Dalton’s trainer, Gillian Larson, has a thru-rider friend who came and helped when they picked up Dalton last month. Her name is Jess and the below photo is Gillian and Jess the day that they picked up Dalton.
Well…Jess was on the Pacific Crest Trail (she is a thru-rider also) and has had some horrible luck. Devastating. Please read and share if the story below moves you.
In less than a week, I have had two major emergencies occur. One of my horses developed a severe case of colitis requiring immediate veterinary care at an equine medical center. She is still being monitored and receiving care at the center. Less than 48 hours later, my truck caught fire while I was driving on the highway and quickly became engulfed in flames. It was completely totaled, and I lost the majority of my gear and belongings that I relied on for my thru ride attempt on the Pacific Crest Trail.
May 24, 2021 – In the morning when I went out to feed my horses, I quickly noticed that my horse, Malana, was not interested in her food. This is very unlike her, and even though it was just one sign of her not feeling good, I knew instantly that something was wrong. I called the vet and scheduled the earliest appointment I could get for 1:30pm.
At this first appointment, her vitals were checked. She had very little gut sounds, was slightly dehydrated, and her heart rate was at 44bpm. She was treated for a mild colic, and blood was drawn to test for any infection. The vet passed a nasogastric tube, and she received pain medication and electrolytes. Not long after the tube, she passed stool and was searching for food. I brought her back to the place I was staying at, since I was available to keep an eye on her 24/7. As soon as I put her back in the pen, she took a drink of water. Things were looking okay.
7:30pm – The vet told me to give her another dose of Banamine in the evening and offer her some soaked feed. She was uninterested in the feed, and I noticed that her stools were getting more loose after passing a few normal stools.
8:30pm – Went back out to check on her and see how she was doing. She had not touched her food and was looking dull. I checked her pulse, and she was in the 70s. Her gums were turning red, which was the worst sign to me. She now had really bad diarrhea. I went back inside, called the vet, and loaded her back into the trailer.
9:30-11:00pm – Made it to the vet around 9:30/10:00pm. Things were not looking good. Her heart rate was in the 70s/80s, and her gums were very red. She was tubed again to check for reflux. Then, the vet looked at her intestines with an ultrasound. We made the decision to trailer her to a medical center an hour away that would be able to perform surgery, if needed.
12:00am – Arrived at the medical center. They had been informed that we were on the way and had a team ready as soon as we got there. They started running tests to check her levels. She was started on fluids. Her heart rate was now in the 90s. Eventually, it was decided to hold off on surgery after taking a look at all of the test results. Her levels were off the chart, but there were no signs that she needed to go under for colic surgery. She was being treated for colitis, and the vet mentioned that this was one of the fastest progressing cases they had seen.
The only early symptoms she had shown was loss of appetite, and within hours her heart rate jumped, gums started turning red, and she started having bad diarrhea. I do not believe that she would have survived the night without immediate veterinary care.
Malana is an 8-year-old, BLM mustang. This picture was taken on May 27. Receiving fluids and getting an appetite back.
May 26, 2021 – I was driving my truck down the highway. All was normal, until my truck started shaking, and then all of the sudden it was very bumpy. I thought one of my tires possibly had a blowout. I started to pull over to the side of the highway, but I started losing control of my truck brakes. I managed to get over safely, and finally came to a stop. I noticed flames coming out from under my truck when looking at my side mirror, quickly turned off my truck, and jumped out. There were some people that had stopped behind me that ran up to make sure I got out of my truck and was far away. I was able to grab my phone and wallet, which were set right next to me, but there was no time to risk grabbing any of my gear.
It seems as if something had fallen off from underneath my truck, which then punctured my gas tank. Gasoline was flowing out onto the pavement, and the flames started to grow. We tried a few fire extinguishers, but it wasn’t enough to help.
It took about 15 minutes before the firemen arrived. By then, my entire truck was engulfed in flames.
I am extremely thankful that I was able to get out of my truck before the flames took over. I am also thankful that no one else was involved in this accident, and that I had not been pulling my trailer with horses.
Many of my friends and family know that I have been riding the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail this year horseback. I have been dreaming about riding this border to border trail since 2013 and was very excited to make this dream a reality. I just finished the 700 mile Southern California section on Friday, May 21. The plan was to rest for a week or two, and then continue riding in Northern California. This dream is unfortunately going to have to be put on hold for this year. Malana will need a time to recover and regain her strength. Aside from also needing to purchase a new truck, I lost the majority of my gear in the fire – over $3,000+ worth of gear.
I am so appreciative to everyone that has helped and asked what they can do. Even a simple share can do a lot. Thank you!
CLICK HERE to go to Go Fund Me page.