Warning: I swear in this one. A lot.
Sometimes, I truly wonder why the ever loving FUCK I continue to bother with horses.
I have come to terms with my decision to find Simba a better match. At the end of the day, he needs a different rider and I need a different horse. It is what it is and now it’s time to focus on helping him be the best horse he can be for his next person.
Of course, just as I finally allow myself some peace over the decision and buckle down on getting him into tip top shape…this happened! *headdesk*
Saturday was a Big Day. I got up, tended to the critters at the house I was house sitting at, tossed my unsuspecting horse on a trailer, plopped him in the middle of a strange new place, threw his tack on, and went for a ride with two strange horses (and D and Tory). It was a lot of sudden stimuli all at once, and I readied myself for an explosion of some sort.
It never came. He was a rockstar. Seriously. I was expecting a fractious, bargey, resistant butthead. I still had some resistance, but it all stemmed from muscle fatigue more than anything else. He was a golden boy — lead, followed, and brought up the caboose, CANTERED (holy bajeepers that is a canter!), walked past some utterly terrifying plastic cows on someone’s lawn (no seriously I was scared and he didn’t even flick an ear), gaited past some people standing on a roof, and walked home on a loose rein. He got uptight over a ridiculously huge farm with weird birds and a bunch of draft horses running around and dogs darting out at us, but seriously? He deserved to get wigged out over that.
|N on Gracie in front, D on Summer next, my aunt on Tory next, and obviously Simba’s blue ears!
I am still blown away by how good he was. He needs some serious muscling before we can roll along with my coworkers’ gaited horses. His hind end is weak so he doesn’t have much power behind just yet. I’m hoping with muscling and work, that will improve and I can avoid pacing quite as much, because my back is certainly paying for it! Other than that, though? Gold star ride.
We got back to my coworker’s barn, untacked the horses, and settled them into the trailer with more hay than they knew what to do with. Simba loaded up without a problem and tucked right in, his fact stuffed in the manger with a look of bliss in his eyes. Good pony!
We went into the house for some lunch and were happily chitchatting. My poor aunt D got a good look into how we spend our days at work, and probably thinks we’re all a bunch of batshit insane, catty horse women (we are) with nothing better to do than gossip (we don’t). We were all laughing and juuuust getting ready to head out with my coworker’s son popped his head in.
“Uhh…there’s a horse trying to get out of the trailer…”
Immediate thought? “Oh fuckity fuck fuck it’s Tory.”
We rushed down into the yard and another fellow coworker was standing at my horse’s head as he stood with his front end hanging out of the trailer escape door, looking a little bemused at his entire situation.
Immediate thought? “Oh fuckity fuck FUCK it’s MY GODDAMN HORSE.”
|Yes, I took a picture. It was still funny at this point…
He saw me and he pricked his ears, reaching his nose out towards me slightly.
In my head, I could CLEARLY hear him saying “Maaaahmm…hey maaahhhmm…I done fucked up and I’m stuuuuuck. Maahhhhmm…maaahmmm haaalllpp!!” Goddamnit, horse.
I calmly took the lead rope from C, who was patting Simba on the nose. He blinked at me quietly, and heaved a sigh. Coworker D, Aunt D and N all flitted about trying to figure out what, exactly, to do. It’s not obvious from the image, but Simba had managed to Superman over the TOP of the chest bar and got himself hung up by his hips.
That’s mighty special.
It was quickly determined that we couldn’t get the cotter pin undone with Simba on top of the chest bar the way he was. So, the first idea was to see if he could move himself backwards, even just a bit.
Bad idea. VERY bad idea.
He flailed, limbs flying all about. We all backed away and let him resituate himself. It was far less ideal when he came to rest. I couldn’t see his hind end, but his front end was off the ground completely, and he no longer had any purchase with his front legs. He trembled, huffing a groan that made my hair stand on end. All of his weight was situation on the chest bar now, and not supported by any of his legs. N commented that it might be time to call the fire department. I could not be of any help other than holding his head, so I stood there and stroked his face. For all the drama, he was so, SO good. He sat there quietly while we fussed around him, trying to figure out how to get the damn chest bar dropped.
Just as the decision was made to try and hammer the cotter pin out, Simba’s pain got the better of him and he began thrashing again. Flecks of blood peppered the lip of the trailer, and just as I was thinking “fuck it all, he’s going to break his legs and I’m going to be putting down ANOTHER horse”, he managed to boost himself back up into the trailer so his weight was balanced back on his feet.
Before I knew it, the cotter pin had been hammered out (good, good, GOOD pony for letting us bang something loudly right beside him and he didn’t move a muscle), the chest bar dropped, and my horse was freed. I backed him carefully off the trailer, walked him over to a patch of grass, and began hosing the leg that had blood trickling down the cannon bone and fetlock.
My heart stuck in my throat when Coworker D ran her hand down his right front and noted that it was swollen and hot. Shit, shit, shit. Shit. We hosed it for a good twenty minutes, and N loaned me her standing wraps so he could travel home, and we loaded back up. I fully expected him to balk at getting back in the trailer…
Nope. He toodled right back on like nothing had happened and stuffed his face back in his hay.
*throws hands up in exasperation*
So, home we went and when I pulled him off the trailer. His leg was more of a tree trunk than anything else at that point, so with the advice of Chad the Vet on board, I launched into an intense period of hosing and icing and standing wraps and stall rest for the first 48 hours. He was VERY quiet and subdued the first day — scary quiet — so I knew he wasn’t feeling great. The second day he was feeling less punky, and with the addition of Ice Vibe boots from L, his leg looked better. It’s been a bit of a guessing game, but as of yesterday, things have healed quite well. He’s back out with his buddies, off of the bute (not that he ate much of it), and no more standing wraps at night after he decided to dismantle them with his teeth (that’s when I knew he was feeling better!). He wasn’t ever lame on it, and he walks/gaits/canters on it soundly without any sort of indication
I’m giving him the rest of the week off and if he lunges sound at the end of the weekend, I’ll be starting back up with walking rides. My heart was in my throat for a few days there, but everything seems like it’s going to be a-okay. I have lectured him firmly about trying to Superman out of the trailer…and from now on, we will be SHUTTING the escape door if he’s in there for any length of time. If I have the choice, I will leave him tied to the trailer and/or in a stall, as I’m not risking him having a mental breakdown in there if he feels the need to escape.
Good thing he’s cute, because he’s frigging head saves his neck!!
In other news, I got a little pony ride on this 17.3 hand beastie on Monday:
|Excuse the sweatpants. It was not a “pretend to be a professional” day at work and I said “fuck it imma wear sweatpants”.
This is Raisin. He is big. He also has the smoothest trot I’ve ridden in years. Like, would almost make me consider giving up a gaited horse kind of trot. Getting down was a little special, but it was neat to be on such a big critter after spending so much time on my stocky little Walker! D walked up to grab my phone from me to take some pictures, and she didn’t even remotely come close to the top of her shoulder. I reached down and patted her head without thinking about who I was teasing…thankfully, she laughed instead of smacking me like I deserved!
The weather is starting to get better, so hopefully Simba is okay to start riding again by the end of the weekend. We shall see…!
|Simba and Summer!