Saturday, December 23, 2017

nails on chalkboard

My first real job as a teenager - the first one where I drew an actual official paycheck with taxes withheld and the whole nine yards - was at my first barn. It was a small, fairly isolated place owned and operated by an extremely old school horsewoman who was fiercely protective of her fuzzy wonderful sainted lesson ponies.

She had a very strict view of her world's order, and was convinced that not only was her way the right way, but it was the only way. While I didn't learn much about the wider world of horses outside of the universe at her barn, she did teach us an awful lot about horse care and management.

dis how dark legged horses tell you there's a problem
Just like at any barn, our horses there had their own share of random accidents and injuries, ranging from benign to fairly catastrophic.

One instance that will always stay in my memory was a morning when every herd in every field seemed to be lit up. Like they all had the wind up their collective butts. Esp the adjacent mares and school pony fields - they were just running around like loons. Pretty innocently tho, it seemed, so we let them be.

seems innocent enough
Later, after things had quieted, I went out to grab Penny for a lesson. She had been running around earlier but stood politely for me to catch her. Nothing seemed amiss. Except.... I noticed some drops of blood on her hoof. Further investigation found a somewhat minor but very fresh wound on her cannon. And.... she was lame.

but what the fuck charlie?!? this was embedded in his pastern
That was one of the longest walks of my life - leading her up the hill out of her low lying pasture (by a stream bed for water) and up to the arena so the owner could examine her. Penny was a champ - she never fought being asked to move. But it was slow going.

wahl mini cordless clippers = useless + will be returned
It turned out she had fractured a hind leg. Who knows how.. she never told us. Luckily for all involved, it was not a fore leg, and she was a reasonable patient. Not the best patient in the whole world.... but she accepted her fate of being consigned to stall rest for a very long time. And - miraculously - made a full recovery.

still looks remarkably innocent tho for that blood and the goddamn mini spike
Ever since then, tho, I always feel a spike in heart rate whenever I see blood on a hoof. Sometimes it's just innocent droplets form when the flies and gnats are savaging a horse's belly. Every now and then, tho, it speaks to a worse injury.

hard to even see the spot where the barb was buried
Charlie didn't say a word about feeling ouchy anywhere as I brought him in from the field (in daylight! on a warm day! for us to have FUN and JUMP THINGS! on my first of FIVE DAYS OFF!!). Nor did he fuss as I brushed around his legs. But.... then I saw that bloody hoof and just fucking knew he had done some shit. Ugh.

lacerations seem superficial. i'm not even sure why they bled so much, and how the blood splattered where it did
My immediate gut feeling was that he had done a Dino and lacerated all around his pastern. Initial poking and prodding supported this, since the area was crusted with blood. I went to gather my supplies: hot water, betadine scrub, sponges, etc; and set in to clean this puppy up and see what we were dealing with.

there's the one and only puncture. appears to have gone sideways instead of deep in toward the joint. praise be.
But my heart just about stopped when I felt something hard and metallic on the back of his pastern. It slid out easily enough, tho -- what appeared to be a bent nail. Or perhaps a broken off barb from barbed wire? I'll probably never know for sure, bc Charlie's staying mum about the whole thing, but based on the lacerations and suspicious metal object, I'm guessing he somehow stepped in some old barbed wire somewhere. It's an old farm. Who knows what's out there.

charlie, for his part, was very nonchalant about the whole thing
In any case, the resulting puncture in close proximity to a joint immediately set off every alarm bell and red flag in my mind, and I called the vet. Who talked me off the ledge, saying that Charlie's soundness and complete lack of any type of reaction suggested we probably escaped a serious injury here.

lacerations covered with liquid bandage, puncture left open
She instructed me to clip the area and clean it up really well, and send pictures. I was directed to pull apart the edges of every lacerations looking for other holes, and spray everything that didn't have a puncture with liquid bandage. The only puncture was where the barb had been, and it seemed to go sideways instead of deep in toward the joint. Thank fucking god.

mmmmm drugs
So now Charlie is back on yet another course of antibiotics and a "wait and see" protocol. He got to return to his field on this day bc it was pretty dry out, but stayed in today bc of rain and mud.

"you mean that's it, no ride??"
It's hard to believe but he might actually be totally 100% fine -- the lacerations are all very superficial and that puncture seems to have not actually gone anywhere. Just a big, spiky splinter. In my mind, an ideal situation would be for the puncture to split open so the whole thing can air out and heal more quickly.

"bye felicia!"
Naturally I was pretty disappointed - again - bc, you guessed it, I had plans and stuff for this weekend. Five days off from work, and all my holiday stuff is local. And of course the weather is turning to true winter this coming week, but today and yesterday were in the 50s. Goddammit, Charlie.

"cute how you planned a five day weekend full of riding, haha. hahaha."
He, however, seemed quite tickled with himself lol. Got to come in from the field, get loved on a fussed over with lots and lots of treats to encourage him to keep being a good quiet boy, a whole extra meal (laced with all them drugs he never seems to notice), and then back out to his friends again! All with no riding!

Sometimes, I swear, he does this shit on purpose. Oh well tho, I can't help but feel grateful that the injury wasn't worse. And am hoping there aren't any complications with it healing. Wish us luck haha! And in the meantime I hope everyone is having a safer start to a holiday weekend, whether you're celebrating or not.


31 comments:

  1. Oh man, I’m sorry. I’m glad he seems to be okay, but you need a break from the injuries!

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    1. i'm glad he's ok too.... but the timing just freakin kills me ugh haha

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    1. that is indeed the truth. good thing he's cute!

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  3. Dang it Charles!! Best wishes for speedy, uncomplicated healing!

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    1. thank you! my fingers are crossed!

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  4. oh f^%*. That is enough Charlie. And also, now I am freaked out about every wound I never explored in full detail...

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    1. ugh yea this one really was the one that keeps on giving too - i found another puncture today up closer to the sesamoids. again, it *appears* to not be serious. but like. for fucks sake.

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  5. Holy shit, I'm freaking out for you! SO SO glad it seems to be pretty minor. Everything crossed it stays that way!!

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    1. yea seriously. like. wire and barbs and little pieces of metal that slice and dice have NO BUSINESS anywhere near any horse's legs, like.... ever. and yet, so far we seem ok. thank god!

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  6. OMG Charlie! That is very lucky that it wasn't more serious though.

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    1. yea there really isn't a lot of extra space or room for error in that particular area of anatomy either. so far so good, tho!

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  7. Charlie!!!Wow. I can't believe you found a barb in his pastern. That is crazy. Honestly, I would have FREAKED out. Im glad he is doing ok and I'm sorry he ruined your fun plans. CHARLIE!!!

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    1. yea i mean, i was not exactly the calmest being as i sat there dumbfounded, trying to process this spike of metal i just pulled out of my horse's leg. bc.... yea, that's generally very bad news. sigh.

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  8. NO, Charlie! Come one!

    100% agree on that clipper review, btw, I bought a pair for things like trimming fetlocks and they are garbage.

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    1. ugh yea i am so weirdly disappointed in those little clippers. they really let me down in a time of need too, which like... did not help me feel any more zen about getting my horse taken care of!

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    1. right???? he's so smug right now too. ugh.

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  10. Charlie, Charlie, Charlie, you are not playing fair. At all!

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    1. seriously. he would argue that at least it doesn't appear to be serious, but like.... c'mon dude!

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  11. Puncture wounds definitely get my heart racing... glad it was nothing more serious, but what crappy timing:( Charlie looks damn sexy in his fresh clip!

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    1. Ugh a puncture into a joint is basically my worst nightmare. I probably won't rest easy for another couple days until we can confirm that's not the case here!!

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  12. Charlie is just getting this crap out of the way in the first year of having him so that the next 10 will be smooth sailing. Glad it wasn’t anything worse but come on Charlie! Give Emma a break!

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    1. Ugh I seriously hope you're right. I would be very fine with an extended period of no dings on Le King please!!!!

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  13. omg CHARLES IN CHARGE WTF> UGH I saw that first photo and went shit this is not just a recap of Emma's past job LOL NOPE Charlie managed to ding himself again. What a brat!! It is like he KNOWS HA. I Hope he is back to normal asap. (It was 67 here today at my dad's too bad my horse is up 3 hours north, right? :).

    What a bad boy (He does look sharp all clipped!)

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    1. Charles is Too Fucking in Charge and needs to remember that maybe I'm supposed to be the boss here!! And I say no more stupid injuries please!!! Can we at least get like, a six month embargo on all the things??? Plzzz!?!?!?

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  14. Charlieeeeeee!!!! Nooooooooo!!!!! You need to demagnetize him so future metal barbs won't find him!!!! lol ;) Hope he keeps healing well and at least the weather turns to shit so you aren't missing out on much?

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    1. Ha I wonder if there are turnout boots with like.... Negative polarity to repel metallic objects???? LOL.... Seriously tho I honestly hope you are wrong about the weather - I've already missed three months, there's no comfort (cold or otherwise) in missing more time.

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  15. Oh, Charlie! Fingers crossed youre both back in action before the holidays are over.

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  16. Omg this gave me heart palpitations reading it! Knock it off Charlie!

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