Have you ever knelt on a stall floor in the middle of the night, exhausted and crying, and begged a horse to live?

I have. Twice. With the same horse.

Both times, Chex pulled through. And, I’m happy to report, at 27 the old man is still alive and kickin’, which is pretty unusual for a horse with his history of chronic colic.

Before he came under my care as a therapeutic riding horse, Chex had survived two major colic surgeries and numerous bouts of tummy trouble. The big-boned Quarter Horse had also worked as a cow pony, trail mount, upper-level dressage horse, hunter-jumper, and lesson horse. In one word, Chex was, and still is (thankfully), amazing.

As a therapeutic riding horse, Chex patiently carried people with Asperger’s and Autism, women suffering depression, teens with incarcerated parents, and stroke survivors. Every day he shared his strength with those around him and lifted them above the troubles of their daily lives. When I begged Chex to live through his colics, I asked for all those riders who loved and needed him. But I also begged him to live for me. Like his riders, I relied on Chex’s strength, and seeing such a mighty horse fight against the stealthy but violent killer that is colic brought me to my knees.

I’ve had Chex on my heart and mind as I’ve worked to organize TheHorse.com’s next live event, an Ask the Vet Live titled “After Colic: Long-Term Care and Prevention,” which is brought to you by Arenus. I’ve always wondered why Chex has this tendency to colic despite receiving excellent and consistent care t