Colic Crusade I was Raised with Quarter Horses and Paints my entire life, so I was never a huge fan of Arabians.

Twenty years later I met Concert – an Arabian who took my breath away. The woman who owned him said, “this horse will change your mind about Arabians, he loves people back.” At this point I wasn’t really sure what she was talking about until she said, “watch.” The owner walked over to Concert and put her arms around his neck. He then put his head around her like he was hugging her back. I was surprised, but still not fully convinced that I could actually fall in love with this horse. I ended up buying Concert, and low and behold, this horse took my heart.

I thought I knew everything about feed and care for horses since I had been around them for more than 20 years. But Concert always seemed to be thin. I took him to the vet, had blood drawn and fed him everything I could think of from old traditions to new supplements. Nothing worked…

Overall Health Issues Lead to Overfeeding, Colic

Finally I decided to have a dental surgeon come out and look at this teeth. We found that he had not only one, but two teeth that were growing horizontally instead of vertically. We decided to go through with surgery, remaining hopeful and aware of the risks that came with post-op.

It had been six weeks since surgery and Concert seemed to be doing very well. He was gaining weight and improving. We decided it would be okay to go out of town for a couple of nights and had someone feed for us.

Unfortunately, this person overfed Concert using alfalfa pellets to no fault of their own. We lost Concert that weekend. I was sitting alone in a hotel room while everyone at my barn tried to save his life as he colicked. It was a nightmare as I felt so much shame for not being there, despair for the pain he was experiencing and devastation for the loss of the horse that loved people back.

What I Learned From the Horse Who Loved Me Back

Concert made me more aware of my actions because he made me want to be better for him. He made me laugh because he really was funny and he was always so happy to see me. The thought of life without him was too much to absorb. I cried every day for three weeks, and even now, I write this with tears in my eyes.

He also taught me that I really don’t know everything about feeding even after spending 30 years with horses. I learned how much I don’t know about how to prevent colic from happening again.

I have since moved to slow feeding both my hay and supplements and my horses have never been happier or looked better.

Nothing will replace Concert, but the lessons he taught me will live forever – Especially that a horse can and will love you back.

The Crusade Against Equine Colic celebrates the life of Concert and thanks Shannon for sharing her story. Share your personal colic story today and find out how you can prevent colic in your barn

The Crusade Against Equine Colic is a movement empowering all horse people to learn how to reduce our horses’ risk for colic – and to share that knowledge with fellow equestrians.

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