How do I personally spell RELIEF?–>Cato has Cowlicks!

Have you ever been entrusted with the well-being of a horse that is not yours? If so, then you will understand this post very well. I have been trying very hard to ensure Cato’s happiness and well-being while he is here in Camp Olywa with me. That means, to me, learning everything about this horse, as quickly as possible. *quickly as possible* is in the same category of *striving for perfetion*, see previous post. Just. Not. Possible.

I worry about EVERYTHING! Knowing that Cato has colicked once before and it was a horrible experience for everyone and knowing he is a sensitive boy, and knowing he is SOMEONE else’s beloved horse….. really is a very stressful situation. I bongo between * Oh, he’s a horse, he is fine* to *OMG, he looked at me when I massaged him, is he painful there? how about there? and there?* agggghhhhhhhh! I am pretty sure Amanda knows what I am talkin’ about here.

So, yes, Cato has to be gotten into condition, that is the contract I committed to and why I even have the privilege of having him here and I think I am doing a pretty darn good job of that– he is starting to get his muscles back and muscles weigh more than fat so he should be gaining weight with that muscle. But, I also don’t want to override him and make him too skinny; he is a bit of a hard keeper, like Chance, NOT like Bella. So, I watch him like a hawk, I feel him all over, all the time, he is groomed, and watched, and I check him over before and after every ride, every visit, looking for ANYTHING that is out of the ordinary; ALL THE TIME!

I like to THINK I am doing the same for my own horse, Chancey Pants. But, I know Chance already. I know what’s normal and how he communicates. I don’t know Cato, yet; I am getting to know him. I remember having to get to know Bella– she was a toughie like Cato. I don’t know if Cato is relaxed or ill…. prayin’ he is relaxed because afterwards he trots away and plays. I don’t know if he is playin’ or what….. I don’t know what he will do next or what he will do when…. I keep trying everything to see what he will do.

I DO know I can get Cato to bend almost in half to get a carrot— he loves Carrot stretches and has caught onto that particular game pretty quickly!

So, all of that is preparation for this story: After ridin’ Cato one of the first times— I was running my hands all over his body checking for tack galls, hair scraped away, just the stuff that can happen when you ride. I like to know what I am dealing with right then and deal with it. You know what I am talkin about: any rips, tears, blood, wounds, etc……

And….. I had my hands under his belly feeling where the girth goes and I felt this REALLY ROUGH SPOT– My tummy fell, like an elevator, it felt BIG and it felt rough and it was where the girth had been. My skin turned clammy, and I was like *OH NoNoNoNoNo! Everything that went through my head started with *How on earth will I take care of this? How can I tell Amanda? How bad is it? Will he still be able to be ridden? how long will it take to heal? OMG it’s big, all along his tummy? How did the girth do that? I was in a COLD SWEAT!

So, I made myself get down and really look at what I was touching…. I so did not WANT to see this horrible sore I had caused Cato.

And, wait for it…. wait for it….

Cato Potato has a Giant midline COWLICK down the center of his belly making his fur rough and squiggly-like and swirly all over….

The RELIEF? I sat on the ground and laughed and whimpered with RE-LIEF! COWLICKS—- nope, did not ever guess THAT!

WHEW! I am still laughing every time I reach down and feel that cowlick…..which I do everytime I give Cato a massage which is close to after every big hard ride.

COWLICK ON HIS BELLY—– hahahahahahahaah, WHEW!

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