Barbwire Nightmare


Isabel Vandemoer writes, The most memorable time block in my life is when I got my first horse.

The most memorable time block in my life is when I got my first horse. I was ten or eleven years old when I thought horses would be a great pet to have. After telling my dad about my thought, he promised to take me to Kiowa, Colorado to look at some horses. When I woke up that next April morning, I bundled up with jackets and gloves so the cold day wouldn’t ruin my chances of finding my dream horse. As we drove to Kiowa, my brain was hungry for ideas about my horse. When we arrived at Annette’s house, I saw a huge arena and almost 15 horses! I knew it was going to be a tough decision. “You can choose which ever horse you would like,” Annette told me. I glanced at all the horses, taking my time to decide which I would like to ride. A brown and white overo paint horse caught my eye. I walked over to him and began stroking his fuzzy coat. She let me ride him around so I could get to know him. The girl that trained him told me that the horse I chose was very intelligent. She also told me his name; Lonsum Nuclear Joe, but I just call him Joe. My heart told me Joe was the perfect horse for me. I ran to my dad, so eager to tell him about the horse I found. He agreed to buy the horse, so we brought him home the next week. That week, I started to ride him every Tuesday on County Road 29 with my riding instructor, Lisa. I was having so much fun; I couldn’t wait to come back every week to ride. After a few months of getting to know my horse, we started training for fair that was next month. I was very familiar and comfortable with my horse and patterns and I was going to meet at her house again to familiarize the patterns throughout the week so my horse would do them well at fair. So the next hot, July day, I saw Lisa at Joe’s corral, staring at the ground. I didn’t think anything of it so I just walked over to say hi. When I arrived at the pen, I saw a horrific scene that changed my life forever. Without thinking I ran dashed through the gate and burst into tears. My beloved paint horse had a huge cut on his left front leg on the coronet of his hoof. We concluded it was caused by barbwire. I closed my eyes, hoping I was asleep and it was just a dream. When I opened my eyes, I was still there. It was my living barbwire nightmare. My mom called a friend to come out and inspect the wound. He said, “This cut is about two inches deep and you may never be able to ride your horse again, Sorry.” I was devastated. For the next three weeks, Joe stayed in Fort Morgan at the vet. The vet had Joe’s hoof and cut wrapped in a cast so it would hopefully heal. When we finally brought Joe home, we put him in a corral close to home. Everyday, my dad and I would go to Joe and give him his medications to ease the pain in his throbbing leg. I felt so sorry for Joe! I bet he felt as shallow as a pond, evaporating in the summer heat. A month or so later, my dad and I took off his wrap. When I looked at the cut, I had a flashback of what first saw that July day. I turned away from the sight and waited until my dad was done treating him. I gave my horse a good pat on the belly and hopped in the truck. As we drove off, I wondered if I could ride him at fair, although it was very unlikely. Sure enough fair was just one short week away and Joe was far from healed. After fair we went to go see Joe more and more. Then, God worked a miracle. One day, when we arrived at Joe’s temporary home, the cut was healed. I blinked a couple times, thinking it was an illusion, but it wasn’t! I was so excited; I ran to my horse and flung my arms over her soft neck. He turned his head and nudged at my shoulder with his velvety nose. I looked into his eyes and knew he was trying to tell me something, but I wasn’t sure what. So my dad and I took Joe to the vet to see if I could ride him. As Scott, the vet, looked closely at his cut, he slowly got a grin on his face. “Looks like you got yourself a cured horse,” he told me. I thanked him a billion times for healing my horse and led my horse merrily into the trailer. Nothing could bring my happy mood into a bad mood now. The week after bring Joe home; I rode him out at out pasture in a corral. Not a limp at any gait. I was ecstatic to have my horse back the way he was those long months ago. I am happy to say my horse and I are looking forward to the fair this August. I hope we do well! Everyone knows that nothing can break the bond between a girl and her horse. Especially this girl.