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Why do horses choose the worst times to maim themselves?

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  • Why do horses choose the worst times to maim themselves?

    We have Centaur fencing on the family farm, which we ordinarily love. This is not a complaint about the fencing.

    20-year old retired TB picked a fight with his neighbor over the fence. We normally keep a top strand of electric over the Centaur fences. We have ONE fenceline on the farm without. Guess which one was involved.

    He managed to stick his front leg through the fence and got hung up behind his elbow. Luckily he was discovered almost immediately by a boarder. It took about an hour (and four people) to extract him. He was left with a huge hole in his "armpit" -- much better than a broken leg, though, so we were lucky. Vet says he will be OK.

    My dad is managing the farm by himself -- and did I mention he had a spinal fusion in December? He does not need to be leaning over trying to check this monster hole in my horse every day. Oh, and the 30 inches of new snow is not helping him. I live 5 hours away.

    Why do these things always happen at the worst possible time? We haven't had an injury on the farm in at least 5 years...we do everything we can except pad the place with bubblewrap. Sigh.

  • #2
    My husband and I are convinced it is some sort of grand equine plot to drive us nuts. Then the horses will just take over.


    • #3
      Definitely a plot!
      Free bar.ka and tidy rabbit.


      • #4
        dogs do it too

        Whistler chose Sat night to get into the garbage and ate stuff he had to throw up-fast. He is 13.5 years old. I felt soooo bad, but it needed to come out, so two peroxide doses later, and lots of throw up, he slept through the night...until...
        I literally had the keys in my hand, car loaded, and was walking out the door to go to a dog show two hours away, when he threw up again. So he went with me-3 dogs in a not so big car!


        • #5
          Tell me about it!!! I completely sympathize... we have a gelding up for sale and you know how hard it is to sell right now. We've cancelled 2 appts with potential buyers because Mr. Gelding had done some boneheaded "not serious" injuries that was just enough to be out of use for a few days!


          • Original Poster

            Originally posted by SuperSTB View Post
            Tell me about it!!! I completely sympathize... we have a gelding up for sale and you know how hard it is to sell right now. We've cancelled 2 appts with potential buyers because Mr. Gelding had done some boneheaded "not serious" injuries that was just enough to be out of use for a few days!
            Ouch, yes, we haven't had a horse for sale in more than five years or I am sure we would have had injuries then too. I remember the old "three-legged lame with abcess" days from sale horses that, until that point, had never, ever taken a lame step. It always occurs right after you assure the potential buyer, truthfully, that the horse has never, ever taken a lame step. Sigh.


            • #7
              I never realized there was a good time.
              Some riders change their horse, they change their saddle, they change their teacher; they never change themselves.

              Remember the horse does all the work, we just sit there and look pretty.


              • #8
                Originally posted by merrygoround View Post
                I never realized there was a good time.

                Maybe not a GOOD time.....but my horses usually think it's a BETTER time when the vet is going to charge double (at least) for the farm call. Like Sunday. At night. On a holiday weekend.
                Incredible Invisible


                • #9
                  I totally sympathize with you! I have a completely accident prone young TB gelding. He's injured himself at least 10 times since I bought him a year ago. Twice now I've been ready to take him to his first show, and guess who came up lame both times, once they day before and the other time the morning of?

                  Guess who gouged the heck out of his back (think like 10 inches long and a 1/2" deep) the day before I was supposed to go on vacation last summer?

                  He injured a suspensory and a tendon in one go on the same leg in a freak paddock fence accident. Then he proceeded to gash his head while he was stall rest!

                  And my personal favorite was more recently, he (16.2 fully grown horse!) somehow managed to slide underneath the bottom of the 4 strand RAMM fencing around his paddock!! Bottom 2 strands were popped off and there were sliding spots and hoof marks on either side of the fence He clotheslined himself and cut his jugular (thank God for rubber coating around the fencing..!!)

                  This horse gives me a run for my money!!!
                  The best is yet to come


                  • Original Poster

                    simc24, we had one flip backwards through the Centaur fence about 10 years ago. We were all sure the horse was going to be seriously injured. But no, it was a nice spring day with relatively easy access to vet care, so the horse was fine -- not a scratch.

                    Injuries are never good, but there are definitely times that are worse than others to have one. Blizzard + recovering from spinal fusion is definitely one of them.


                    • #11
                      Here is to quick healing! They do seem to find strange ways to hurt themselves. All we can do is make it as safe as possible, hey maybe bubble wrap is a good idea
                      No hour of life is wasted that is spent in the saddle ~ Winston Churchill