Meet Cool Man, aka Cooli, Coolio, Cool Butt, or "old-man" Cool Man. Born in 2001, Cool Man is an 18 year-old, mostly Quarter Horse, that stands 15 hands tall. He was donated to the Ranch by Judy Burmham in April 2013.
At first, Cool Man was not the best therapy horse. He had a spunky attitude and rushed at the walk. But Cool Man began to connect with his students and quickly become a Ranch MVP! But 2016, Cool Man had a major medical trauma that shook the Ranch the core.
On September 16th, 2016, volunteers alerted staff that Cool Man was displaying signs on Colic. Colic is a term used to describe abdominal pain in horses. This pain can indicate a problem with the gut itself or other organs within the abdomen. There are many causes for colic in horses, ranging from simple indigestion to a twisted gut. Signs of colic include restlessness, pawing at the ground, sweating, increased breathing rate, irritated kicking to the stomach, stretching as if to urinate, rolling or attempting to roll, and elevated pulse rate.
Staff decided to rush Cool Man to A&M Veterinary Hospital in College Station, TX for better care than he could receive locally. Cool Man, who was in pain and feeling intense anxiety, was calmly coaxed into the Ranch tailer and driven by dedicated staff to College Station.
At the A&M Veterinary Hospital, Cool Man spent many days in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Cool Man was diagnosed with a Left Dorsal Displacement of his large colon. In simpler terms, Cool Man had a twist in his gut. His condition was showing little to no improvement. A choice had to be made; would Cool Man have an expensive, high risk surgery to "untwist" his gut or was it Cool Man's time to cross the Rainbow Bridge and say good bye to the Ranch.
Patty D-Andrea noted after 5 days in the ICU "I know we say we don't do Colic surgery. But he isn't quitting on us. We can't quit on him." After 3 and a half hours of surgery, Cool Man pulled through and started his long road to recovery.
Volunteer, and student at A&M Veterinary Hospital, Shannon Clark was able to get Cool Man medical expenses discounted for the Ranch. Even with the discount, Cool Man's medical bill ring in at $5,319.18. Volunteers banded together to raise the money to pay for Cool Man's life saving surgery.
Today, Cool Man is an essential member of the Healing with Horses Ranch herd. He is great with students on all challenges and backgrounds. He is one of the equine partners in Volunteer Training's on Thursday nights and brings joy and love to all of those that work with him.
Although Cool Man's story is remarkable it is not unusual. Just like people, our equines face minor and major medical emergencies that take a mental, physical, and financial toll. The Ranch relies on generosity of the community when dealing with a medical emergency with our equines. Consider donating to Healing with Horses Ranch today.