Monday, January 29, 2007

Barbaro , My Radio interview today on the Block Party

I'm sure everyone knows by now that Barbaro was euthanized today. Oddly enough, it was about 15 minutes after I discussed the issue with Joe Block on the Weekend Block Party on 1010 AM shortly after noon. Joe and I had tried to do this a week or so ago but I couldn't get free. Joe's point has been why go so far with a horse. In almost every case horse's with injuries such as this are euthanized at the track. He feels that the owners are pushing to do everything possible so they can get a financial boon should he make it to the breeding shed. I have been around alot of race horse owners, (some nice,some not very nice,) but I have to say that in my experience, they all cared deeply about the welfare of the horse. Frequently decisions had to be made do to finances, usually requiring the cessation of treatment. In every case nobody walked away thinking about $$$$$. Joe did a great deal of research and was well prepared, however, I think he was playing up the role of the antagonist for the show. To be honest, many of the outpourings of emotion and cards from all over the world may be a little over the top, but who am I to say. I had a great time talking with them, and for anyone who knows me, I'm never short on words or opinions. I may have even changed some minds. today.Barbaro was an incredible athlete, a freak of nature that could generate enough force to shatter his ankle just by pushing off. Did they go to far in trying to treat him? In my It wasn't that long ago that all horses with broken bones were put down, then we started trying ways of plating that eventually worked. Colic surgery is now routine. People don't die from this type of injury......we just have to find better ways to repair these fractures and to support the horses weight so as to prevent laminitis. We will never get to this point if we fail to try.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Gators National Champions

I had the opportunity to go to Phoenix for the National Championship game. I flew out that Monday non-stop to LA then over to Phoenix by 1:30. My friends had rented the biggest limo I have ever seen and it picked me up at the airport. After picking up everybody we went to the game. I have to say the OSU fans were friendly but unbelievably over confident. I heard over and over how the Gators didn't deserve to be there. I just said "they're awfully fast". The place went nuts after the Buckeyes returned the opening kickoff....I said " #$@%". Then we scored on the three next possessions....I said "they're awfully fast". The OSU fans went from the stratospheric heights of jubilation to the absolute pit of dispare. I saw people crying around me as the beating continued. Florida was flawless and none of them saw it coming. It was indeed a great time to be a Gator. I was with my Dad in 1995 when we played Nebraska for the National Title in Phoenix. There was a different outcome then. We spent the next day at the Grand canyon .....incredible.
We went to a local tribe and did a helicopter tour of the canyon. I taught the local shaman a new dance.......The Gator Chomp.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

An Open Letter from Ben Stein

I was reading one of the MilBlogs on my list of daily readings and found this on "BadgersForward" ( check the site,it's worth the read)
combat engineers defusing roadside bombs (over 300 so far). It's a great site and a great letter.
I find it helps redirect my perspective after one of those days when you feel beat down, over worked and spent. I hope it works for you.

Open Letter to Our Armed Forces and Their Families From Ben Stein
Greetings From Rancho Mirage By Ben SteinTuesday, January 23rd

Dear Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, National Guard, Reservists, in Iraq, in the Middle East theater, in Afghanistan, in the area near Afghanistan, in any base anywhere in the world, and your families:

Let me tell you about why you guys own about 90 percent of the backbone in the whole world right now and should be happy with yourselves and proud of whom you are.

It was a dazzlingly hot day here in Rancho Mirage today. I did small errands like going to the bank to pay my mortgage, finding a new bed at a price I can afford, practicing driving with my new 5 wood, paying bills for about two hours. I spoke for a long time to a woman who is going through a nasty child custody fight. I got e-mails from a woman who was fired today from her job for not paying attention. I read about multi-billion-dollar mergers in Europe, Asia, and the Mideast I noticed how overweight I am, for the millionth time. In other words, I did a lot of nothing.

Like every other American who is not in the armed forces family, I basically just rearranged the deck chairs on the Titanic in my trivial, self-important, meaningless way.

Above all, I talked to a friend of more than forty-three years who told me he thought his life had no meaning because all he did was count his money. And, friends in the armed forces, this is the story of all of America today. We are doing nothing but treading water while you guys carry on the life or death struggle against worldwide militant Islamic terrorism. Our lives are about nothing: paying bills, going to humdrum jobs, waiting until we can go to sleep and then do it all again. Our most vivid issues are trivia compared with what you do every day, every minute, every second.

Oprah Winfrey talks a lot about "meaning" in life. For her, "meaning" is dieting and then having her photo on the cover of her magazine every single month (surely a new world record for egomania ). This is not "meaning."

- Meaning is doing for others.

- Meaning is risking your life for hers.

- Meaning is putting your bodies and families' peace of mind on the line to defeat some of the most evil, sick killers the world has ever known.

- Meaning is leaving the comfort of home to fight to make sure that there still will be a home for your family and for your nation and for free men and women everywhere.

Look, soldiers and Marines and sailors and airmen and Coast Guardsmen, there are eight billion people in this world. The whole fate of this world turns on what you people, 1.4 million, more or less, do every day. The fate of mankind depends on what about 2/100 of one percent of the people in this world do every day and you are those people. And joining you is every policeman, fireman, and Emergency Medical Technician in the country, also holding back the tide of chaos.

Do you know how important you are? Do you know how indispensable you are? Do you know how humbly grateful any of us who has a head on his shoulders is to you? Do you know that if you never do another thing in your lives, you will always still be heroes? That we could live without Hollywood or Wall Street or the NFL, but we cannot live for a week without you?

We are on our knees to you and we bless and pray for you every moment. And Oprah Winfrey, if she were a size two, would not have one millionth of your importance, and all of the Wall Street billionaires will never mean what the least of you do, and if Barry Bonds hits hundreds of home runs it would not mean as much as you going on one patrol or driving one truck to the Baghdad airport.

You are everything to us, as we go through our little days, and you are in the prayers of the nation and of every decent man and woman on the planet. That's who you are and what you mean. I hope you know that.

Ben Stein

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Foal watching web cam

I wanted to post again this time of year about how important it is to watch your mares during foaling season. The down side is that you have to spend alot of nights without sleep. There is now a website called "MareStare" where people watch your horses via a web cam and you can sleep. You can set up an alarm where they can send you an e-mail when they see her foaling. Since people watch in other time zones , they are awake while we sleep. I think you could even get them to watch your sick horse that needs observation as well. You can check out a wireless camera that works from up to 1000 feet away at this site " Barn Cam".

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Barbaro Update

Barbaro ( the horse that fractured his leg 7 months ago) has been in the news lately. For those that have not followed this case, he fractured his lower limb (pastern bone) in the Preakness and after surgical repair developed laminitis ( Founder) in his left hind foot. Probably the result of bearing to much weight on one foot and the stresses and physiologic changes taking place with such an injury. It's good to remember that if that were you or I, we would be confined to a hospital bed for awhile and probably not as good a patient.
The horse on the other hand(hoof) has to stand shortly after surgery because they don't do well physiologically lying down for extended periods of time. This week Barbaro underwent a casting procedure on the laminitic hoof. This was done to help re-align his rotated coffin bone into a more normal angle. The next day he became more painful and additional separation was noted and more debridement was done. This is a setback to say the least. More than likely the pressure of changing the angle (however slight) was to much for the already weakened laminae to hold and the hoof wall was pulled away. I am frequently asked "why go through this much effort" and "shouldn't they just put him down". My answer is this.....If we are capable of being successful in this case , them we will continue to explore what we can do and the things that are seemingly impossible today become routine tomorrow and available for all horse owners.
While I still hold out hope for Barbaro, my realistic side says there is a long, long way to go. If he does survive my question has been this" will he be able to stand on 2 damaged rear limbs to breed mares ?" If it hurts to do so then it's unlikely he will be able to perform, if it is relatively pain free....then that's not a bad retirement.