In which worrying is discussed, and also manure (with pictures)

Fiddle continues to do well on day three post-surgery.  

Her appetite is good, she seems bright and cheerful--well, as cheerful as Dragons get.  She isn't exactly "Oh what a beautiful mornin'" but at least she isn't "Marvin the Paranoid Android" either.  Her temperature remains normal.  The problem isn't her.  It's me.

Last night was a fretful one for me.  I couldn't help thinking that Fiddle's gut sounds were pretty quiet...and there just wasn't much manure happening.  

This is where I run into difficulty on this blog sometimes:  I was raised by nice people.  Polite people.  City people.  

People who don't talk much about poop. 
This is not a photograph of poop.
I'm sure that the people with whom I spent my formative years spent more time than they ever wanted dealing with poop (actual and metaphoric poop, to be specific).  But,  in my experience, these nice polite city people don't talk much about poop.  

And, as far as I know, they almost never write about poop.   

Me, of course, I'm an endurance rider/writer.  I think about all the functions of my horse.  Including poop.  

Unlike Jane, I've (thus far) managed to avoid writing blog posts about poop.

Apple blossoms.  Not poop.
That's about to change, readers. 

When a horse is recovering from surgery--even a minimally-invasive surgery like ovariectomy--poop is really important.  What's really important is that poop happens, and keeps happening, preferably on a regular basis.  Regular poop means functioning guts.  That's pretty vital for a horse.

The fretful bit (for me) is that for about 36 hours prior to the surgery, Fiddle didn't get to eat anything.  And therefore, further down the line, there's inevitably going to be time when she doesn't have much processed-food to excrete.

In other words: not much poop.
Dandelion.  Even if you don't like dandelions, there's no escaping
the observation that they are prettier than poop.
As a horse-owner, especially an endurance rider, an absence of poop is generally bad news...a symptom of colic at best.

So it was that several times during the night, I checked on my mare: listened to the gut sounds (grumbling, but quiet), took a temperature (99.9 F, which is normal), and assessed her attitude (incredulous that I'm hanging around the barn at 3am).

Finally, just as I was walking away from her stall (at 3:15am), I heard a familiar sound, and caught a whiff of a familiar odor.

I did NOT take a picture at that hour of the morning.

This is poop, beside my size-7 boot for size comparison
This afternoon, though, I did take a picture.  The poop is not huge, but considering what we've put Fiddle's guts through in the past few days, I think it's quite pretty.

This picture is posted so that you can look at something other than poop.
Today, her appetite, temperature, gut sounds, and output continue to be adequate.  She's recovering nicely.  

And I'm learning trying not to obsess quite so much.   


  1. Replies
    1. True, not a lot in the "volume" department but she gets good marks for consistency and texture (judging by photo anyway), not too dry or too runny! Looks like things are going well:)

      I'd be the same way- fretting and worrying- sometimes you just can't control it.

  2. Poop is a horseperson's best friend . . .

  3. Aarene, you have no idea. After Henry's colic surgery I obsessed on his poop for days and actually pawed through it, looking for sand and small stones. I mean with my bare hands (don't tell). That's how obsessed I was.

    1. Laura, you totally crack me up.

      I would never tell anybody. >snork<

  4. I cracked up reading your poop discussion. Really, most people won't discuss it at all. Hell, even with most people I won't discuss it at all... but with other endurance riders I find myself in long discussions about all functions of the horse, including poop. Hell, even this weekend I found myself asking the rider behind me for 8-10 miles if she had seen Rose poop and if so when and how much? When she and I swapped I share her geldings poop report and we watched the other rider's horse's pee for any unusual color. Only endurance riders get excited about poop... and pee.

    Lovely splat looking pile of poo though. I'm sure that was your favorite pile to shovel in quite a while. Hope the rest of her recovery goes well.

  5. Y'all, my mom called me tonight.

    "So, um. Did you read the latest blog post?" I inquired casually.

    "The one about you obsessing?"

    "Yeah, I guess."

    "Your horse is doing okay, right? So, why are you fretting, and (she didn't really say this part) why are we talking about poop???

  6. Yeah poop! Seriously, I think we've all obsessed on it at one point or another. Those 2-year-old kids who love poop? They'd appreciate this. You have good reason to fret. I am so glad Fiddle is on the road to recovery, may you have many more "returns."

  7. Poop is a great sign!! And it's okay to obsess over it. You wouldn't be normal if you didn't!!

  8. So nice to come by for a visit & not be disappointed! Photos of the blooms are stunning! The barn isle looks like it's waiting for me to come over for a cup of tea! As to Fiddle - sounds like she's doing just Super! Temp. is always the first indicator & as long at that stays good & the eating, drinking is going on - more poo will surely follow! :-)

  9. Okay. I'm just gonna say it (or sing it). Horse people. Knowing the state of horse poop is VITAL and NORMAL (Go, Paint Girl!).

    For your next ride song ("Oliver": sorry, was brought up on musicals)

    Poop glorious poop...
    what wouldn't I give for...
    3 good ones a day....
    that's all that we live for...

    (To help the non-horsey: it's just uh, 'processed grass', folks.)

    And for the record, I loved the photos of "this is not poop"!


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