Coosa Valley Equine Center. Part 1

We decided to keep Olivia at the clinic (Coosa Valley Equine Center in Pell City, Alabama) for a day or two so the stress of another trailer ride wouldn't "do her in". I always try to make the best decisions for her and at the time, that's what felt right. Little did I know it was just about one of the worst decisions I could have ever made.

I should have brought her home, I should have kept her with me, I should have never trusted her in the care of someone I didn't know. But in all honestly, it is not my nature to question a vet.

I called the clinic every day to get an update on her. 1-2 days turned into a full week. They wanted to keep her until her lameness at the walk had subsided. Every day they told me she was doing great, she was improving.

When we got the OK to bring her home (which I *never* rushed) I was in week 1 of my new job so my parents drove down to Alabama to get her. I told my mom to take pictures, and I'm thankful she did. My mom told me her butt was covered in poop and the vet told her it was simply because of her food change.

[Side Note: I brought a bag of Olivia's food with me Day 1. She had been on Triple Crown Growth since she was 3 or 4 months old and had never had a food change in her life. They told me they didn't need her food - they were going to simplify her diet and just give her plain oats. It's what they felt was "best" for their horses at the clinic]

I met her off the trailer when she arrived home. It was late but I spent some time hugging and loving on her because I was so happy she was home. 

The next morning I went straight to the [temporary] barn. It was early December so it was ice cold outside. We had set up camp at the local horse show facility and it was Week 1 of a busy A show. I had noticed and smelled her diarrhea soaked tail the night before so I set out to get that mess cleaned up. As I was washing her tail in the wash rack, she stood perfectly ground tied as I ran freezing water through her tail. This was when my gut pinged me and said something wasn't right.

I called my vet.

While waiting for her to come I took her back to her stall and encouraged her to drink some water. She drank just over 1/2 a bucket of water.

The vet arrived and she wanted me to watch her water intake closely. We talked about tubing her and giving her fluids but since she just had 1/2 a bucket of water she didn't feel comfortable giving her sedation drugs or putting her through the additional stress of that. After all, the poor baby really had been through the ringer in the last week. We gave her some gastro guard and syringed some salt water in her mouth in hopes it would encourage some additional fluid intake.

That evening at around 11pm one of our caretakers called and said Olivia wasn't doing well and I needed to call the vet out. I called the vet and immediately headed that way. Our vet was already there when I arrived. She was getting ready to tube her to give her fluids.

I'll never forget what happened after we tubed her. She laid down to rest. I sat down with her and put her head on my lap. I sat there rubbing her head while the vet called The University of Georgia to refer her in. My dad was on his way to hook up the trailer so we could take her. And on my lap she started convulsing. I jumped up right away and we immediately tried to get her up. She wouldn't get up. I ran, sobbing, to find our guys and they came running. We had to tie ropes around her to get her to stand. I was behind her pushing, crying, and kicking her begging her to get up while the vet and two guys pulled on three ropes. I remember the vet yelling at Olivia to quit scaring her momma like this.

She finally got up... 

Not even 24 hours from being home from Coosa Valley Equine Center was she almost dead on my lap. If night check hadn't of happened that evening, Olivia wouldn't have made it through the night and we likely would've found her dead in her stall.


  1. Wow. I knew that you were going through a lot, but wow. I can't imagine how hard it is for you to write this all down. Hopefully it is therapeutic. Thanks for sharing the back story with us all.

    1. It really is therapeutic. And it's taken me awhile to come back to blogging during all this because it was so hard to think about earlier. But now I feel like Olivia has beat this. And I can share more easily because I'm not afraid anymore.

  2. That is terrifying! Good thing you were on show grounds and there were people around.

  3. Oh my gosh! Had idea she has been through such an ordeal after the fire. Poor girl!

  4. I don't even know where to begin. I'm livid about the lack of care and condition at the place with which you entrusted her care. I'm saddened by her condition and what you both went through. I'm optimistic about the fact she is at UGA. I have a number of friends that work at the vet school and it's where you want your baby when things go south. And finally, I'm grateful to God that you did bring her home and that there was an evening check that saved her life. You both are in my prayers.

  5. Praise God for protecting her and you through all of this. You two are so strong and incredible. While this is all so hard to read, I just want you to know how incredible you both are. It's all surreal to take in. Much love to you girls.


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