Friday March 11th was clear, cold, and windy. Always fun weather for an excursion. So after work Tommy and I loaded up and made the trip to Indiana to meet with Dr. A and his farrier TD.
I'd like to say it was a non-eventful trip, but I hate to lie to you.
We circled the country block a few times looking for the correct place and finally found it. The farrier (TD) was inside working on another horse when I arrived, so I sat in the truck out of the wind until he was finished. When he came out of the barn and waved me in I pulled Tommy off the trailer.
As soon as Tommy came off the trailer TD asked me if that was Tommy. I replied that it was and continued forward. TD was standing there staring at us and asked if I'd gotten him from CAB (he said the previous owner's full name). At this point I had stopped and was staring at him. It took me a minute, but I managed to say "Yes, and there's only one way you would know him." He immediately launched into his story about CAB bringing Tommy to his place in July and how he'd even hitched him up for her to make sure that he drove well so that she could sell him.
I admit that I was staring in shock with thoughts spinning through my head almost faster than I could catch them. Finally he stopped talking and I said "So you're the farrier who put the front shoes on in July and covered up that hole." We both gave each other the old hairy eyeball for what seemed like minutes. Then he started backpedaling and saying that he couldn't really recollect, and that it may have been him, but it may have been someone else and that it was so long ago it was hard to recall. I said that's funny, because you remembered his name, the owners name, the month he was here, and everything else you did with him, right down to how he acted driving...but you don't remember shoeing him? He kept repeating that he just couldn't remember and it may have been him or may not have been him but he wasn't for sure. I just wanted to jump up and down and scream Liar Liar Pants on Fire!
We waited in silence until the vet arrived 30 minutes later. By that point I was a basket case, but the lid to my basket was still on. Dr. A checked over Tommy's hoof and discussed with TD what he wanted done, then TD got to work. Dr. A tried to make conversation, but my thoughts were swirling around my brain like a tornado. I felt like I was face to face with an archenemy and couldn't stop thinking about the last 8 months and everything I'd done and all the money I'd spent. I was so emotional I knew that if I tried to talk about it the lid would go flying off my basket, so instead I ignored everyone. Totally awesome, rational adult logic, huh?
While Dr. A supervised the trimming, padding, and shoeing and talked to the farrier I tried to pull myself together. Apparently I wasn't successful, because when they were finished Dr. A looked at me and asked if I was happy with the shoes. All I could do was stammer and stare at him like a big ninny. What I wanted to say was that of course I was not happy; I was face to face with the man who started my 8 month trek through abscess hell...what actually came out was Uh uh uh ummmm well, uh uh um um see, um uh well, we'll just have to see. WTF was that? Now I know that TD probably didn't actually make the hole, but he certainly assisted CAB by covering it up so that she could sell him to an unsuspecting buyer. Does that reflect on the quality of his farrier work? Probably not, but it certainly reflects on his ethics and morals.
I'd like to be able to say that I learned something from this experience, something profound and meaningful, and deeply relevant to life, or at least our situation. Or that I gained a sense of closure. But I didn't. Unless you count learning that horse traders can be liars. Must have missed the memo on that one. Or possibly learning that I'm still susceptible to being overly emotional and not nearly as tough and rational and capable in a tough situation as I'd like to be.
If I could go back in time I would not return Tommy and start with another horse; but had I known about the problem, or seen it with my own eyes, I would have passed him by. Is that learning something? I don't know because I never regretted buying him.
Right now the only things I've take away from this experience are:
1. I met one of the people responsible for masking
Tommy's problem from me and setting me
down the long road to recovery with him; and
2. The Devil shod my horse. Twice.