Things are not too good here at the moment. The 6yo Fell Pony, Bertie, is very ill with a temperature of 105. I phoned the yard that they came from fearing the worst and it's Strangles. One of the babies has already had a mild dose and Kate, my 6 yo coloured mare has a temp of 104 as well.
I have been really stupid. I should have made some attempt to isolate them, knowing they came from a high risk of infections yard but instead I did what I always do - just over-rode my cautious istincts and hoped for the best.
All my liveries but one have been wonderful about it, even though they were looking forward to planning shows, hacking out, etc. and are now in isolation for months. The person who let rip at me only said what I was telling myself - that I have messed up big time.
Strangles is not usually as bad as it sounds but it is a notifiable disease, very infectious and can take a long time to get free from. In all the years I've worked with horses I've never been in an infected yard before.
The yard where they came from must be in an awful state. They have 60 horses and were going to have a sale in May. Hay is running out everywhere now and they must be panicking even more than I am. Right on the edge of London they will be paying a fortune for it, if they can get any at all.
I'm having to tell all my neighbours and there is a chance I may have infected the Riding for the Disabled's horses too.
This is going to be another big test of my strength of character but I am far from alone. I've had phone calls, text messages and visitors all evening, just when I was starting to feel totally useless, lonely and isolated.
I told myself earlier that I'm not fit to run a yard on my own and I should sell up and disappear but the truth is I don't run it on my own. All the people here help me every step of the way. I just need to trust my own judgement more and not over ride every negative thought because some of them are just good sense. Life is not a fairy tale and everything is not always happy ever after.
I'm very worried about Bella and Jack as they haven't mixed much with other horses until recently but they are very fit and well. I'm also very worried about 2 very old mares here but they too are in very good health at the moment.
I'm also very frightened for Bertie. He looks so ill but I have had horses with temps of 106 recover quickly and completely so hopefully he will too. He is a tough native pony and he's survived a lot of trauma and distress already in his life. He can beat this too.
We are going to do it together.
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