Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Bad Day at the Barn

Lately, I've been regretting pretty much everything I do, because somehow, some way, it always results in a new problem that demands my immediate attention.  I think that should just be the definition of summer, because that's how my summers seem to go.

I was woken at 5:00 AM by a crash outside.  It sounded like a horse was caught on something, so I grabbed a flashlight and opened the back door, only to be blinded by lightning.  I think it struck in my back yard.  I quickly shut the door and it shook from thunder.  Then we had a generous downpour.  I realized the crash I heard was thunder, but came out muddled in my dreams.  The storm passed and we've had clouds off and on, so I decided to take a horse for a walk in the desert.  I chose Bombay, because he's been restless, as you can see by the previous post.

When I put the halter on him I saw that his fly mask was missing and he had the mark of Zorro across his face.  He must have found a sharp spot on the fence and scratched the skin right off his face, so I led him to the first aid station and rubbed white wound cream along the Z.   With his white face, the wound was almost invisible.  Then we headed out to the street.  I stopped and looked both ways.  There was some huge vehicle I did not recognize coming up the street.  It looked like it could make a lot of noise, so I opted to cross first rather than wait for it to pass us.  With this being the first time Bombay had been out and away from the barn in months, I didn't trust him to remain calm, cool and collected.

I trotted him through the gate and up the trail head quickly, because I knew the vehicle would have to turn around right at the gate once it hit the dead end.  However, it never drove behind us.  I was curious as to what it was and where it went, so I led Bombay up the trail closest to the street to investigate.  He picked up sticks along the way to ward off stray dogs and coyotes.

His mane is patchy because he's been rubbing it off on fence panels thanks to the mosquitoes.

As we got further up the trail, I discovered that the vehicle was a firetruck and it was parked in front of my neighbors' house.  Of course, as soon as we reached it, it pulled a U-turn right next to us, which was what I was originally trying to avoid.  One fire fighter was walking backwards directing the driver.  Bombay was very interested.

The fire truck driving off was no biggie for him, but then he heard Gabbrielle screaming and he got hyper.  He jigged all the way home.  I tried turning on the radio to drown out her screams, but the app was throwing up some message box I couldn't read.  Then I remembered that I had turned off WiFi to save on battery.  I turned it back on and got the music going, but there's no drowning out the sound of a screaming, herd-bound mare.  Bombay was still dancing and spooking all over the place.  I was constantly swinging the lead rope at him to keep him out of my space, because the last thing I needed was a broken foot from him jumping on it right before riding season.

The sun had come out as soon as we began our hike, and now that we were almost home, the clouds returned.  I wanted to take advantage of the cloud cover and decided to ride Rock in the arena for a little bit.  We made it home and I thought that all was well until Rock walked up to me with a concerned expression on his face.  I knew something was wrong.  I looked down and said, "Gah!"

He had blood squirting out of his leg and a perfect horse hoof shaped cut, fresh as a baby's bottom.  Since Bombay was with me, I knew he couldn't have done it, which means that Gabbrielle did it, probably when she was spazzing out over me taking Bombay away from her.  I locked her up in her stall and sprayed her down with the hose while I filled a water bucket to clean Rock's wound.  Gabbrielle hates getting wet, but I did not care.  If all the training I've been doing to get her to behave hasn't worked, perhaps a cold shower would do the trick.

I cleaned and dressed Rock's wound in front of Gabbrielle, hoping that it might make some kind of impression on her and she might develop some sense of regret or mercy for her victim, but I know horses aren't human.  If anything, she was probably proud of herself.

Rock stood stock still while I rubbed, scrubbed, and sprayed various products on his leg.  I poked a spot above the wound and blood squirted out, so I'm pretty sure she nicked a vein or artery.  I stopped the bleeding with Aluspray and decided that if there was still evidence of bleeding in a few minutes, I'd call the vet for stitches, but the bleeding did stop.

I told Rock to be still for a while, and amazingly, he did not move from the spot where I left him for quite some time, almost as if he understood me... or was simply in too much pain to move.  The whole time I was outside, I kept smelling smoke, so apparently there was something on fire at my neighbor's house.  All the houses on my street are neat and clean except for this one guy who appears to be a hoarder.  His garage is filled to the ceiling with junk and he has shipping containers holding more junk, so there's plenty to catch fire.

My head is back in the space it was at last summer as far as thinking my herd would be better off without Gabbrielle in it.  We own horses so that we can ride them, yet there have been countless times I could not ride one or both of the geldings because Gabbrielle kicked and injured them.  This is deja vu all over again.

The reason why she didn't sell last year was because her price was too high.  I started her out at what I paid for her, which was appropriate for the time and place where I bought her, but way too high for the time and place I want to sell her in, and then I dropped the price by $2,500, but still no takers.  I may have to take a major loss by selling her for next to nothing, but in the long run, she's costing me a lot of money in veterinary supplies and care for the geldings, and I'm having to feed all these horses when I can't ride them.  In the meantime, I'm getting older with health problems that will soon make it impossible for me to ride at all, so I can't afford to lose time at the hands (or hoofs) of Gabbrielle.

I've considered keeping her in a separate turnout, but I've already invested so much money into our horse set up, and it's not just a matter of putting up fencing, but she would need a shelter for shade too.  I'm just not willing to build any more structures on our property.  She's fun to ride through obstacle courses because she's so responsive, but she's awful on the trails without a buddy horse, and trail riding alone is what I like to do.  Her personality and mine don't mix well, so hopefully I can find someone who is a good match for her.


Kathryn Little said...

Ugh that doesn't sound like fun. BAD MARE! I hope you can find a good home for her without taking too much of a loss.

TeresaA said...

That's a hard day for sure. I get wanting to sell Gabrielle. I hope you find a good home for her if you do decide to sell.

Linda said...

Very understandable. There's probably a wonderful home out there for her. Mares can be grumpy!!