Friday, December 12, 2014
Horses Are Accidents Waiting to Happen
Rhio and I started off around the perimeter of the pastures, and I was watching Red run up and down from their pen into their pasture, looking very prettily animated and all Arabian while doing so. He was screaming for Rhio and I was pleased that Rhio was doing so well with ignoring it! Rhio doesn't prefer to go by himself and can sometimes be barn/buddy sour because of it. This is one reason I like to get him out and about solo pretty quickly after moving to a new place if I can. We had completed 2 sides of the 3 we were going to ride around, before heading off toward a corn field, when Red had his accident. Running full tilt up from the pasture, he slipped and fell flat on his side right at the gate, sliding into the (open) gate, and getting his hind legs (one or both, I'm not sure) caught between the rails. The gate came off, and fell on top of him, and after what seemed an enormously long time, he got himself free, jumped to his feet, and ran off toward the barn end of the pen. Rhio froze when the commotion occurred, and I had to jump off and try to lead him toward thrashing Red, which he was a bit reluctant to do. Luckily, there were several people around as some of the others were getting ready to haul out to an indoor arena to ride. We all rushed to the scene, and Red was so worked up he just couldn't stop moving or let me touch him. He was at least weight bearing on all 4 limbs and there were no major cuts. I had led tacked-up Rhio right into the pen with him to try to get him to calm down. After hurriedly untacking, I took both horses into the barn to assess Red's injuries. All I could find were a few superficial (but bloody) scrapes on his right fetlock. Nothing was swollen (yet) and so I put the two of them into the outdoor arena to move around a bit and let the adrenaline subside (for all of us.)
About an hour after it happened, Red was calm and had a little heat in the fetlock with the scrapes but seemed otherwise ok. I am sure he is body sore, and gave him a little Bute to help with that. I also spent some quiet time meticulously combing out his tail - an activity sure to calm my mind, and it seems to have the same effect for him as well.
So, now what? I am thinking through several scenarios to cope with his attachment to Rhio. He has fallen in love with a mare in the adjoining pen, who happens to be stalled at night, and so was not in the pen next door when I took Rhio out to ride. I will try ponying him the next time I go, so he doesn't feel left behind again immediately, but I also think that perhaps riding while that mare is outside would be beneficial. We shall see. He does not mind being the horse leaving the herd, and going out alone, but being the one left simply overwhelms him. I sure know that I will be getting a 3rd equine ASAP if I am ever able to take them home to live someday! Having just 2 won't be an option, clearly.
Interestingly, this has been a trait of his since the day I bought him, 12 years ago. Very shortly after bringing him home, I had to suture up a cut on a front leg, acquired by sliding into the fence when his 2 buddies left to go for a ride. If I look carefully, riffling the hair up, I can still find the scar. The falling down part also seems to be a theme - and not one I particularly enjoy!
It is a scary thing when your horse has an accident. It's especially scary to watch it happen, in the slowest of slow motion of course, and know there is absolutely nothing you can do about it whatsoever. Thankfully, he seems just fine and tomorrow will be a new day.