A First Time for Everything

So the last few days have been busy at the barn. Between the arrival of five new horses, an emergency vet visit, and the subsequent stall rest, I’ve been spending quite a lot of time at the barn.

Our truck went into the shop last week for damage from Jason hitting his third deer since August, so we were roughing it with one car this weekend. Of course this was also Jason’s weekend to work, so that meant I was left without a car after 4pm. My mom went with me to the barn on Saturday. She recently got a new camera, and wanted to practice taking pictures of a moving target. I also wanted more pictures of me riding, so it worked out. I haven’t had a chance to get these pictures from her yet due to the one car thing plus the rest of the events from Sunday. Until then, I stole this cute one from her facebook.

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Trotting on the “buckle” around Robin.

Well Sunday started out uneventfully enough. L’s father decided it would be a great day to haul horses with a trailer that he borrowed. So they unloaded the first three: Jethro (19 yr old Arab), Star (19 yr old ASBXArab), and Special (20something-L knows, I fail at remembering- yr old Quarab). Robin and Copper greeted them over the fence with mixed expressions varying from Copper’s pinned ears to Robin’s curious expression. They eventually all started grazing in their respective fields. Comically enough, Russell took his secret passage (there is a missing piece of a board in the back fence that he loves to utilize) into the field the new geldings were in and got their attention quickly. They followed him around for a while before I saved him from their curiosity and put him in the barn.

L left to get the remaining two horses as everyone was chill at the barn. Paige, Kricket and Blondie were still out in the far pasture, but we anticipated they’d just sniff the new geldings over the fence as well. I went inside and cleaned up some, brought Copper in and groomed him since he’s shedding like crazy. I turned him back out and continued poking around at things in the barn. I was putting off cleaning tack, but that is what I really needed to be doing. I looked out the door and saw Paige and Blondie looking longingly over the fence at the geldings and noticed that Copper and Robin were peacefully grazing up the hill. I watched for a few minutes longer as L’s geldings approached the mares. Copper was obviously watching as well because he launched into a canter when he saw the geldings approaching and, in what seemed to be slow motion, cantered through the fence. His hind leg got hung in the woven wire and he shook it free as I stood helplessly watching. Once he was untangled I grabbed Paige’s halter (the first I found) and ran outside to grab him to assess the damage.

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I think he was  partially in shock. Once he was through the fence he just stood there like, “crap, that wasn’t as majestic as I anticipated. This is embarrassing.” Kudos to L’s geldings who ran to the other side of the field and watched from a distance as I caught and brought the embarrassed Copper into the barn. He walked in sound and was reasonably calm. Blood was dripping from his chest and his knee, but the back leg looked to be the least of my worries despite the fact that it had gotten hung in the fence. I called the vet as soon as I got in the barn. He would be there in an hour (the amount of time it takes him to drive from home). I tied Copper in the barn and ran out with a piece of plywood to cover the hole in the fence as another horse would’ve been able to literally step over what was left and walk into the next field. The last thing I needed was another one getting tangled in wire. L arrived with the next two horses (Cartier, an ASB mare and Rumor, an ASB gelding) and brought them in the barn at my request. The herd outside had gotten stirred up when they heard the trailer roll in and had subsequently made Copper anxious. I was hoping to avoid stirring the horses outside by having the two newest arrivals in the barn with him until he was sedated. I ended up getting Copper calmed down with the inferior grain that he refused to eat the other day when TSC was out of Ultium. Having food to put in his mouth and drop on the ground apparently put him at ease. L’s dog enjoyed the grain Copper dropped though and Copper finally settled down and stood quietly while I groomed him.

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Just some rearranged skin luckily.

By the time the vet arrived, my mom had brought me lunch and I was less worried about Copper’s chest wound, and had texted A pictures of his knee. A bragged on our vet and said he should be able to patch him up fine, and predicted that Copper would be stall kept and covered in a huge bandage by the end of the day. Spoiler alert-she was right. Doc came in the barn to look at the wounds and remembered that Copper is basically a kite when the vet is in the barn, so he turned around and came back with a big vial of the fastest working sedative I’ve seen in my life. Getting the needle in his vein was the hardest part (as expected), especially since Copper wasn’t really in the mood for our shenanigans. Basically my vet is a pro at darts. It felt like he launched the needle into Copper’s neck from a distance (in reality the distance may have been two inches, but it was impressive to watch). Once stuck, Copper is generally less flightly. It is all the anticipation of it. So Doc took the needle and steered it a fuzz to the right, and bam, the syringe filled with blood. That’s one of the best things to see when you’re holding the Copperbeast for the vet-trust me. Vial fills with blood-Sarah exhales in relief. Within a minute, Copper’s head was hanging and he was resting his forehead against my leg. Doc came back in and cleaned the injuries thoroughly then blocked the leg injury so that Copper wouldn’t feel anything. He just put a single stitch in the chest injury, but the one on the inside of Copper’s knee took a bit more work. After the stitches were in, Doc wrapped Copper up in what would look like a cast to non-horse people and said to leave it on there as long as Copper left it alone.  He also said that the stitches could come out in two weeks, and that Copper needed to be on stall rest and hand walked.

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“I have made a horrible mistake, my friends are playing with new friends without me.”

Luckily all of my horses are calm stalled as long as they have a buddy. On Sunday night I brought Paige in to stay with Copper since I’m monitoring her to see when she comes in heat (you know, so I can have the vet come visit again). Blondie missed Paige fiercely and ran around the barn and neighed frantically for a while without any response from Paige. Copper neighed to Robin, who neighed back. I made them deal with the arrangement for 24 hours since Copper was just neighing occasionally and Paige was completely unconcerned. Since Copper prefers Robin, I brought her in prior to riding Paige on Monday and left her in so that Paige would be able to meet the new horses. Robin is very neat in a stall, so it was partially a selfish decision.

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After stitches. The red on his sock is the cleaning solution the vet used-not blood. Sorry for the dark picture.

Copper’s bandage still looks 100% fine, though a little dusty. He laid down at some point Sunday night because he was covered in shavings Monday morning, but that’s typical for him when stall kept. He’s always enjoyed napping in stalls when he has the opportunity. He’s also pretty happy that I needed to go to TSC to get shavings for the stalls because they had Ultium back in stock. So one thing went right for him on Sunday.

Luckily this has been the only dramatic instance since L brought her horses Sunday. Everyone else is 100% more interested in grazing and sticking to their original herds, made complicated only by the fact that I keep pulling my mares in to hang out with Copper. I’m super glad that all three of my guys enjoy being in for the most part.

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Chest after one stitch.

So now we wait two weeks for the stitches to come out. Did I mention I was hoping to try our first western dressage outing at the end of May? Yeah. I don’t know if that is happening now. :/ If so, it will likely have to be with Paige, which wasn’t really my game plan, but we’ll see. With the extra vet bill, I’m not sure I’ll be able to have the work done on the trailer I wanted prior to hauling. Boo vet bills. My vet did seem impressed that I haven’t had a horse require stitches in 10 years. So that’s something?