Thursday, February 8, 2018

like a shot in the arm

Or like a nail in the hoof?? Idk... I think I'm getting my metaphors confused and mixed up....

Charlie and I had a great lesson yesterday. I'll probably write more about it soon (it's worth documenting) but it ended abruptly with the world's most unlucky hoof fall. Charlie somehow found a 4" nail with his RH. The nail is likely an artifact of all the construction that's been going on with our indoor over the past month or two.

houston, we have a problem.
In fact, as best I can tell, based on the location where he picked it up (bc, uh, yea he was instantly crippled even tho I wasn't able to pull him up for a few more strides.....) the nail has probably been lying in wait for a while.

Why Charlie, of all horses, had to be the one to find it is beyond me.

fucking christ
Actually we couldn't even figure out what was up at first - he was just suddenly very, very lame. Once I got him stopped it seemed like he was maybe kicking at his belly. I wondered if he was cramping up or colicking maybe?? Trainer K thought maybe his stifle locked, and he was extremely reactive to any touching or prodding.

It didn't take long, tho, to find the source of Charlie's extreme angst: a giant goddamn nail embedded in his hoof. Actually, it took way longer to even get the thing out of there (no way in hell was I gonna wait to pull it so we could x-ray. the last thing I wanted was the nail going any deeper if Charlie stepped hard on it.).

the foam is hydrogen peroxide. the dark brown stuff is blood.
About an inch of nail was embedded in the hoof, and it spurted blood immediately upon us finally getting it out of the hoof (which... again... took a while even with tools. Charlie was.... very unhappy throughout this process).

The blood is a good sign. Another good sign? The nail appears to have been angled underneath the shoe in the direction of Charlie's hoof wall. As opposed to... say.... his coffin joint. Or navicular bursa. Or the deep digital flexor tendon.

Fuck it, take your pick. There are literally so many really fragile, delicate, but oh-so-important structures inside the hoof.

see? blood. ugh...
A third good sign? Once we got the nail out, Charlie was instantly more comfortable. Clearly sore, but no longer three-legged lame. He was weight bearing and easily walked out of the indoor into the attached barn aisle for us to flush it out and get a temporary wrap on it for the long walk down the driveway to our own lower barn. 

I also used this time to call the vet, who will be looking at the horse at some point today. She determined it did not merit an emergency visit since, without the nail still being in the hoof, she couldn't x-ray to see where it went anyway. And with Charlie walking ok, we had every indication that the nail somehow did not injure any of those critical structures inside the hoof.

Obvi, fingers crossed there. We'll know more after the vet looks at him today, and gauges his degree of lameness etc. 

only a fraction of the supplies...
So.... Initial consensus is that we dodged a bullet. That perhaps, this is the best case scenario of giant-fucking-nail-in-hoof that you can have. That maybe, somehow, we got lucky. The thing is, tho... The thing is, I really don't feel lucky. If anything, I feel the opposite of lucky.

flying pig duct tape. bc pigs will fly when charlie can go longer than six weeks without some horrifying injury.
But Charlie needed my attention, so Emma's pity party #1879 had to be put on temporary hold.

Instructions for once we got back down to his barn were:
- Scrub as much mud off the hoof as possible (I rinsed in a bucket of cold water and scrubbed with a stiff brush)
- Epsom soak with hot water for ~10min
- Flush with betadine using a syringe (note to self: buy one of those long curved tip syringes)
- Pack with poultice or magic cushion. I used poultice since that's what I have.
- Wrap hoof. I did a gauze pad first to hold in the poultice, then vet wrap, then a piece of feed bag to keep his toe from wearing through, then duct tape. (note to self: buy more duct tape)
- Give that pony some bute.

i still love him tho :(
And now we wait. To hear from the vet. To see if Charlie spikes a giant fever or goes very lame. Or if the thing will abscess. It's hard to tell whether he'll need stall rest or for how long, since the ground is so wet and muddy right now. 

But for now, I'm tamping down the urge to panic with the idea that.... Charlie's probably going to be fine. The puncture's location seems promising, as does his level of comfort on the foot. 

Dammit, tho. Just... Dammit.

82 comments:

  1. So. Goddamn. Scary. Thinking about you guys today!

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  2. Fuck Emma. I’d be losing my mind. Poor Charlie. I hope the vet gives him a shot of penicillin. I hope the barn goes over the ring with a metal detector. Mostly I hope that this is just a couple days of worry.

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    1. I hope so too. All of the above basically. I had been a bit paranoid about nails but figured the guys doing the construction have horses too (Amish) and would be careful. It's easy to miss a dropped nail tho...

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  3. Noooo 😭 how absolutely terrifying. Hopefully the vet report today is good (as good as it can be with 4 inch nail in the hoof I mean ), and that it heals in a straightforward manner. Y'all just can't catch a break 😳

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    1. It certainly feels that way sometimes. The vet honestly didn't seem particularly worried when I talked to her. My hope is that we will basically end up treating this like a giant nasty blown abscess. That heals fine.

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  4. This exact same thing happened to my friend! She was cantering along in our indoor and all the sudden her horse was bucking like he's never bucked before. Nail in the hoof! We yanked it out right away, too. Her horse was fine. I bet Charlie will be, too. Fingers crossed!!

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    1. Ugh so awful for your friend too. Nothing quite strikes panic to the heart like a goddamn nail in your horse's hoof... That's reassuring that her horse was fine tho. I'm hoping the same for chuck.

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  5. Charlie. Can you just, like, not?

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  6. OMG I just scared my dogs out of their naps screaming WHAT THE F out loud. My dad has a saying if it was raining soup we would be running around with forks. That kind of sums up Charlie. HOW scary this must have been. AND Of all horses CHARLIE found the needle (nail) in the haystack (arena). I am glad you got it out and he was more comfy immediately. HOPEFULLY all will be okay. Bless him. AND JEEZ Emma. I hope you had a drink (Or several)last nite. I Think you need a few. OMG i am thinking of you today and the vet visit. Hopefully will heal up quick and all will be forgotten (I Hate construction my tires are like charlie and pick up all the nails, like magnets LOL)...ugh...

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    1. It figured it would be Charlie tho, right? Nvm that we were the third back to back lesson in a row, and that we had been among six other horses in the same ring the night before, and that the nail was right along the rail where every horse goes. It just figures that charlie would find it. At least tho assuming nothing gets complicated it won't be as costly of a misstep as needing a new tire! Just might take a little longer...

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  7. Ugh, if it makes you feel better my first horse came in from the pasture with a nail in his hoof back in my young and clueless days and it turned out just fine. I can't even remember what we did other than just pull it out!
    Hoping this is just a tiny blip on the radar for you and Charlie!

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    1. Thanks, and yea that's my general impression from nails in hooves. It's either.... Kinda just like a draining abscess. Or it's real real bad. And theoretically the horse should tell you pretty quickly which way it's gonna go. Theoretically.

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  8. OMG! Keeping all my crossables crossed for a (relatively speaking) good report from the vet <3

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    1. thank you! i'm also hoping for a good report from her, and with each day continuing with no complications!

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  9. UGH - I feel your pain! I sent you an email. Fingers and toes crossed for a great outcome for you and Sir Charles!

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    1. got your email :( these horses, ugh. they drive me crazy. we all must be totally mad to be so invested in this hobby....

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  10. OMG. CHARLES. Enough with this bad luck! Ugh!!! Emma, girl, I'm thinking about you two today. I hope the vet says it's all gonna be okay and very minimal time off! I love the duct tape.

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    1. the duct tape is actually from the care package Teresa S (eventing saddlebred style) sent me a while back when i had my first epic meltdown about isabel's stopping problem. there was also liquor and chocolate (and ear plugs to drown out the nasty rail birds lol). it's been a useful care package lol. thanks tho, i'm hoping for minimal time off too!

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  11. Yikes!! Lots and lots of thoughts coming your way today. Hopefully he magically missed all the important stuff, and will be back to 100% very soon!
    P.S. I need me some of that duct tape...

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    1. so far it seems like he missed the big stuff, tho i honestly haven't laid eyes on him today so have no idea whether he's any more or less crippled than when i tucked him in with extra hay and carrots last night....

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  12. Oh my lord!!! That is so scary! I hope it is just a little blip and he is back to being A-OK soon!

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    1. thanks, it's definitely like... the last thing in the world you ever want to see stuck in your horse's foot.... somehow tho, Le King of Dings appears to have made lemonaide out of it instead of like... actually dying or whatever. sigh.

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  13. OMG What on earth!?! Poor Charlie :(

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    1. he was VERY UNHAPPY with the situation, let me tell you. very very very insistent that we FIX THIS RIGHT NOW BUT OW STOP TOUCHING IT THO!!!!

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  14. Holy f%^*ing matza balls. just. no. So sorry Emma. Fingers crossed he'll be fine. I hope someone is taking a metal detecter to the fecking arena.

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    1. i hope so too. ugh. i kinda feel bad for being the shrill one sounding all the alarms... but seriously, if there's an issue charlie will apparently find it himself with all his soft squishy bits (and occasionally his hard keratin nubs too....). i feel like i'm constantly having to warn barn staff about all of the ways charlie could kill himself:

      "omg, his feed has to be soaked or he'll choke on his alfalfa pellets and die!"

      "omg you can't put charlie in any stall that doesn't have a yoke door bc he'll weave and break his splint bone and die!"

      "omg charlie can't be turned out in bell boots longer than 12hrs or he'll get rubs and then cellulitis and then die!!"

      "omg you need to go through every millimeter of that indoor with a fine tooth comb or charlie's gonna find literally the only nail in there and puncture his hoof and then probably impale his own heart in the resulting flail fest and then DIE!"

      ugh.... it's getting old.

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  15. Nooooo!!!! Bad Charlie!!!! You need your injury magnet demagnetized Charlie!!!!

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    1. could you please send instructions on the injury demagnetization process for us asap????? i think his is stuck on overdrive :(

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  16. Man - I am so sorry. :( You can't seem to catch a break on this sort of shit. I'm hoping for a quick recovery.

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    1. seriously. fingers crossed we escaped anything really bad this time around...

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  17. God DAMN! Gah Charles, you have the worst effing luck! I will be thinking about you today - I hope that he's better and the vet says it's just a flesh wound. I know the feeling of them being suddenly 3-legged in a lesson (that's a fun story, not) but then to find that horrific THING in the foot? Ack. Yeah, I hope that there were some adult beverages in play last night. Fingers crossed and good vibes being sent for an uneventful vet visit and QUICK recovery!

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    1. ugh i HATE that feeling of riding around then, *boom* horse is suddenly crippled. it's the worst, such a sinking feeling! hopefully it will be just a flesh wound after all tho. or... like, a "wall" wound. there was a substantial length of nail gouged into the horse, but i'm hoping the angle of the puncture will play in our favor and it was more sideways than deep??? maybe??? pretty please??????

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    2. Like the time in our lesson a few months ago where Duke stumbled hard behind and started floundering. I hopped off as quick as I could with nightmare visions of the day he broke himself. Nope, this time he had has hind leg locked up and out behind him. Not the stifle the leg was bent. WTF horse?! He was find after a moment but very ouchy. So very scary and weird. Fingers crossed and crossed again for a wall wound! Hoping for a positive update!

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    3. omg Duke. you gotta stop that, buddy!!! you're only allowed *one* horrifying moment of pulling up critically lame in your lifetime!!!! :( glad he was ok after that, i'm pretty sure i'd be traumatized for life if stuff like that kept happening!

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    1. this horse has the sickest sense of humor. or really has quite the way about ending a lesson on his terms. blargh.

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  19. CHARLIE!!! What are you doing to poor Emma?! They better be going over that arena with a metal detector. Of course, Charlie is the one to find it though, right? Ugh. Get better soon because the spring season is about to start!!

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    1. of course it was charlie. who else could do such a fine job but charlie?!? the vet's consensus is that he's either gonna be 100% fine tomorrow, or like, 100% dead. probably fine tho. ugh.

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  20. NO. I'm so sorry, how utterly terrifying. I'm so glad the vet isn't worried and have all my appendages crossed that this is just a blip. :(

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    1. the vet was like "if it were my horse i would be totally panicking, tbh. charlie seems fine tho!" the king of the dings strikes again. ugh.

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  21. Oh goodness. That stinks, crossing fingers hard for an uncomplicated recovery. As a side note, once upon a time I was a barn manager and found a nail in the indoor footing. I rented one of those giant magnets and found about a pound of metal objects in and around the arena, probably buried in the footing since they built the thing. Just mentioning it, because it might be worth a try there for peace of mind.

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    1. yea my first barn had dirt aisles (as opposed to concrete or pavers or mats) and after every time the farrier was there, they'd go through with this GIANT magnet hung on some baling twine. just swinging it slowly back and forth across the whole area like a pendulum, picking up anything that might have been dropped. painstaking work but worth it! it only takes *one* nail for a catastrophe...

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  22. That sounds awful. I'm thinking of Charlie and a speedy recovery!!

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  23. What the fuckkkk, Charlie!!! Get your life together for two seconds, bro. I'll be thinking of you guys today, hope it's good news from the vet!

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    1. ugh seriously. honestly the vet seems optimistic. like maybe our biggest concerns at this point are infection or possible eventual abscess. bc the fucker somehow got a 4" nail in his goddamn hoof and missed literally all the important stuff. idk how he does it.

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  24. Oh my goodness. I am so sorry! SERIOUSLY, CHARLIE? Fingers crossed the vet has good news.

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    1. so far things seem probably ok. mostly just gotta wait and see if it gets angry.... sigh.

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  25. Sweet baby cheezits, this SUCKS. As someone who has been there and done that (Taran stepped on a nail in 2011 and put it through his coffin AND navicular joints) it's super shitty and SUCKS. I'd ask your vet to do a dye trace on the puncture spot and then treat that shit aggressively. Feel free to PM me if you want any details about what we did, but I'd just make sure your vet is ALL over it. Scary stuff, and I've got all my appendages crossed for you and Charlie.

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    1. thanks :( and honestly Taran was the first horse that came to mind when i saw that nail. esp bc charlie was very hot from our lesson and started sweating even more, and with the cold temperatures i worried about him getting shock-y and or colicking. once we had the nail out tho he relaxed considerably and was basically 100% comfortable within the hour. so far we have no reason to believe that any of his joints, bones or structures are affected bc the horse is essentially sound. idk how he manages to do such scary shit and come out relatively unscathed, but he appears to have done exactly that.

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  26. Holy CRAP, how terrifying! Poor Charles, I'm glad he was much more comfortable after it was pulled so fingers crossed tightly no other damage was done.

    Contractors....UGH

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    1. that's the hope - that his comfort upon getting the nail out suggests he's probably ok. he's not exactly what you would call "stoic" so i fully expect him to tell me if the hoof starts buggin him again tho. fingers crossed!

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  27. It's almost like Sir Charles is a magnet for this stuff. Gah, how frustrating!! Almost like *of COURSE* he'd find the only nail in the arena...

    Fingers are crossed for a speedy and uncomplicated recovery <3 Thinking of you guys.

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    1. it really does feel that way sometimes. like, i've actually kept the various metal spiky objects i've retrieved from his limbs and am now wondering whether i need to make some sort of voodoo or bad juju or talisman type object out of them to ward of further evils????? or maybe actually to keep his good luck rolling bc somehow despite being punctured by these very objects, he appears to have escaped any serious injury?!?

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    2. I feel like you could almost complete a treasure hunt with the random objects, lol. Horses - always trying to kill themselves and always finding new ways to get injured. -_-

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    3. seriously tho!! maybe i'll have to put together like... a family album of said random objects lol

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  28. Huge pity party allowed. Fingers crossed that when the vet looks at it she finds whatever the hell the best case scenario for a nail in the foot could be.

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    1. thanks :( to my best understanding, the "best case scenario" is that it basically functions the same as a draining abscess tract and fills in on its own. and if the nail was as angled as we think it was, it might not have even gotten very deep in the soft squishy bits of charlie's hoof, and so should not take long to heel. provided it keeps clean and doesn't get infected and actually become an abscess....

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  29. Maybe shot to the heart is an appropriate line. Plus then we get to have Bon Jovi stuck in our head all day.

    Oh Charlie :( I'm glad it was simple and the best case scenario for such a shitty thing to happen. There was a year where my car was consistently finding nails all over the world. At least with cars you can replace the tire but still, extreme fucking hassle.

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    1. ha, "shot to the heart" sounds about right to me, and now i'm kicking myself for missing out on that reference lol.

      but yea. killing a tire with a nail is definitely also way up there on the "hassle" list (not to mention the expenses...). tho at least you don't usually end up worrying about whether it'll actually disrupt the car's entire life and future. but... thankfully we don't seem to be in that melodramatic situation for charlie.

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  30. HOLY MOTHER!! I would've had a total freak out over that one. I'm glad that things are looking up and will cross all the things that it will end up being nothing. Eek.

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    1. yea.... it was not the easiest moment for keeping my composure, tbh. bc i really just wanted to curl up or have a tantrum. but i was also legit worried about charlie colicking so.... had to stay focused (until i got in my car to drive home, obvi). but so far? things continue to look up. idk how. but i'm just gonna roll with it.

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  31. That's terrifying. Fingers crossed he ends up being okay.

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    1. yea seeing a nail stuck in my horse's hoof is prettttttttty high on my "NOPE" list... and yet.... so far the horse does in fact appear to be ok. go figure.

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  32. Oh god that is awful, poor guy!! Thank goodness for your quick thinking! Fingers, toes and eyeballs crossed for a speedy recovery!!!

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    1. thanks - it honestly felt like it was happening in slow motion. like "wtf is my horse doing right now??? OH. he's SUPER LAME. got it."

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  33. Oh my god! Poor Charlie and poor you! Fingers crossed for a speedy recovery. Maybe time to borrow a metal detector and scan the ring, yikes!

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    1. yea apparently they had been sweeping the arena with magnets at the end of each day during construction... but some things just slip through. then routine harrowing or ring grooming can bring stuff back up to the surface. my paranoia is increasing right now lol

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  34. AHH CHARLIE, really?! Hope things go well today. Super scary stuff.

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    1. definitely scary :( somehow tho he seems to be ok! just don't ask me how....

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  35. OH MY GOD WHAT??!!Oh no, Charlie! Ugh, I am crossing my fingers so hard for you guys. My heart just about stopped when I saw the first pic of the nail is his foot... I am so sorry. That is absolutely so scary. From what you said it sounds like he'll be okay if out for a bit again, but....omg damn.

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    1. thanks :( the craziest thing tho? if he is actually fine -- which does in fact appear to be the case -- he might not even be out very long at all. i seriously don't understand how this horse manages to do this stuff to himself and walk away basically OK. and yet, here we are. biggest concern at this point is, wait for it, an *abscess.* which like. ok. i can live with that.

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  36. You have like the unluckiest most accident prone horse on the planet. He'd better be glad he's cute and jumps well.

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    1. i legit don't even know how he manages to keep getting into situations like this. sometimes i even wonder if he does it on purpose.... like he likes the attention or something sick like that???

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  37. Just when you think you're safe again in the water. Damnit that really sucks. Fingers crossed that everything is okay and it's just a slight hiccup. Double dog damnit.

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  38. JESUS CHRIST, CHARLIE!!! Give your mom a break!!!!! Crossing my fingers for you guys for a speedy recovery.

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  39. this happened to me once - i had a horse on trial for 2 weeks and DAY 3 he stepped on a nail.

    i think i might invest in some kind of soaking boot, for all the time i spend soaking with epsom salts.

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  40. OMG Charlie! (Sorry family in town just catching up on reading now...) I'm glad it wasn't worse but OMG!!

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  41. I am just getting to read stuff, and omg, Charlie!! I'm glad it doesn't look like a worst case scenario. Heal up quick buddy!

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