Farewell Winter...Welcome Spring!

For lo, the winter is past, 

The rain is over and gone. 

The flowers appear on the earth: 

The time of singing has come, 

And the voice of the turtledove Is heard in our land. 

Song of Solomon 2:11-12 .

I have to say that I am so thankful to be past the winter months and onto the freshness of this beautiful Spring season.  And I have to apologize for not posting sooner.  We found ourselves with record snows and cold temps during the winter months here in Central Ohio.  That put us into ‘survival’ mode.  Even the most simple of tasks that would normally only take minutes seemed to take hours to complete with the addition of several feet of snow to deal with.  In contrast to Image and Ember’s very first winter on the Pryors, this winter probably seemed like a walk in the park to them.  Having food handed to them, without having to paw for every bite probably felt like quite a luxury to them.  Even though the creek was right there giving easy access to fresh water, many times I found Image and Ember eating snow for their water source.  I suppose old habits die hard.

Ember eating snow in June of 2009 on the Pryor Mountains

Our main goal over the winter months was to make sure that Image gained weight.  We did not want him losing any weight, as is typical for any horse during winter.  Another goal was to ensure that Image would start to develop some muscle tone.  Much to our surprise it was Ember who had an accident in mid-February and needed constant care.  She impaled the inside of her right leg on a tree branch as she was jumping up out of the creek bank.  We did not know she had done this, but knew something was horribly wrong when her leg began to swell and she started to limp.  We called OSU’s Veterinary Hospital who sent out a mobile team of Dr. Jenny Freeling and several students.  Her wound was in an area where her leg meets her belly and it never bled so we did not know she had a wound yet.  Dr. Jenny gave her some antibiotics to help bring the swelling down and some pain meds as well.  She suggested we get Ember up to OSU Vet. Hosp. as soon as possible so they could do some further testing to determine the reason of her swelling and limping.  I was afraid that one of the bigger girls may have kicked her and broke her hip.  Dr. Jenny was quick to tell us that Ember did not have any broken bones.

As we worked to back the stock trailer down our ice and snow covered driveway, minutes seemed like hours.  Ember loaded up just fine and soon we were off to the hospital.  After seeing lots of gassy fluids built up in her leg by ultrasound, the Dr’s found the entry wound.  The Dr’s were persistent in their quest to find out why the antibiotics were not working at getting her swelling down.  They decided the best way to proceed was to perform surgery.  That is when they found the stick inside of her.  Dr. Jenny told me that when they extracted the stick, all of the Dr’s and students gave a big cheer in the operating area.  They were all so thrilled to find the culprit of her infection and rid her body of it.  I commend the Dr’s and everyone at OSU’s Veterinary Hospital who had a part in Ember’s care.  They were all amazing in their care of Ember and their diligence to find out what was wrong. .

The Dr's at OSU's Vet Hospital with Ember

After a weeks’ stay at the hospital, Ember was able to come home.  Image was very glad to see his cousin come walking down the driveway.  He gave a resounding whinny as soon as he saw her.  He had really missed his buddy.  We kept both Image and Ember in their paddock area for a couple weeks so the wound would heal up.  We had Image gelded a week after bringing Ember home.  Dr. Freeling was able to check Ember’s wound to make sure it was healing as it should while she was here.  Ember healed very nicely and was soon out running all over the pasture again.

Dr. Jenny Freeling with Image

(yes, I know, I have his halter tied wrong...)

Much to our joy, Image starting running just for the fun of it.  He would start to pick on Ember and soon they were tearing across the pasture in a cadence that was just as beautiful to watch as it was to listen to.  They would settle down, just to have Ember start to pick on Image and they were off again.  It was a delight to watch them being typical 2 year olds.

In mid-April, Image and Ember had a very special visitor.  My good friend Ginger Kathrens came to visit the kids.

It was a very bittersweet time as she was able to touch Image and Ember, yet knowing they should still be on their rightful mountain top home in Montana, living in a freedom that no other place can match.

Ginger with Image

As Ember’s winter coat shed, her summer hair is coming in darker where she was attacked by a mountain lion just about 19 months ago.  Her spunk and determination have given her the strength to see her through the many challenges she has already faced in her short life.

Ember now and Ember after the moutain lion attack


As time has a way of doing, all of our horses have formed bonds that keep them together and rarely apart.

Image, looking all grown up