Wednesday, March 23, 2011

headless horse(man)

The rain has just not let up. I was away for a few days of crazy storms, and came back to fallen trees, overflowing streams...and a horse who tried to decapitate himself.

I hate getting that call from the barn manager, who usually calls me and starts with "Don't worry, Major is OK." This conversation didn't start like that, so my heart always leaps into my throat. Major had a big gash, blood flow seemed to be slowing, and he was eating and playing. I'm at work, and ask her to make the judgment call, "Does it need stitches and/or the vet?" She didn't think so. I'd be over there in a couple hours, so I'd evaluate then.

Driving up to the barn I was worrying, and Major was out in the field with everyone. When I caught him he didn't want his throatlatch area touched, and it was hot and swollen. He was also dancing around like an idiot...bad behavior after I'd been gone for four days?

I had just tied him up when it started raining a bit...then the hail started. We don't have a barn, so the wash rack was being pelted. Major was dancing around, the hail was getting worse, and the sky was black. I took him to his shelter where he gratefully calmed down. HE knew the storm was bad! His wound didn't look too serious, so I cleaned it a bit, put some healing lotion and left the racket of the shelter, where the hail was now coming down in 1/4 inch pieces and coating the ground. It wasn't going to let up, and he was now contentedly eating dinner, so I left.

The next day I was able to evaluate a bit better with the swelling gone down. Small tear in the skin seems to be the worst, but the top layer of skin and all the fur is removed for about a 3x8 inch area, like he tried to skin himself. Have no idea where or how he managed it, the barn manager thinks maybe on his gate, and Major does tend to be very curious...and it got him in trouble this time.

I won't be able to ride until it is pretty well healed, as it is right where the bridle throatlatch sits. We are still getting pounded by storms, so I expect some good long walks and walking through mud puddles in my future. It is a good time to bond and work on groundwork!

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