Thursday, April 24, 2008

How many accidents could happen here?!

Here we see my precious horse Johnnie willing to risk his neck for a clump of tasty weeds. We were staying at a friend's house on our way to a great horse camping adventure in the Black Hills, and I was a bit less cautious then than I am now. I have learned that Johnnie is both an escape artist and somewhat accident prone and his gates etc. have to be very carefully checked and double fastened. Also, he will grab, chew, and generally raise hell with any object in his vicinity - the world is filled with toys in his opinion. This includes your jacket hanging on a rail, your water bottle, his own reins, anybody's grooming tote, etc. He unties all safety knots and wanders a short distance away from the hitching post, just to show he can.

This leads me to the subject: Pasture Accidents. He has had two serious ones, awful cuts which put his future mobility at risk (possibility of infection). One was a deep cut to the hock which if the joint had become infected, could have ended his useful life. Another was a mystery puncture/tear wound on his right haunch, about 7 inches long and with an equally long "tunnel" inside between the muscle and the skin, just as if he had sat on a metal rod. We have gone over the pastures with a fine tooth comb and in one case we found what he cut himself on - a corrugated metal facing on a run-in shed - but in the other case it is still a mystery.

It is so hard to keep horses safe! Frightening accident stories are all over the internet and they are only the tip of the iceberg of what really goes on in the horse world. Horses are far worse than toddlers in my opinion, if only because they are so freaking strong. I guess we can only pray and try to set things up for safety.


Flying Lily said...

One safety tip I learned on this very trip: When your horse is in a strange paddock, where you don't personally know the gate latches are rock solid, tie a lead rope around the gate and post to form a rope "latch". That way you have 2 lines of defense for the Houdini horse!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

I swear some horses can hurt themselves in a padded room. Some could walk through a field of barbed wire and never get a scratch. Guess they are just like people-some are accident prone and some aren't.
My barrel horse is also a houdini--every gate has to have a chain on it or tied with a lead rope. But the knot better be facing out or he will get that untied. Drives me nuts-LOL.

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

My farrier told me about a man who kept finding his horses with broken legs! He spent all this time searching the paddock for something a horse could break its leg on, and it turned out that another horse was kicking them.

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