Thursday, September 17, 2009

Laying Low for a While

This picture was taken before Gabbrielle's knee injury. So many bizarre things have been happening lately with the horses, Gabbrielle in particular, that I've decided to be extra cautious and do the bare minimum with the horses for a while. I've been hand-walking Gabbrielle several times a day in addition to giving her some medications in the morning and at night. She was doing so well walking around the paddock on a loose lead that I decided to take her for a walk along the road.

I have two gates between the horses and the road. One is the gate to the paddock and the other is the gate to the RV lane. I opened the gate to the RV lane, then led Gabbrielle through the gate from the paddock. As I turned to lock up the gate to the paddock, I heard a commotion behind me and felt the lead rope slipping through my hand. I looked up and saw Gabbrielle bolting toward the RV lane gate which led to the street. I clamped down hard with my hand on the rope, caught the last inch of it and yanked her back to me.

My hand was burning so badly with blisters forming already, and I had to switch the rope to my other hand. While I was doing that, Bombay and Lostine were sneaking through the paddock gate behind me. If they got out, there was no way I could stop three horses from running out onto the highway. I screamed no and they stopped. I locked the paddock gate, then locked up the RV lane gate as well since my hand was in too much pain to take Gabbrielle for a walk.

Getting the horses in an out of these gates is something I've done for years and have never had any problems. It was just really unfortunate that in the instant that I was closing one gate, something spooked my horse and sent her fleeing up the driveway. From now on, I'm only opening one gate at a time, assuming that something stupid is going to happen to spook my horses.

I started feeling sorry for Gabbrielle being cooped up in her stall all day and night, and decided that it wouldn't hurt (famous last words) to let her hang out in the round pen for a little bit. The vet was adamant about keeping her quiet. Absolutely no running or playing with other horses. I gave her a bucket of mash to keep her busy while she was in the round pen, then went indoors for a while.

When I walked back outside to check on her, she was spooked and running in circles snorting. Dang it! What are the chances? I went out to the round pen to catch her and put her back in her stall. I'll bet you can guess what was spooking her. My neighbor had parked his truck up against my fence and was crawling around under the chassis changing the oil or something. He parked there to be in the shade of a tree, but his proximity to my horses and his timing were awful. Of course he was oblivious to the fact that he was causing a ruckus among my horses with his behavior, and that I had a horse in a leg wrap that was not supposed to be running. I had to wrestle Gabbrielle all the way to her stall. She had pumped herself up so tall that she almost conked her head on the bar above her doorway going in.

Between these two mishaps and her breaking the tie bracket off my trailer last night, we are obviously on a fast track to one of us getting injured. So, I'm going to do the bare minimum with her and expect the worst when I do attempt to do something. She'll still get her meds and bandages changed, but I'm going to treat her like she's wild in order to protect both of us. She's not the same horse she was before this visit to the vet. She's acting flat out paranoid.  I suspect that the next time I need to get her into the trailer, she probably won't cooperate because she'll worry that I'm taking her to that awful place where strange people surrounded her and poked her with needles.


Katharine Swan said...

I'm glad you were able to stop Gabbrielle. The last time I clamped my hand down on a rope to stop my horse from running away, I ended up doing a somersault off a trailer ramp!

Gabbrielle has been through a lot lately. A little acting up is unsurprising. Don't get too discouraged! Can you groom her in her stall or something? Just something to make her remember her manners on occasion?

Paint Girl said...

Oh, I am so sorry! I know it isn't any fun dealing with an injury, and it doesn't make things easier when you have crazy neighbors making things worse. I think it is a good idea to keep Gabbrielle inside for awhile. I hope she settles down soon.

Cheryl Ann said...

Oh, boy! Your neighbors are very inconsiderate. I have a couple of rope burns from Gigondas' pulling back. No fun. I've had to put training on hold at various times, too. I just can't do it ALL.

Lulu said...

I am willing to bet that being cooped up is affecting Gabbrielle's behavior more than her visit to the vet. She probably just doesn't know what to do with all that extra energy!! I know my horses can be real ding-dongs when I have to keep them in for more than a day!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I hope she settles down soon! Gosh, what does it take to desensitize them from the neighbors' activites, I wonder?

fernvalley01 said...

The stall rest ,while important to healing is probably part of her problem , she is probably pretty jacked up about being parked. Take care of yourself

allhorsestuff said...

Holy crapola! I am with you...lay low and let some time safe and act as though -
"if it could happen, it will happen"..that is my motto with horses these days. Just makes sence, with my luck!

Hang in there sweets...praying for G's recovery and new horizons soon~

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Argh! My vet called to tell me to increase her exercise at a walk, so I brought her out, walked her, then put her in the round pen while I cleaned her stall and while she ate her lunch. I guess my nosy neighbors couldn't resist coming outside at the hottest part of the day to work on that truck by the fence again. They had all morning to do that, but no, they waited until I put my injured horse in the round pen by their truck. These people are the biggest pain in the @$$! I spend so much time working around them and they still manage to get in the way of my goals.

Katharine Swan said...

Oh no! I think it's time to go talk to them. Tell them you have an injured horse that needs to be walked without being frightened, and ask them to give you ten or fifteen minutes twice a day (or whatever time you need) where they stay inside, stay quiet, and let you do your thing.

Cheryl Ann said...

Oye vei! Your neighbors are endangering your life and your "
pursuit of happiness". You have rights, too, and that includes being able to ENJOY your outdoor time!!!

Breathe said...

I think you're smart to slow things down. Sometimes we're just in a place where things get a little chaotic and we need to let the storm pass.

I hope Gabrielle is feeling better soon. Being cooped up is no fun.