Friday, February 17, 2012

The Family

It has not been a great horse week for me. It all started on Monday afternoon when I received a call that one of my young horses had been hurt. I have horses up at Terrie's and then a group at my parents' house. My folks only live a few miles away, so I jumped in the truck and blasted over there. Sure enough my big chestnut filly was hurt pretty bad. Long story short, someone did something stupid with her (something I had told them not to ever do--tie horses to a pipe corral). She was tied next to her sister who is also three as they were being blanketed. Dogs came around the corner out of the bushes and spooked them. One pulled back and as you can imagine so did the other and apparently chaos ensued. My Bronte girl tried to go forward and jump the pipe, my Mia girl kept pulling back and fortunately came out of the halter, but Bronte got hung up in the pipes. All four legs are pretty beaten up and I am extremely fortunate that her canon bone was not fractured, or this post would be a very different one today.

Needless to say, this horse has never been hurt. She has lived a very nice babyhood and I was getting ready to send her to Aunt Terrie's for school (along with her sister). Bronte has also been my shy one and startles easy. I had finally gotten her to a place where she felt some real confidence and now I am having to go back and help quell her anxiety again. But, the real point to this story is what happened in the hours that the vet was with us. My very sweet young mare trusted us both completely--yes she was sedated but not heavily. She needed stitches, x-rays, a Tetanus shot, wraps--the works (you don't even want to guess how much this is costing). She would get a bit twitchy and nervous and I just kept telling her how brave and strong she is. I tapped her forehead and kept that motherly voice going and my girl relaxed. My vet even said, "This horse loves and trusts you." Now, I know I say that I don't pick favorites but this baby happens to be my favorite one. There is something very special about this horse.

As all of this was going on, her sister Mia was quite concerned and so was the gelding who lives next to them (Mouse). Mouse kept trying to stick his nose out and reach her, checking to see if she was okay. Then, he and Mia would touch noses and have a conversation about it. The horses in the top barn (Will, Hobbit, and Little Grey) could not see anything but they knew something was going on as whinnies from all three echoed off the mountains around us. I eventually had to go up top and give everyone an extra snack to quiet them down. My neurotic Will had paced himself into a sweat. Seeing and sensing all of this made me further realize something I already knew, but it cemented it for me-- this group of horses is a family. And all horses are emotional, sensitive creatures. They feel pain, they feel worry, they express love and concern, anger and dismay. They work from their heart, and maybe that's why we love them so much. They simply "Get it" way better than most humans do.

I am happy to say that Bronte is healing. She's sound, but has some serious tendinitis at this point. Icing, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories are the protocol, along with 6 weeks of rest and only hand walking, but I am so grateful it wasn't worse. As you can imagine, I have now taken over all horse duties at my parents' place. I feed, I blanket and I turn out. I can't risk losing any of my family, and this week it was just too close.

My Bronte Girl and me
I hope you have a wonderful weekend. Love your animals and your people.



Laura Crum said...

Michele--I hope your girl recovers smoothly and completely. Stuff like this happens with horses--its inevitable--but its no fun when it does. Good wishes to you and your family--human and equine.

RiderWriter said...

I am so sorry Bronte was hurt, glad it wasn't worse and she's going to be okay, and amazed at the reactions of the other horses! I wouldn't have expected the ones in the other barn to know something was going on. How smart they are, and yes indeed, how full of emotion.

(Attention pro-slaughter people: do the cows in another barn get upset when one of their herd is in distress? Didn't think so.)

Hope you and Bronte have a wonderful future together.

Anonymous said...

Very sorry to hear about that, but glad it looks like she's going to OK. It's very scary when a horse member of the family gets badly hurt.

Francesca Prescott said...

I'm sorry to hear your mare was hurt. I hope she heals quickly and thoroughly. Lots of love to you, your family and all your horses.

Alison said...

Michelle, the thing I noticed most about your post was there was no cursing at the person who tied the horses to the pipe corral. I am a wuss about tying horses to ANYTHING. I know that is not practical, but it's a fear of mine.

Good luck with the healing and give all the horses kisses.