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Approaching trainer about horse care issue

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  • #21
    Originally posted by Minicoupe View Post
    Where to begin...

    I am deeply troubled by an incident today and I am not sure how to properly respond to it:

    Several months ago my horse had surgery and has been laid-up. Historically I've been the type to be active in my horses' care, but my trainers assured me that they would oversee my horse's post-op instructions, care, and rehab process.

    Fast forward, just over 3 months post-op I was at the barn and swept my hand over the center of the belly where the incision was made to see how it felt. The staples from the surgery are still in. The staples were supposed to be removed at about 1 month and I was told by an assistant trainer that the vet was coming out to remove them around that time and for-better-or-worse assumed they were taken out.

    My initial reaction is a combination of shock/anger/guilt...that my trainers and vet should have been on-top of it and I trusted them to be, but also how did I not notice it before now! My trainers are currently away on the winter circuit, but I need to speak with them about this. How would you approach this with a trainer and/or vet?

    I want to respond to this professionally and appropriately, but I'm at a slight loss with the situation, especially since I am unsure as to how my trainers will react. I am not sure if I feel comfortable trusting my horse in their care, despite their reputation as a BNT. Any advice or thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    Regarding the staples: I've been assured by the vet (I called them directly, immediately after this discovery) that the type of staples used won't cause any health problems or be a skin irritant, but I plan to be at the barn when they're removed to speak directly with them and do whatever is needed to ensure my horse's well-being.
    For the record.

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    • #22
      Where does the OP say she didn't see the horse for three months? I don't see that anywhere in the post. Do you guys seriously inspect under your horse's belly every day?

      I don't think this is that big of a deal, nor is it massive negligence. :shrug:

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      • #23
        Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
        Where does the OP say she didn't see the horse for three months? I don't see that anywhere in the post. Do you guys seriously inspect under your horse's belly every day?

        I don't think this is that big of a deal, nor is it massive negligence. :shrug:
        I did after my mare had colic surgery - for months. And months.

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        • #24
          Well im not blaming op here but if my horse had a major surgery or any surgery and had staples in his belly then yes every time I saw him I would check the incision. That's just basic care and knowledge. Even if I saw him everyday to check for signs of infection. I've been through a few stiching up and surgeries and I always checked my own horses to make sure.
          Horses aren't our whole life, but makes our life whole

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          • #25
            The way I see horses in my care are just that, in my care. That’s what I am being paid for. Well paid most of the time. IMO the OP/owner should never have to worry nor check to make sure I am doing the job I am being paid for. When I hire someone I explain the following; I don’t want to hear “ I forgot” yes 99% of the time there maybe no ramifications from forgetting but the 1% may have huge, expensive and tragic ramifications. We are being paid for 100% and it’s my name and reputation not your’s that’s on the line. The client/owner pays the vet bills but the vet work for me. So, yes the vet screwed up and in this day and age with IPhones, Ipads, etc, that have reminder alarms there is no excuse. And that is exactly what I would say to the Vet. And I would have the Vet call and explain themselves. But in the end “the buck stops” with the Trainer/BO I don’t care where, what they are doing. We have a big erasable monthly calendar board with these sort of notes on it. Along with stall instruction board, along with a barn “yearly planner book” that notes are made in each and everyday. Redundant, redundant, redundant.
            That being said, as others this is not the big a deal as far as your horse’s welfare. But it would make one wonder what else is being over looked. Human nature.
            Poster # 2 the stables were left in a month longer not 3. Poster # 5 no disrespect but lighten up a bit on the OP, see above. Poster #7 yes there is a “special tool” but it really isn’t necessary stables are very easily removed as are stitches. No disrespect but do you go to the Doctors to get a splinter removed? Yes, there are special cases but any successful horsemen knows when to call the Vet for such things. And saves my clients a lot of money by not having the Vet come back for a basic and common done thing.
            In the end it comes down to how much you like the trainer and the barn you are in. If you are looking for an excuse to move the horse fair enough. But if there has not been other issues of concern I would just bring it to the Trainers attention and say I would appreciate this sort of thing not happening again. Enough said. If they are any “account” they will read the “rioted act” to those responsible .
            Last edited by gumtree; Mar. 2, 2013, 09:08 PM. Reason: spelling

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            • #26
              Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
              Do you guys seriously inspect under your horse's belly every day?
              Every day I was out at the barn? (which was most days)

              Yes. But I am super OCD about grooming. Elbow grease doesn't end at the tops and sides of the horse.. Plus it's an area that ticks like to flock to.

              I've been lucky to have never had to have a major surgery on a horse, but darn tootin' I'd be checking that belly every day! I'd also expect that if I was told something important was to be taken care of, that it would have been taken care of. (Of course, I STILL would have checked the belly daily.)

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              • #27
                I would be running literally to go get my horse out of there..

                Comment


                • #28
                  Originally posted by gumtree View Post
                  Poster # 2 the stables were left in a month longer not 3. Poster # 5 no disrespect but lighten up a bit on the OP, see above. Poster #7 yes there is a “special tool” but it really isn’t necessary stables are very easily removed as are stitches. .
                  I believe I am the "poster#2" that you are addressing. If you read my post I wrote "if your horse's staples (not "stables") were to be removed at one month post OP, and they were left for three months" .. Then that would be 2 MONTHS too long, wouldn't it?

                  Tissue can grow over surgical staples which, if scar tissue results from the staples being left to long before they are removed, can pose more of a problem to remove than stitches left too long.

                  Neither is life threatening however I would not excuse a 2 month screw up in this situation.

                  AND I have never boarded my horses out. (Except temporarily when moving from state to state. I was a kid, the horses had to be boarded until a house was purchased).

                  However, if ,as an adult I was paying a "BNT" to care for my horse you bet I would expect that the horse be looked after properly.

                  Really?? You would blame the neglect on the OWNER who is paying a Big Name Expert to care for her horse?

                  If she was able /willing to care for the animal post OP, why the hell would she be paying some terribly important professional to do it?
                  Last edited by skydy; Mar. 3, 2013, 03:16 AM.

                  Comment


                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Tha Ridge View Post
                    Where does the OP say she didn't see the horse for three months? I don't see that anywhere in the post. Do you guys seriously inspect under your horse's belly every day?

                    I don't think this is that big of a deal, nor is it massive negligence. :shrug:
                    I check the belly (and the dock, sheath/udder and under the jaw up to the throat latch) as a part of routine grooming as I was taught at, like, age 10. I'd be pissed if I was paying big bucks (seriously, a show barn now in Florida is probably north of 1k a month just for full care board) and I had the trainers personal guarantee everything would be taken care of and there was no need for anything on my part.

                    I wonder if a check of the med chest would reveal half a bottle or some vials of post surgical antibiotics they forgot to administer? Or they gave them to another horse with a problem instead of getting more since your horse was better? Or, my personal favorite-your meds are in Florida...you think I am kidding here???? NOT.

                    If OP likes the trainer, she can have a serious chat but....for those who depend on full care (which includes grooming and a "full body check" more then once every 8 weeks) because they cannot DIY due to career, family or too far to drive and get to the barn? Sloppy barn management, ill trained (or untrained) staff with little or no supervision allow slip ups like this and create a real trust problem.

                    Once I don't trust my BO/BM or trainer to properly care for the horse as I depend on them to do and pay for? The relationship is never the same, I just no longer trust them. And if I don't trust them? I do go to the barn much more often and that pretty much negates the benefit of "full care"...so I have ended up moving.
                    Last edited by findeight; Mar. 3, 2013, 09:13 AM.
                    When opportunity knocks it's wearing overalls and looks like work.

                    The horse world. Two people. Three opinions.

                    Comment


                    • #30
                      Originally posted by findeight View Post
                      Once I don't trust my BO/BM or trainer to properly care for the horse as I depend on them to do and pay for? The relationship is never the same, I just no longer trust them. And if I don't trust them? I do go to the barn much more often and that pretty much negates the benefit of "full care"...so I have ended up moving.
                      This basically sums it up. I am sure the trainer is not going to give the OP a refund for the lack of care for the last few months. Unfortunately this happens at many barns.

                      Comment


                      • #31
                        Originally posted by Sing Mia Song View Post
                        Do NOT do this. You need a special tool to remove surgical staples without causing trauma to the area. And the skin has likely partially grown over some of them. I took out a lot of grown-over staples in my vet tech days.

                        While the staples still in aren't a health hazard, they do make you wonder if there are other shortfalls in your horse's care that you haven't noticed. I hope your BM and trainer are appropriately horrified and do what they need to do to make this right.
                        And I said UNLESS they were overgrown by skin ... read please. Staples are not that difficult to remove I've done it both on one of my horses and on my self a bit "ouchy" yes but not difficult. It is not something you need( unless grown over or you just do not want to) to call the vet for.

                        I agree the rest however.
                        Friend of bar .ka

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