Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Yup. I Said It Before and I'll Say It Again...

Horses are disasters waiting to happen.

So, Monday morning we had high winds. I fed the horses breakfast in their stalls so that the hay wouldn't blow away. When they were done, I wanted to let them out to get some exercise in separate pens. Normally, whenever I do anything with the horses I wear my old paddock jacket that my dad brought back from one of his trips to Alaska back in 1990-something.

However, I was already wearing my good jacket, because I had been out running an errand. I was too impatient to change jackets, because the dryer was buzzing at me since the laundry was done, I had to get something out in the mail before the mail carrier arrived, I was hungry, I had to go to the bathroom, I had to get to the Animal Shelter to walk some dogs, I needed to clean house, and about half a dozen other things. My goal was to quickly move the horses from their stalls to their pens, so that I could get on with life.

All went well, but just when I was locking up the last gate, I heard a crash and turned around to see Gabbrielle on her side with her two left legs underneath a wooden fence panel and her two right legs over the wooden fence panel. She was up to her crotch in wood. I was standing there trying to figure out how I was going to get her out of that mess when I heard my nosy neighbors' front door open. I was in no mood for one of their stare-a-thons, standing on their porch like prairie dogs enjoying my misfortunes, so I glared at the crack in their front door, and the door quickly closed.

So, what is the answer to getting a horse out of this kind of predicament? You don't. You let the horse get itself out of the predicament, because otherwise you get the %*!$ kicked out of you. My heart broke watching Gabbrielle struggle and kick.  I was standing there praying that she wouldn't injure a leg. This is the umpteenth time she's done this. You'd think by now she would learn not to roll next to fences.

I heard this big crack as the fence panel came flying off its posts and Gabbrielle uprighted herself, but not without first stepping on her blanket. The total damage? One broken fence panel, one ripped blanket, one broken leg strap, and a scratch on her leg.

I grabbed my hammer and started pounding away, bending nails this way and that in an effort to temporarily repair the fence panel. I haven't been able to afford a haircut since I've been laid off, so my hair is really long and it was whipping around in my face, making it difficult for me to see what I was doing. And with all the other chores on my list, I didn't want to waste more time searching out a band to hold my hair back. In the process of repairing the fence, my good jacket got caught on a nail and ripped. Of course.

I waited a little bit and then wanted to examine Gabbrielle's legs for swelling, but she was on pins and needles looking over at my nosy neighbors' back yard. I knew that nosy woman was hiding somewhere spying on us and scaring my horse. It's difficult enough trying to examine an injured horse's legs in high winds without that kind of distraction.

I went back in the house, turned around to close the door only to see Bombay getting down on his knees to roll right next to the round pen panels. I went running out the door screaming for him to get up. He did. I went back into the house, turned around to close the door, and found Bombay getting down on his knees by that fence panel again. Repeat process four more times. I ended up grabbing a tire and laying it in that sweet spot where he wanted to roll, and that put an end to the next disaster.


achieve1dream said...

My goodness! I've always wanted board fences, but this is making me glad I don't!! Poor Gabrielle. I'm glad she seems to be okay. I hope she calms down and let's you check on her soon.

That sucks about your jacket and her blanket. I've had good closed ruined by animals, so now I'm careful to never wear them out on the farm lol. The only time I wear my good clothes is when I'm getting my picture taken with one of the critters and the clothes usually end up with mud, hair or slobber on them. Sigh. I hope you can fix the jacket without it looking too bad.

Judi said...

Whenever I put fresh shavings in Cruiser's or Cole's stall, they have to roll--and I can't watch. They get so close to the wall, and Cruiser has been cast a couple times. Mingo used to get cast, too.

So far Cole has been smart enough to stay from the wall, but when I turn him loose to play outside, he wants to roll too close to the fence, and I have to chase him away. They take so much time trying to find the perfect place to roll--yet they can't figure out that close to the fence or wall is a bad idea.

It's enough to make you crazy.

Linda said...

We have, with our neighbor's land, about 20 acres, but there was one spot where our horses always wanted to roll--way out there. I went out twice and found old Red with all four feet in the air and stuck on his back (because it's basically a hole). The first time I called the vet, the second time, my husband and I did it myself, and there wasn't a third time because we filled up the hole with lots of uncomfortable stuff!! I don't know what it is about some spots, but you did the right thing.

Dreaming said...

Well, that was a 'Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day'. It always seems that things like that pile up on us - we get a true ration of sh.....
I'm glad that no one was hurt - I hope today is better!

Promise said...

Eek. Glad to hear she seems fine. I'm beginning to believe that statement more and more!

I saw photos of Promise when she was stuck on Thursday morning. Horrifying. If the barn owner sends them over to me, I'll post them on my blog.

lytha said...

omgosh, NM!!

that is exactly what happened to baasha when he crashed thru that rotten bridge. he had his right front and right hind above it, and the left legs under it, and the darn bridge was built so low to the creek he couldn't dislodge himself. and it was made out of timbers so there was no way he could fight his way free. i kept thinking how most bridges are built higher, and an animal cannot become trapped half on, half off the support beams.

i am still trying to think of what the safest horse fences are. help!


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I really liked what Dreaming said. That book is one of our favorites.

But you can't go to Australia to escape the chaos, so you just gotta stick it out.

Thank goodness I've yet to have a horse hurt itself like that. It always seems to be me that gets hurt instead. lol!

I really do like wood fences, but it seems I am always reading about or seeing animals getting stuck, injuring themselves, breaking them and escaping. We have pipe rail fences lined with 6' tall wire horse mesh on most of our property and some 5' tall wire horse mesh with a string of barb wire on top at the very back of our property. I keep plastic caps on all the t-post fencing, too, even though it would be next to impossible for any animal to jump the 6' tall mesh. Apache will sometimes try to scratch her itchy face on the t-posts, though, and I don't want her to slice her face open or injure an eye on the exposed metal, so it's better to be safe than sorry and just keep them covered.

I hope you are able to keep your horses from getting injured and coming up lame this Spring, so you can enjoy some good riding days. :)


Rising Rainbow said...

Good ole Murphy's pretty much guarantees if you go anywhere near a barn with good clothes or shoes on, that they're going to get wrecked. Knowing that, I try to keep myself away from the horses if I'm wearing anything good but am about as successful as you were. LOL

I'm glad that Gabriella didn't get hurt but wish she hadn't wrecked her blanket. That sucks.

I think the tire in the sweet spot is sheer brilliance. Don't you love when something finally works.

Cheryl Ann said...

Oh, my goodness! WHAT a day! I hear you about the rolling, though! Cali got cast a couple of times and it scared the @#$% out of me!
Nuzz, do you ever wonder if we are just doing TOO MUCH??? I've on the verge of pneumonia now, I'm worn out..I work a full time job...yada yada yada...I think we both need a break!

Fantastyk Voyager said...

I'm so sorry to read about your mishaps.
Its horrible to watch but that is the only way, to let them free themselves. Don't try to help because you will get hurt in the process.

QHHaflingerGal said...

Reading for QuaterHaflinger
Question: Which path should follow - work or retirement?

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

QHHaflingerGal - I'm afraid that question won't work. It's too specific. Check out the guidelines in A Valentine's Surprise post and comments.