Surgery update

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Hendrix did very well and he was gelded today. A break in the weather before the real winter cold was the perfect time to do it. Dr Thomas and his assistant came out at 11am. I didn’t feed Hendrix beforehand…just hay. I had a few hours so I played with him for a while, haltered him and brushed him. Two cars and two new people were a bit of pressure on him and after trying the shot to no avail, I agreed to let him twitch him. He stood quietly while the vet put it on his nose and handed it off to me to hold. He stood stock still while the first shot went in his vein. I tried to line him up with the fresh shavings I put down for the occasion. There’s still a muddy mess in all 3 pens. We waited for the medicine to take effect. He started to wobble. Dr Thomas gave him the second shot. He went down right next to the dry shavings…damn.

The procedure took longer than normal as one testicle hadn’t dropped. When he felt for it he said it was at the tip of his fingers. It was stressful as the vet grunted and groaned straining to reach it. Success! He got all of it and we both inspected them laying on the ground. A horse that still has part of a testicle left inside will still behave like an intact stallion. The term is called “proud cut.” Hendrix was now a gelding no question. I told the vet to toss them into the woods and I said a thank you to the universe for their time in the world and for the future horses they will not help produce. Hendrix lay still with a towel covering his eyes.

While he was knocked out the vet assistant gave him his vaccinations and Dr Thomas drew blood for a coggins test. I worked on cleaning out all his feet and putting a medication on them for thrush. It’s a fungus that grows in moisture and with the heavy rain and mud, it was just a precaution. I didn’t see any on him. Other than needing a trim his feet looked good. The vet looked at his teeth and agreed he’s almost 2 years old. He still has baby teeth.

About 20 minutes later he started to breath quick breaths and made a few sounds. That exhale sound they make when they are relaxing, exhaling air through their lips. He was waking up. We chatted and waited. Dr Thomas told me about the day he went to a woman’s farm that raised arabians. He gelded 16 colts in one day. He said the trick was he didn’t start the next one until the last one was on its feet. It was good to see Hendrix get back up on his feet.

As the vet drove off I took off the halter and lead and sat down on his round bale to keep an eye on him. He was still unsteady. I told him if he & I stay healthy we will ride together until I’m 80. Then we will both retire from riding I guess.

After waiting a few hours for the medicine to wear off, I fed him and left him to settle for the night. Our next goal is to prepare him for the trailer ride back across the creek next month to join the rest of the horses at Avalon.

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