Goodbye to Cinnamon
Passed away 9/26/15
What can I say about our old chestnut pony? A little Napoleon in his red coat. Cinny was a special favorite of mine because he was really so very like my Bobby Sox, who inspired me to start The Golden Carrot.
Cinny was old. Missing teeth. Hocks were bone on bone, and each had a huge open sore. Bad scarring on his back from what may have been the worst fitting saddle ever. Stiff knees. A big dent in his nose - a ridiculously tight halter left on too long? An impact injury of some sort? His vision was compromised and his heart had a murmur. Dang.
But you’d never know it. This feisty little guy just need a little help! Pain meds for those knees and hocks; plenty of groceries; chiropractic and time .... and our boy blossomed! He was feisty by God. Once you had a halter on him, he was perfection. But sometimes, just sometimes, he’d frisk around just to show he could. Maybe he’d pretend he didn’t want to go in his stall at night - dashing back and forth past his gate. Bucking up as he turned the corner. He’d stand for the farrier with a lead rope draped over the fence, or no halter/lead rope at all. But just sometimes, he’d act up a little... just to show he could.
My farriers considered him a roping horse. I don’t know how they make those distinctions. But he was fast when he wanted to be and smart just like every pony I’ve been privileged to know. And completely his own man. He knew what was expected of him, I’d say he’d had excellent training with some cowboy in his past, but his good behavior was a gift he gave, and you better appreciate it. I could medicate his wounds, brush him, hold him for the farrier and vet, but otherwise, he’d really rather I left him alone. He was demanding at his feed bucket, talking to me if I took too long to throw that feed. He didn’t like having his picture taken, but too bad, he was just too cute....
He liked having a following tho, and once he settled in here, and realized he wouldn’t have to do anything, and was feeling better, he started looking around. He fixed on Ashley pretty fast, and lurked on the edges of ‘her’ herd for a long time. Once Peanut passed, it was just natural for him to move into that spot, and from then on, the two were inseparable.
Ashley was a favorite with Sarge and Mack as well, and with them, we had Ashley and her Redhots. Most often, Cinny decided where they would go, and Ashley, Mack and Sarge would follow.
Over the last months of his life, Cinny and Ashley separated away from the other Redhots. Maybe I should have realized something was wrong.
Then the evening arrived when we found Cinny down, cast in a soft place that turned into a trap when he rolled over partly into some rocks. We were able to get him out and he popped right to his feet, but you could see he was hurt - a swelling at the left side of his neck where it joined his shoulder making him stretch his head out and up repeatedly, and then down to the ground and back. He started walking and seemed a little better as he went, but went into his stall unwilling to eat or drink, just standing in a corner and working his neck. I gave him some bute and massage; came out a few hours later to find him still standing there, still distressed, and I gave him more massage. The next morning he had pooped only once, ate only a few bites of his dinner, and had clearly been down on the ground - he walked out very stiff. But he kept walking, all over the property, and it breaks my heart to think he was hoping, from a past experience in his life, that walking would fix what ailed him.
The third time I saw him go down and get right back up, I knew there was a more serious problem to deal with. As it turned out, a twisted gut, and that was probably what had had him laying down the night before, when he got cast. And I knew then that I had let my little strong pony tough out the worst night of his life, alone. I ended that agony right away, of course. A twist (a surgical gut) is a death sentence for any of our residents.
Cinny was a tough guy. He reminded me so much of Bobby Sox. Each night I would say, Byebye Bobby, I'll be back! and he would ignore me, munching his dinner. But if I DIDN'T say it, I'd look back to see his head out, looking after me, worried. He couldn't bear to be hugged. He'd stand still and walk away if possible, and do everything but shiver with digust. But ... I always hugged him, and if I didn't ... he'd be looking after me. Cinny was just like this. He'd be embarrassed if I was sweet to him where other horses could see - you could almost hear him tell them that if I wasn't the food lady, he'd be stomping me! 'And YOU better not try this!' But in fact, he did let me massage him a few times; he did allow me to hug him (if no one was looking), and he loved - no, DEMANDED his morning cookie, even braving Dom and Laddie to get to me and that cookie bucket!
Even the tough guys need love. They may not know what to do with it. Bobby had been a riding horse at an LA riding stable for years; Cinny had been a cowpony, worked hard. They probably didn't see lots of kisses and pats, lots of treats, during their working lives. But if you offered it just the right way, they'd not just accept it, they'd come to expect it. With your help, folks, we are able to offer that, and I believe Cinnamon enjoyed it.