I remember looking out my bedroom window early one morning and seeing our 2-year-old gelding we called Chapo limping toward the corral, dragging a bloody hind leg. He had spent much of the night with his leg hung in a cattleguard. It was awful.
My dad, as most cowboys, was a fairly good veterinarian. He doctored and babied Chapo for months, and although his lower leg always stayed a bit big he became a great cow horse and he could run, too, even though not as fast as before the injury.
Have you noticed? It’s always the best horses that get hurt. I watched as my young sorrel gelding jumped the barbed wire fence in the back pasture. He got up, shook himself, and walked away not hurt at all. I knew right then he was really an ordinary horse. A great horse would have had lots of action and injured himself.
One of our young stallions was the victim of a vicious person who beat him in the head. We were afraid he was blinded in one eye but my dad, again, came to the rescue. Many of my dad’s remedies came from the feed store in town, and they usually worked quite well.
Actually, the feed store has remedies that work for people, too. A certain brand of horse liniment has saved the day for me many times even though medical doctors (for humans) pooh-pooh it.
Medical doctors (for animals) are not supposed to treat humans, which I think is a shame. I think most of the time veterinarians would do a better job because an animal can’t say, “I hurt here,” or I feel bad there,” so the vet must pay attention and figure out the problem without a bunch of verbiage. (Actually, some medical doctors for humans might appreciate the no verbiage part.)
Also, veterinarians make ranch (call it house) calls, and they don’t write prescriptions for medicine. They usually have it with them in their truck.
Consider the problems if the injured or ill party is yourself. You’re stuck with traveling to town and waiting for hours in a room full of people who have contagious no-telling-what. When somebody finally deigns to see you, you’ll probably get a prescription and be told to go to a pharmacy and get it. You don’t feel good enough for that? Too bad — shoulda brought someone along with you.
Sometimes the vet can advise us what to buy at the feed store, and that really helps. The feed store not only is our pharmacy, but we can buy our britches, shirts, jackets and all that there, also.
I keep certain products around just in case we need them. That includes personal products like shampoo and skin cream.
The best parts of feed store shopping in my opinion are the smells and sounds. It’s so comforting to breathe deeply of leather, denim, sweet feed, alfalfa while listening to the baby chicks’ little cheeps in the springtime.
I can take a deep breath and feel good all over.