A flash; could be a blink of an eye, which could take years ,moments, happenings in life, hours and even seconds or milliseconds depending on who or what is blinking and what situation.

The relationship between humans and animals, weird strange and abnormal for some .

The attachment we get to have with something we took so for granted.

The colic

I enter the work gate, people on are on the horses already riding. The sand arena looks pretty occupied for an 8 A.M. ride. I look at them do their dressage, canters others in trots while one doing a jump,the show is approaching no wonder everybody is trying to be prepaid and oh I know this dude approaching this way!


“Morning!” seems like a good morning to me I think as I pass the cars packed in the muddy entrance alley.

“I see they started early today?” I ask, “oh yes it’s an early morning for us today!” he said cheerfully with his Japanese accent. I pass by and greet my colleagues who were already tending to their specific horses while some instructors stepping in to their respective classes, some white children (clients) make a hullabaloo while having a fit- in on their helmets.

Still walking past the sand arena towards the welcome board that’s beside the umbrella tree. Samson passes dragging her along, James runs quickly dragging her to meet-up with her speed yet she can hardly stand. She is Ally Mc Beal; a brown horse, her shade is dark and not common with many horses. She is soft and welcoming and probably the next loved horse in that stable apart from Expresso (a soft tender mid-height black horse). She is hardworking * well…putting it in our language*, she was the real deal.

Her skin is wet, legs feeble,nostrils wet. It is 8.25 A.M. Sam(ally’s syce) and James(head syce of the stabble) push her to walk by force .I wonder what’s wrong. This is a new situation to me, they pass by me and I look at her struggle to be at her feet. She disappears at the hind arenas and I walk in to my office. It is open; I get in, place my bags and check the schedule in my schedule book; for the booked clients and horses for the morning .I go out to see if the booking has been transferred to the scheduling board. On my way I see Timmy in Milkah’s hand(one of our syce’s),an adorable little boy who also happens to be my cousin, I pick him up and start and baby conversation.

“Mummy’s riding”,

I tell him (making small talk that children don’t really understand) then I proceed to the board, all is in order. I turn to peep at Ally struggling more. Her skin has now darkened more than usual due to the sweat, her legs can hardly support her now especially with the slippery muddy ground making It hard to be stable but she has to keep walking for her survival. See the thing is this,Ally had a serious colic problem,she normally had colic, almost every other day.

*Colic is a stomach condition normally found in horses,it resembles a human stomach upset.Symptoms,the horse has the urge to lie down -which is abnormal with a horse.In fact any sickness symptom of a horse is normally characterized by lying down.It can be managed by preventing the horse from lying down or staying still in this case a horse needs to be on the move until it stops having the urge of lying down,consequently colic.It is a very deadly disease and is normally caused by ingestion of uneven mixer of horse feed.Yes horses don’t only eat hay*

Anyway I watch them struggle with her, to make her stand, to make her move to save her life! As they struggle with their own feet at the so slippery muddy arena alleys.

Mutua(the co-owner of the stable) drives in quickly enters the office into the medicine fridge and takes an injection and fills it up with painkillers to the desired level , he runs out to Ally. On arrival he gets really agitated at the aggrevated situation of Ally and the blame game almost starts as the syces try to explain the occurrences of the day. Carefully examining the neck with his hands he gives Ally one jab “ebu mtembeshe” he orders. Holding the reins Sam struggle to lift Ally up, James behind encouraging her with the ‘horsey-human’ conversation (mostly clicks and calling Ally’s name). She is up ,Sam pulls as James follows closely chasing her in the mud and encouraging her not to lay down which her body wants to so badly.

She is back up, for the second jab almost immediately, no change! Her skin now dripping sweat,this condition has never been this serious.Her nostrils as well,her eyes having difficulty opening. She is entered into her stable, Vijay (the stable vet) drives in quickly with his tools. Ally is in pain, this is the worst she’s ever been, and the colic is killing her. We knew she had a problem with colic but it never was like this. It is now 10 A.M . She cannot sleep because if she does she will roll in the attempt to cool off her stomach upset so she has to stand yet her stomach is proving too heavy for her legs and her body just wants to lie down.

Ally is getting worse! Vijay confirms with Mutua on the painkillers he had delivered to her earlier, and then gave us that look that says something bad is with you!

“The sad thing is that, there is no horse surgery in Kenya, So she has…” silence…. “She has to go”.

I look at James and Sam as they try and rotate Ally in her stable in the attempt to keep her alive yet her days are here. Vijay and Mutua outside discussing her condition and remedy. Vijay reaches out to take a jab, a jab that would be Ally’s last jab. The needle sinks in the bottle sucking out and into Ally’s shoulder. Ally is restless but breathing but not anymore in 30 seconds. Ally’s pain was relieved by the death jab, she was at peace. It is now 10.15am.

It took just two hours to lose her, just two hours and Ally was gone. It a pity we don’t value animals as ourselves or maybe it’s just a pity she was in Kenya and nothing could be to save her except the unending pain killer jabs. That it’s a pity we don’t have any horse surgeons in Kenya or worse vets or maybe it’s just unfortunate this was a third world country.


*syce- horse handler*


Advocating for animal medical labs, sciences and research and institutions. Ally would still be if she had gone through the surgery as it should be!


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