It’s been eight months since I was diagnosed with Hypothyroid. Our horse Sereno has been having a health challenge for the exact same time frame. His issues have been long-standing but this bout with laminitis has been the most challenging. There are so many thoughts out there and opinions about the care of our beloved pets, especially animals but I’d like to suggest, that our pets are our family and they are our teachers.
We purchased Sereno for our daughter when she was 6 years old. Sereno came from Montana originally and was purchased by a husband and wife who had a company together to show and breed Spanish horses. He is a rare breed called Trote y Galope and is considered a gaited horse. He has short, fine steps when he moves and moves his legs differently than most horses. Horses feet are considered the fourth heart of a horse. They act as pumps to circulate blood through their system. So when something happens to the feet it can affect everything.
Inuitively I have known for a long time that there was an issue with Sereno. It was also confirmed by a vet years ago who suggested that he be put down. He’s lived a good life since then, with a few bouts of pain but until September was able to be a horse and do horse things without too much trouble. He lives with us on our property and has been with his horse friends Elle and Colonel. We’ve accumulated horses over the years that need good loving care. For a while after his Spanish horse friends left our ranch Sereno was here alone. I wish we had never allowed that, but we eventually took in some other horses so he could be with friends. I know it sounds crazy but I do think that horses have feelings and probably really grieve when friends are moved away or pass away. Sereno has had both happen in his life. Most horses do.
There was also a time when I visited Sereno that I caught the man who was working with him disciplining him by kicking him in the leg with his boots. I was mortified. That wast the last time that this happened but I’m not sure how many times before it had happened.
Life gets busy and raising a family is busy. Paige, until leaving for college had been supporting the care of Sereno. As college drew closer, she would say to me that she felt he needed something more and that she didn’t know what it was. Paige went off to college and Sereno saw me fairly often but not every day, as our life was so full at the time. I had a new, loving caregiver watching over him. I would drive by and get the intuitive thought that would say to me, “Make time to go see him today, he needs to see you.” I’m sad to say that I didn’t always listen. It became just that one more thing I had to do in the day and sometimes I just didn’t go.
When I got sick in September I had been praying to God about a few things I wanted to improve in myself. I then was hit with an illness and was not recovering from it and began to feel quite terrible. I was so bad that I could not even get up to go to bathroom without assistance. Things weren’t working as they had before and I had become accustom to working so hard and pushing through each day. I was also angry a lot and very intense with my work. It felt like my days were spent reacting to everything around me. I remember at my desk thinking but not listening that I should breathe. I don’t think I was really even fully alive. Finally my body said, or God, lets say both, “You are not doing this anymore.” After a few days of resting and communicating with my doctor, getting Thyroid medicine, and figuring things out, I took a slow walk down to the barn. There to my surprise was Sereno, laying in what appeared to be immense pain. He was sweating and breathing heavy and not doing well. I began to pray. I called our vet and they were able to come quite quickly, a few hours later. In the meantime, I prayed out loud and just asked God to lead us to what he wanted us to know. I will never forget this moment. I felt like he felt my pain and I his. I knew that if he made it through this, we were going to be healing together.
And so our healing journey began. The vets came back with good news on the initial blood tests. All of his organs were functioning as normal and they felt that they could help him. The following Monday they sent out a specialty ferrier and the vet again to X Ray and find out what was going on inside his feet. After reviewing the X Rays they felt they could help him. I prayed before they came that they would be able to help us. I have always known that God is right there providing answers but I was struggling to see it clearly with my health condition and really felt like I needed the support of others to help Sereno. I prayed that the vet would come and tell me there was something that they could do.
We have been working with him now for eight months on this issue. We have made quite a bit of progress as have I with my health. As I look back on all that I’ve learned, I realize that I may not have slowed down to learn like this if I was able to keep pushing. Therefore, I know now that all the trials we encounter in life are there for a reason. They are there to strengthen us and to teach us that God is ever present in our lives sending answers all the time. I’ve also learned to follow my intuition and this has become increasingly more clear as time has passed.