it is too late. Sometimes it is just out of our hands of being able to make those decisions and sometimes being there to make them- we fail. We fail ourselves, we fail our horse and it all ends up worse than it should be.

    Getting it out there and open for discussion also helps others around us be strong for us and able to talk sense to us when the time comes to let go and we don't want to. It can be really hard to do because we love the horses so/too damn much.

  12. I want to thank you for this post. It had been a while since hubby and I had talked about this, and this was a good reminder.


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