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 throughout his life. What makes him susceptible? Is there anything we could’ve done management-wise to prevent colic from reoccurring while he worked in our program? And, what is it about Chex that makes him a survivor?

We’ll talk about all of these questions and more on Thursday, March 15, 2012, at 8 p.m. EDT, with world-renowned colic specialist Nathaniel White II, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVS, and Arenus consultant and equine nutrition expert Jay Altman, DVM. Ask the Vet Live is an interactive online discussion for you, the horse owner and manager. We’ll field questions during the presentation, as well as ones submitted before we go live. I invite you to register for this live event and send your colic questions ahead of time (you can submit questions via the registration form). After March 15, you'll find the archived podcast on TheHorse.com.

If you’ve ever successfully begged a horse to live through colic, I know you don’t want to do it again. I’m hoping the information we provide during this Ask the Vet Live will help you keep your colic-prone horse healthy for many more years.

In the meantime, what are your experiences bringing a horse through colic, and how did you cope?