Are you prepared for dealing with horse surprises? With bad weather, mud, weather changes, cold, it seems like this is the time of year that MORE bad things happen with horses and have to be dealt with in quick order. I was wondering if folks have the tools they need, ready to hand?
Along with someone telling you how to deal with a situation, do you have the knowledge to follow those directions?
This came up today, when the Old Bat rolled out in the field and ended up spine down in the small drainage ditch running around the sides. She can't get herself up, legs are higher than her body!! Son is home visiting, came running in to tell us. He is a good hand with horses, but never saw such a problem to deal with before. The rest of the family attended a First Responder Training Clinic a couple years ago, related to horses in accidents, barn safety, horses in barn fires, put on by our local horse Driving Club. We learned how to flip a horse from one side to the other if they are cast. How to pull a horse that is stuck on a hole or deep mud, without damaging his neck or other body parts. Learned a ton of other horse things relating to barns and fires.
So we are now quite confident in going out to deal with something like what the Old Bat had gotten herself into. She wasn't fighting, we haltered her, son held her head up to put a jacket under to protect her eye from the mud. Husband worked to get the 20ft tow strap under her, so we could get the strap around behind her withers, ends forward between her front legs. Then we put the second tow strap thru the loops of strap around horse, to pull with the tractor. I added a thick saddle pad under the strap where it crossed her spine for protection, and then we pulled her forward out of the ditch! We got her on flat ground and stopped, loosened the pulling straps and removed them. Gave her a push, said "GET UP" and she did! No problem when she can tuck her legs under to lift the body. We led her to the barn, blew off wet mud and water from being on the ground. She is presently wearing a warm cooler and eating hay in her stall. Not lame, no dirt in her eye, no holes or scuffs from being dragged on her lower side.
We all are NOW having the shakes and saying "What IF..." things. We had no problems DEALING with the situation in the crisis. Husband and I KNEW what needed doing, son followed directions well, was a huge help. He learned a lot, is always a good hand in a horse crisis. Time to get over-reactive when things are done.
If this happened at your farm, would YOU or your family have the straps or tools needed to deal with it? Would any of you have an idea of how to pull on a horse to move them without hurting it? Might be time to find that information which would be helpful to you and "read up" on techniques.
Is your First Aid box refilled, ready for various kinds of crisis? My two 20ft tow straps live in that box. They are in the washer at the moment, then back into the First Aid box so ANYONE here can find them if needed. The truck and trailer have another pair of tow straps in them for incidents away from the farm. Got meds for a colic on hand? Bandages and tape? And do you have the knowledge to use what you do have on hand?
You sure don't want to think of bad stuff, but accidents seem to happen more in winter months. Slippery ground, cold, tired, early darkness, add to normal situations to create more problems. Always better to be prepared, than to wish you had been. Knowledge will help you stay in control, manage a bad situation smoothly.
Hope no one has to NEED such knowledge or anything from their First Aid boxes. And the Old Bat is doing fine now.
So glad it turned out well for your Old Bat! Had something similar happen with Tally last winter - twice. She got cast in her stall and it took 5 people and straps to get her up. She got down for a roll in the front paddock and got stuck - luckily I was able to get her up with just a tug on a lead rope that time. It's a little unnerving sometimes that the seniors are out on 24/7 turnout. They can come and go into their stalls whenever they want, and get locked out of the big fields at night, but as we all know, they can get into trouble so easily at any time.
Thanks for the reminder to stay on top of the first aid kit, too.
The pony rolled all the way over once and managed to end up with his tummy right against the only tree in the paddock. It's on a slope, he had his butt end downhill pretty much and he was wearing a blanket, he's also pretty smart, so DH got down there, grabbed the blanket, told him to stay still and gave him enough shove to roll him back.
We have tow straps and quite a bit of stuff, but DH has them buried somewhere (not happy about that).
What we really need on this place is a big winch like you see on Forest Service trucks. I can tell you some stories about the rescue vehicle getting stuck too and with our slopes here I'd feel much better having the platform up on the hill with a block and drag the animal from there.
I do like t-posts and E-braid for one other thing, if it comes right down to it you can shut off the current, pull the posts and get the fence out of the way darn quickly. We had to do that last week when the garden shed guy brought MIL's shed to our place - long story short he made a too big turn in a too small space and only got free because we took part of the fence down and hauled him out with the F250.
Actually My f'idiot bird racked up another grand and a half* vet bill last week.last big one was also around Christmas so two years running is enough for me "yes' there is a crisis season.
For some reason winter is what they try to kill themselves. Maybe the short days bring on suicidal depression in animals too.
Can any vets here confirm a seasonal pattern?
I guess he will cost me another 700$ or so before he is done this time.
If COTH had a better search feature you could easily see members horses who got ill or injured 365 days per year, year in and year out. It obviously matters more when it's your horse so that is what you remember.
OP, good reminders. I remember as a first-time horse owner, having read of methods of using ties/ropes to free a cast horse (much as you describe), when I first encountered a cast horse IRL being shocked at the two BOs just grabbing tail/legs/halter and pulling horsie away from the stall wall. Seemed rather haphazard compared to the concerted effort of using ropes I had read/studied about.
Good idea to have a particular time of year to check the First Aid kit and replace any missing/used/expired items.
"However complicated and remarkable the rest of his life was going to be, it was here now, come to claim him."- JoAnn Mapson