Pomp's Miracle



Fire An Ice X SB Josie

 

Pomp was born the 17th of May 2002, and we had such high hopes for him. "This colt," we thought, "is stallion material." As he grew, we continued to be encouraged by his progress. He was friendly, a great mover, and had the classic looks of his father.

On July 21st, disaster struck. When he went out to feed in the morning, Tom found Pomp down in the pasture, and was unable to get him up, and he looked close to death. The vet, who was coming out to the farm for a routine checkup later, was called, but we were afraid she wouldn't get here in time. When she arrived, she noticed a swelling in the area of his throatlatch, and told us to send him to the Veterinary Hospital at North Carolina State University.

In Raleigh, the vets diagnosed Pomp with a basisphenoid fracture associated with retropharyngeal hematoma and neurological deficits (in otherwords, he had broken his skull and bled behind his throat, and sustained a stroke to the left side). That evening, it was recommended that he be put down. No horse had ever survived this injury. In a twist of fate, we had just learned about an Arabian horse called Khartoon Khlassic who broke his leg in infancy, and miraculously survived.  Inspired by Khartoon, and after some agonizing conversation, we decided to wait and see what happened, as long as he was not in any pain. That night, little Pomp got up to nurse several times, showing signs of improvement.

Pomp slowly stabilized and improved over the next few days. He showed signs of paralysis on his left side; because he couldn't feel on the left, he damaged his left eye, which  had to be removed. After surgery and a few more days of careful monitoring, the vets decided he could be sent home.

On August 3rd, after three weeks in the hospital, our baby came home.  His left lip and ear drooped slightly, and his left legs were very slow to respond, but he was alive!  Over the next few days, he  stayed awake for longer periods of time, indicating his increased neurological activity. Although unsure what degree of neurological deficits would remain, we knew Pomp had the will to live. We still hoped to use him as a breeding stallion, due to his pedigree, and initial promise.

By late October, if you saw Pomp from the right, sighted side, you would not know it was the same colt.  If he has any neurological deficits, they are difficult to detect.  He now has full turnout with his mom and the rest of the herd and gallops circles around the older horses.  His mom, a first time and doting mother, puts up with all of his tomfoolery.  But he is learning manners from the older mares.  He isn't allowed to wear a halter yet, since we are giving the skull fracture a full 4 months to heal, but leads like a gentleman with a lead rope (or arm) around his neck.  He had his first visit with the farrier several weeks ago, and stood quietly while he was trimmed.  He is growing like a weed and is very butt-up at this stage.  We are hoping his injuries won't stunt his growth too much.

December 2002:  Pomp is fat and sassy.  He has been through weaning without a problem, although Josie seemed upset.  He is sporting a full winter coat and all the wild oats that go with it.  It is hard for him to keep all four feet on the ground.  He is still a wonderful young man, with a gentle personality and lovely manners.  I hope he stays that way.

Fall 2003:  Pomp is now a long yearling and has spent a couple of months with trainer Rob MacDougal to further his ground training and cement his manners before he realizes he is a stallion.  Pomp is fully integrated with living with a single eye.  We've never seen him run into anything, and run he does.  He has the most incredible extended trot, although he needs to be pushed to get him into it.  He was supposed to be my western pleasure horse, and western is the way he goes.  He is still very laid back, with a "do whatever you want" attitude.  He is a joy to be around.  And he is beautiful.  It is a shame that he will not become the horse we had planned, but nothing happens by coincidence.  There must be some heavenly plan; we just don't know what it is yet.

 

Summer 2005:  It has been awhile since the last update.  Pomp has matured into a very handsome boy who is kind and easy to handle.  We think he should go under saddle this fall, but what trainer will take a one-eyed prospect?  Perhaps we will start him ourselves.  He needs a little consideration when being handled, such as being led from the right, so he can see us.  He also keeps his head tucked in much of the time, to present the right eye forward. We will just have to deal with these things.  He has had the opportunity to breed two mares this year, one Arabian, one Quarter horse.  We can hardly wait to see what he will produce.

 

Summer 2007:  Pomp is a mature stallion and as laid back as ever.  He is a dream to work with, and takes everything in stride.  He is gently under saddle, yielding to leg pressure and learning forward momentum.  He has sired a handful of foals, including a flaxen filly on our farm, WB Bells and Whistles.  His gentle personality seems to breed on.