My Situation

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My Situation

Postby musical comedy » Wed Mar 06, 2019 11:14 am

Anyone who is familiar with my postings over the years knows that I seldom talk about personal things, especially health matters. I've often wondered why people do that and if they are looking for sympathy or what. Now I think maybe it's because they are so hurting and/or worried that they feel a need to write it down, as I'm doing now.

My partner of nearly 40 years died on Tuesday morning 2/12. Around December 20, he was diagnosed with esophageal cancer which metastisized in the liver. In just under two months, he went downhill horribly. It was so awful I'll spare you the details. He had diabetes, A-Fib, and kidney disease, all this coupled with 3 rounds of chemo was too much for his body to bear. I had to call 911 around 5 times and he was in and out of the hospital several times. I had to deal with a lot of awful stuff. It aged me 10 years.

Esophageal cancer is pretty much a death sentence with only a 17% survival rate, so I knew he was on limited time. Still when I spoke with him on a Monday night at 7pm he said he was feeling pretty good. Then I get a call at 6am the next morning telling me he was dead. It was a shock. I have my suspicions of how he died, but what's the point of putting blame on someone. It can't change anything.

He had just gone into a skilled nursing facility because he couldn't walk anymore, and there was no way to get him up from a chair for toileting. Home care was not an option because my place doesn't have the right facilities. So, to a couple of you that were educating me on the cost of nursing homes and financial needs at retirement and illness, I can assure you I am aware of both.

Now I am alone here on a 44 acre farm that needs work. I am scared. I pondered long and hard about buying my mare in 12/17 but took the plunge I now regret. Had my old guy not had a serious heart issue, I would have kept riding him until we both retired. Now I have these two horses and am stuck. The old guy costs me a lot, because he needs two prascend for his cushings. He would also be crippled without shoes, and my farrier charges $350. I'm spending about 1k a month just on two horses living at home.

I thought when I bought the mare that she would be the type that would be easy to resell, but that's turned out not to be the case. She is very safe, and extremely sweet and loving (perfect for KathyK) but she is way behind in her training for her age. She requires a good ride to get her going well, so whomever gets her next needs to be at least as good a rider as I am. Not that I'm that good :) , but I know how to push a horse through. She's very obedient and wants to please, but she 'looks' at stuff (like a light beam)and will then come above the bit. Little stuff, but it's hard to progress in training when the horse keeps getting unconnected due to looking. It's something a real novice wouldn't be able to handle probably. She also has a lot of thrust/push at the canter and could feel scary to someone. It did to me at first. She also needs a rider than can ride in a <18inch seat, because of her short back. She's very sound and had exquisite xrays a year ago. Also, hooves from heaven. Goes barefoot and not a chip even in rough frozen ground. Do not suggest leasing this mare. Absolutely not!

I missed last two+ months riding. I get in a ride every now and then, but I have to really push myself to get out there and ride. I do so because I want to keep the mare fit in the event I sell her or 'give' her away. The problem with that is that I still have the old gelding. He is not a candidate for a retirement farm. He did live alone for a few years before I bought the mare, but now I know he was depressed. He is now so happy. He trots/canters around the fields with her. I feel an obligation to him and he just might live many more years. I really don't think at this point I can emotionally deal with another loss, be it horses or where I live.

My farm needs a lot of work and maintenance. Joe (my partner) was a procrastinator and started a lot he didn't finish. He did, however, mow the property and harrow my ring. He did a lot of mowing; around 20 acres. My place is set up such that at least around 10 acres needs to be mowed. I have a lot of open field around my little house and it would look terrible if I allowed it to get overgrown. I managed to find a company to contract for the mowing. It's going to cost me at least $200 every week. I've also contacted a guy to remove manure because now I have nobody to use the spreader. I also don't have anyone to drag the ring for me. Before you think "why don't you do it yourself", it's because I do not know how to drive a tractor and I know I would crash the bucket loader into the walls of the indoor or the mirrors. I also do not have the strength or time to be unhooking and hooking up attachments to that tractor. Keep in mind I am going to be 73 years old in May.

That my cyber friends is an update on what's happening with me at present. If you comment on this, be aware that I am extremely sensitive right now and might take helpful comments the wrong way.

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Re: My Situation

Postby KathyK » Wed Mar 06, 2019 1:27 pm

I'm so very sorry about the loss of your partner. My heart is breaking for you. I hope you find your way through this sooner rather than later.

Let me add that I know a lot of dummies who have learned to drive a tractor very well. You are no dummy, so...

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Re: My Situation

Postby Ponichiwa » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:03 pm

I don't have any advice, just sympathy. I'm so sorry for your loss.

You may (or may not) find it empowering to master some of the tractor work. Just a thought. I also very much understand outsourcing some of that work-- very few tractor implements are designed for ease of use/ergonomics.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Tuddy » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:11 pm

I have no words to help you, but I am very sorry for your loss. If you ever need to chat, come find me. Hugs

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Re: My Situation

Postby StraightForward » Wed Mar 06, 2019 2:50 pm

I'm so sorry, MC. What a difficult situation; you need time to grieve and process all of this.

Maybe when you get your bearings, and the weather improves, you could find someone who might help with the mowing/harrowing in exchange for boarding a horse or two? It sounds like you have a lot of space, but of course it would have to be the right person.
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Re: My Situation

Postby Chisamba » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:02 pm

That is a stressful and scary and sad situation.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Abby Kogler » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:33 pm

I am so sorry. You have been hit with such a lot of hard, with ripples of harder that will come from this sad loss. Loss is hard enough; sad terrible loss as you had to watch and participate in is a heartbreaking series of sad coping. And now you are in such a changed place. My heart breaks for you.

Honestly, just go one day at a time. I have been in that sad overwhelming place. Do not go down the rabbit holes of what if, what shall, how can...there is so much to do when someone dies. Do what you can, each day. Expect nothing of yourself, if you have a day or several where you don't really do anything more than basic functions, so be it. It is so easy to be utterly paralyzed by the enormity of the loss, the grief, the tasks.

You have so many things to work through. Be kind to yourself, do what you can.

Im so sorry for all of it; the loss, the work, the worry about the horses....I wish I were your neighbor and could mow and harrow. I still can barely walk, but I am back on the tractor >;->

I don't know if you still have my number but if so and you feel like it call anytime.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Valrhona » Wed Mar 06, 2019 3:39 pm

I'm so sorry very sorry for your loss, MC. My heart goes out to you.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Sue B » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:11 pm

I too am very sorry for all your troubles, MC. Esophageal cancer is such a horrible way to go...so painful and debilitating.

As the parent to a 16yr old son, I know he would love to work on a place like yours, using your equipment to mow, feed, drag arenas etc. How do I know? he does it for a few people (and me) right now and they pay him whatever he negotiates in cash. He's been doing this for a couple years. Good pocket/gas money. My point being...maybe you can find a young man in high school or college that needs the cash and likes to work outside. We use them all the time around here (I live in a farming community) for work on our home place and at our business to do the odd jobs our employees would rather not do or aren't qualified to do. Once you make some good connections through friends/associates you'll have the help you need without breaking the bank. Then you can take the time to grieve and figure out where life will take you next.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Srhorselady » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:08 am

MC. You have my deepest sympathy for your loss and the situation you are in. I unexpectedly lost my father after a brief traumatic illness and found myself in a situation similar to yours. Our property was quite a bit smaller than yours but there were similar maintenance issues that I was not prepared to deal with. I remember how lost, frightened, and unable to cope I felt. As other people have advised take it day by day. You don’t have to solve everything now. Do the day to day basics and don’t try to solve everything at once. I hope you have family and friends who live nearby and can help. I’m so sorry for your loss.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Flight » Thu Mar 07, 2019 4:30 am

I am so so very sorry for your loss. I am not good with words so I won't try to say too much, except that I am sorry and I wish I lived near you so I could help you out.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Moutaineer » Thu Mar 07, 2019 5:33 am

I'm so very sorry, MC.

I don't have any good advice, just much sympathy. I know how hard it would be for me to cope on my own up here, so I understand where you are coming from.

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Re: My Situation

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Mar 07, 2019 1:00 pm

I'm so very sad for your sudden loss of your partner, MC. I know that will be absolutely devastating for me one day.

I'm with others who say use some resources to help you handle your property/care needs in the short term. Get some breathing space.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Josette » Sat Mar 09, 2019 1:35 pm

MC - I just saw your post here. I am so very sorry for your loss. There are good suggestions given to help you with your property.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Mar 09, 2019 10:14 pm

I'm so sorry MC for your loss- I appreciate your update though and sharing with us. Sending you a lot of good wishes

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Re: My Situation

Postby Anne » Mon Mar 11, 2019 7:25 am

MC, I echo everyone else here to say I am so very sorry for the loss of your partner. I send you very warm cyber hugs and supportive thoughts. Kia kaha ('stay strong').

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Re: My Situation

Postby Hayburner » Mon Mar 11, 2019 5:39 pm

MC - so sorry that you lost your partner to this terrible disease.

Reading your post - you have a lot of stress and maybe some hard decisions to make.

At 73 years young, I can understand why you can't do the work to maintain parts of your farm. Could you find a farmer that could use your fields for hay? Even if they don't pay you much - you will save in paying someone to mow.

As for your old guy - cost wise could you switch him to pergoloid which is a lot less expensive than the Prascend? My old guy was on 1 1/2 pills of Prascend and it is costly. I started ordering from Valley Vet which saved me over buying from my vet and they do put it on sale a few times a year. My guy was also on Equioxx to keep him comfortable again another costly med. I boarded him so my expenses for him were quite high.

As for the manure - could you drive a quad? With only 2 horses you may only need a small spreader and a quad and you have the acreage to dump it. You could also use the quad to harrow your ring. Where I board they use the quad for just about everything.

Prayers that you find peace in your loss. Take time to heal before making any big decisions.

We are here for you......

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Re: My Situation

Postby khall » Wed Mar 13, 2019 2:35 am

MC I am so sorry for your loss and the situation you are now facing. I can certainly understand your fears because I too would be in your spot if something happened to my DH and have seen what Mark's wife has had to deal with after his death. I hope you can find some answers. Cyber hugs to you.

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Re: My Situation

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Mar 14, 2019 12:33 am

Still thinking of you, MC.

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Re: My Situation

Postby demi » Thu Mar 14, 2019 8:07 pm

Oh MC, I just now saw this. I have no words. My heart hurts for you. I feel like I know you from the training forum and I have come to respect you and care about you. I know it took a lot for you to express your situation and I hate to think of you alone and scared. Your situation is even harder because of your age but you have a strong character and I hope you know that your strength will help you as time passes.

If you need an ear or a shoulder I am just a PM away. I understand the special problems of being an older horsewoman and I have much sympathy and empathy for you. I’m so sorry, dear MC.

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Re: My Situation

Postby PaulaO » Wed Mar 20, 2019 6:34 pm

MC, I just saw your post. You've been through a lot and have a lot to process and deal with. Take it step by step and know that we are here for you.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Sunshine2Me » Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:41 pm

I'm so very sorry for your loss. I know it is must be devastating. I encourage you to take your time in making decisions, and perhaps give yourself some time before you make any big decisions. Know that this community is here to support you!

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Re: My Situation

Postby KathyK » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:22 pm

It's been a few weeks since your post, MC. How are you?

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Re: My Situation

Postby musical comedy » Wed Mar 27, 2019 10:20 am

KathyK wrote:It's been a few weeks since your post, MC. How are you?
Thank you Kathy (and others) for your cyber friendship and interest. I'm doing quite well insofar as accepting the loss, but that may be because I am so busy with things that occupy my mind. Also, I had time to prepare mentally for what I knew was his eventual death.

I have my mowing contract set up. I have a guy to drag my ring once a week, but I intend to learn how to drive my tractor and do it myself. I have a part-time guy (he has a full time job) that is here helping do various things outside. He's been working for us for a few years and I feel comfortable with him. New people, I am a bit afraid of strange men here on the farm.

I've just about completed all the probate stuff. Just finished the taxes yesterday. Because of all these 'things' I've had to wrap up coupled with the couple months of his illness, riding wasn't happening. Even with an indoor w/lights, when it's cold/damp/rainy/windy/dark I am just not motivated. Thankfully, I have a horse that can sit forever and still be calm when I get on. Still, this riding alone worries me. I do carry my cell phone with each ride.

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Re: My Situation

Postby exvet » Thu Mar 28, 2019 10:52 pm

Clearly you've been going through a very stressful time subsequent to a devastating loss, no matter how prepared. My condolences and my sympathies. I wish you continued strength.

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Re: My Situation

Postby heddylamar » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:28 am

Mom is in a similar situation (riding alone on a farm where she lives alone), and texts me when she's headed out to ride, and again when she's done. Since I'm not local, I have phone numbers for several of her neighbors, including the local sheriff.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Sue B » Fri Mar 29, 2019 10:42 pm

yes, MC, when you ride let someone know before you get on and tell them to call 911 if they don't hear from you in an hour or whatever. Not only is it a good thing to do safety wise but you will feel somewhat more confident knowing someone has got your back if something goes awry. Also, always carry your cell phone on you so if you fall or get hurt you can call for help. Every time I have gotten hurt, I have NOT had my cell phone with me and had to figure out a way to get to it. really dumb!

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Re: My Situation

Postby kande50 » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:36 am

Sue B wrote:always carry your cell phone on you so if you fall or get hurt you can call for help.


I try to keep it with me, but it often ends up in a pocket of one of the layers I took off. At least it's in the barn, but if I was knocked silly I might not be able to find it, or I might not be able to get to it. So yes, if no one is around a text to someone before getting on isn't a bad idea.

A few weeks ago a neighbor of mine went out to corral horses that had gotten into the wrong paddock and she somehow got knocked down and stepped on. Her injuries were bad enough that I don't think she could have used her cell phone if she'd had it with her (which she probably did). Fortunately, she'd called someone to come and help her before she went out and when they got there they found her, because if she hadn't called chances are that she wouldn't have survived.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Ryeissa » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:49 pm

still sending you good thoughts.

I wear a Road ID bracelet pretty much all day, everyday, in case something happens. it gives me peace of mind --you just never know when things might happen (riding, at home, winter driving, falling on ice, etc) It won't send any emergency alerts but it provides contact info
I know there are fancier aps and things that record a fall and send out a distress signal. That is too much for me. I don't ride alone since I board at a training barn

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Re: My Situation

Postby chantal » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:11 am

MC, I just read this. How are you? What are you up to? Sending you a huge e-hug. Gosh... I wish I had better word, but I don't.

Just reaching out to you.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Kyra's Mom » Wed May 01, 2019 10:03 pm

I just read this.

I am so sorry and sending my condolences.

It is just so overwhelming when we find ourselves so vulnerable and alone. I hope you have found the strength to forge onward and that the picture may be getting a bit clearer. I certainly hope so,

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Re: My Situation

Postby musical comedy » Thu May 02, 2019 9:21 am

Thank you ladies for your concern. Yes, I guess we just keep on truckin. What else can we do. In some ways it makes it easier when you have an abundance of work and problems to attend to. There is no time for brooding.

I've managed to hire an super lawn care company and they job the do is just so excellent. Expensive though. I also have a guy raking my ring once a week. At some point, I'll learn how to do it myself but for now no time. I have another guy that comes after his real job to help with some other things and basic landscaping, etc.

Two concerns with this is that it is expensive and the other is people can quit at the drop of a hat. You just can't rely on anything in this day and age.

We are getting so much rain. It's been like that for the last year. Grass is growing like crazy. I do not have a plan for mowing my pastures yet. I have a mower for the back of the tractor, but that means unhooking the drag and finding someone to do it. Again, my incompetence is a problem.

In spite of these problems, I cannot entertain the thought of leaving this place. It is worth a good bit of money and I could buy a luxury condo somewhere, but then what would I do?

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Re: My Situation

Postby kande50 » Thu May 02, 2019 2:34 pm

musical comedy wrote: I have a mower for the back of the tractor, but that means unhooking the drag and finding someone to do it. Again, my incompetence is a problem.

In spite of these problems, I cannot entertain the thought of leaving this place. It is worth a good bit of money and I could buy a luxury condo somewhere, but then what would I do?


It sounds like a crazy solution, but we're not the only ones who have gone to more tractors so that we don't have to attach and unattach implements so often. It all started back when we had one tractor and two people wanting to use it, but then we realized that the more tractors we had the less time we were spending on switching out mowers and rakes and scrapers.

The problem is that if the dh isn't around and I have to attach an implement myself, I feel like I've already done a day's work by the time I get it hooked up. :)

I know what you mean about ditching the farm, though. I used to wonder why people hung on to their property long after they had any use for it, but now that I'm getting closer I can see why it would be a good idea to set things up so that I have to go outside to do chores.

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Re: My Situation

Postby musical comedy » Thu May 02, 2019 5:33 pm

kande50 wrote:It sounds like a crazy solution, but we're not the only ones who have gone to more tractors so that we don't have to attach and unattach implements so often.
I've considered that and/or buying a zero turn mower. Probably is the zero turn isn't probably good for the bumpy pastures. And then, there this money thing. We're talking big bucks for these things.

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Re: My Situation

Postby Canyon » Sun May 05, 2019 6:37 pm

MC - I don't visit this senior forum very often and just read this thread. I am so sorry for the loss of your partner.

One thing you could look into to facilitate the use of your tractor is some kind of quick hitch. I can't remember what we ended up buying, but it makes hitching up the harrow so much easier!

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Re: My Situation

Postby khall » Tue May 07, 2019 1:20 pm

MC yes the zero turn mowers are expensive. We have 2, but they hold their value and last a long time if you buy good ones. We have a Ferris that has a 6' mower deck on it and a CAT diesel engine. We've had it since we've been on the farm 2005. They are SOOO much faster cutting pastures than with a tractor!! The Ferris has independent suspension so very comfy riding on rough terrain. We also have a Gravely more commercial type mower and will beat your seat up mowing rough ground.

What we have done with our extra pasture space is turned them into hay fields and found a local hay farmer willing to cut/bale for half the hay. We pay all expenses like fertilizing lime chemicals, he does the work like spraying, cutting and baling. I get a years supply of hay for half of what I buy it for locally.

The only way I could see staying here on our farm without DH would be to find a roommate who could help with chores/upkeep in exchange for keeping horse(s) here. I have roughly about the same amount of land you do, it is so much work to maintain these farms. There is no way I could afford to pay for any length of time to have the mowing etc done by landscaping company.

We are all thinking of you and sending cyber hugs and support during your tough time.


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