Dominic Part 1 is here.
DOMINIC PART 2
When we last spoke, Dominic was settling in for the night after being purchased by me via online bidding – in my office in CA – and was going to leave on the truck from Texas in the next morning.
THE NEXT MORNING
I received a text from the driver very early the next morning. I now had the hauler’s information. (I have to say, everything about this auction was first rate. The organization was top drawer and the service people were great!). The driver sent me 3 photos of Dominic as he loaded him – just to confirm that this was the horse and his condition when he left – with the big “3” written on his haunches in blue.
IT WOULD TAKE 3 DAYS…
I was told that it would take 3 days. They had 9 other stops to make so they’d be in Paso on Wednesday.
I knew the rig wouldn’t make it up our driveway, so I asked Twin Rivers (a 3-day Eventing Venue nearby) if I could wait for the trailer in their huge Event Parking lot. I knew the big rig would have plenty of room to turn around, and Dominic could offload/onload safely.
They kindly agreed. I was set!
Now Dominic just had to get here.
The hauler called me Wednesday morning, telling me he had to drop off a few horses in Southern CA, but would be “right up” around 1-3pm.
I doubted that, but kept an open mind. You see, Southern CA and Los Angeles is a traffic nightmare. I’m sure this hauler had been to CA previously, but probably not the Central Coast. The only way to get here is on HWY 101 or HWY 1. Both are two lanes. Both are not used to big rigs so they don’t have that ‘wide open spaces’ feel.
Around 5pm I received a frantic call from the hauler saying he can’t find any place to fuel up where his rig could turn around.
Yup. Oy. I couldn’t help him, so I just hoped he was super resourceful.
On my end, I was sweating because I don’t drive well at night and the sun was going down imminently.
At 6:45, I still hadn’t heard from the driver, so I just took my chances and drove down to Twin Rivers while there was still a speck of light.
It was kinda funny because I was parked in the most obvious spot, I thought, next to the road, but the driver turned up Twin Rivers owner’s personal driveway. (eyeroll). Since the owner hadn’t told her husband about our deal, he came rushing down in his golf cart to find out what the heck was going on.
I quickly told him the deal I made with his kind wife – just as the big rig had made it around their house and down to the facilities, where were were having our conversation. Husband satisfied, he quickly left in his golf cart to go back to his dinner – and this HUGE, GLORIOUS, BRAND NEW, SHINY AMAZING 10-horse air ride glamour equine motor homelike trailer rig pulled up and parked next to my tiny little itty bitty (that turns well) rig.
And there he was. The only horse on the trailer was Dominic. His Little black face was peering out one of the middle windows.
The driver came over with a huge goody bag from the sale plus Dominic’s giant sale poster. I was fighting the light so I just thanked him and put the bag and poster in my truck – and asked him if he could load Dominic in my trailer because I was short on daylight.
He did. Dominic came right off the trailer and right into my trailer. Done. Easy peasy.
I shut the door, thanked the driver again and drove home – all giddy.
When I got there, it was dark. All of my horses were stirring and calling… they were so excited to see this new horse! Dominic walked off the trailer very calmly and I walked him to his quarantine pen. He walked in, I took off his halter and he stood there like a gentleman.
He was trained!
I stared at him for about an hour, in the dark. I watched him eat. I spoke to him and fed him special pieces of hay. Then we both went to bed. I dreamed about him and hoped he’d settle in nicely.
THE NEXT TWO DAYS…
Over the first two days, Dominic was alert but not bothered at all. He seemed very friendly and willing. He wasn’t fighting with anyone although he did show too strong of an interest in Beautiful Girl. I made a note to myself to check his hormones while I shut the gate to that pen and moved him away to the dogleg pen. No one was on either side of him, but he could see the other horses.
On Day 2, he was perfect. No studliness, just a quiet guy who had just been through a huge couple of weeks. I took a few photos and sat in his pen with him for hours each day.
ON THE THIRD DAY, THIS HAPPENED.
On the third day of being home, I fed in the morning and all was well. I went back out around 10am, and Dominic was three-legged lame.
He was holding up his right front. He could put no weight on it. He pleaded with his eyes as he jumped over to me using his other 3 legs. I couldn’t help but see how athletic he was – the thoughts you think while your brain slows everything down and…
…the world becomes slow motion.
I ran inside and couldn’t remember how to dial the vet. Finally it worked and hearing my desperation, he came right over – in about 20 minutes. He must have teleported from wherever he was in the county.
Doc said that there were only 3 reasons why a horse would be this lame – and two of them aren’t good.
After a few quick tests, he ruled out the ‘good’ one – which was an abscess. Dominic didn’t have an abscess.
Luckily, he quickly ruled out the worst one, which was a broken leg.
Now the third reason for three legged lameness – Dominic had torn his suspensory ligament – in the front. It is very rare to tear the front suspensory. An Xray confirmed.
If he could heal, it would be a year off.
We’d know if he would ever be sound probably in 6 weeks.
The good news was that he wasn’t going to die. The bad news was that I had no idea if he would ever be rideable.
My insurance only covered mortality but healing a suspensory isn’t expensive, it just takes time. If it is going to heal, rest is the cure.
I had had him 3 days, not even. We were moving in 4 weeks – all the horses were scheduled to be on a 7 hour ride… And then this… Could he move with us? Or would he have to stay behind?
Would he ever be rideable?
(to be continued)