Thursday, February 11, 2010

Bubble wrap and boo-boos

Some days I truly believe we should just wrap all the horses in bubble wrap and keep them closed up tightly in padded stalls.

They do manage to break themselves, don't they? How they managed to survive saber-tooth tigers and an ice age I'll never know.

So, we've had insane amounts of mud since September. It has not been dry at all for about six months. Ugh. My pasture (the nice, big 10-acre one) has been far too soggy to let the horses out on for a couple of months. When it freezes good and hard, I can let them out for awhile without worrying they'll destroy all the grass out there. On Tuesday it was frozen enough to grant them their freedom for the day.

They all acted like they have been cooped up in little 12X12 stalls for months. The bucking, farting, rearing, racing, skidding, rolling, biting, kicking and all-around craziness was incredible to watch. These horses aren't kept cooped up. During the winter they live in paddocks that are just over an acre each. But as soon as you turn them out, they go nutso.

And Gabe managed to twist an ankle during his shenanigans. Silly boy. It didn't blow up like a ripe cantelope until the morning after the big play day. His front ankle (fetlock) is hot, swollen and a touch tender.

Thank goodness I'm fastidious about giving all the horses a once over every morning and evening. I check eyes, noses, gums (for capillary refill and color), legs, joints, body and attitude twice a day. It's a habit I picked up a long, long time ago when I worked at a barn that required me to take twice daily temps and do complete body checks of 20 horses. It's a habit that has served me well for catching injuries and illness quickly. I know my horses. I know when they are feeling crappy, depressed or have little injuries that need tending.

And I knew immediately he had pushed himself a bit too far the day before and was paying the price for it. So, I wrapped him up in a standing wrap, tossed a bute tab in his feed and left for work.

I also know how to wrap a standing wrap. I'm dang good at it and have wrapped THOUSANDS of legs without any problems.

But apparently I've never wrapped a horse quite as inquisitive and determined as good ole Gabe.

He managed to completed remove the quilt and shred it. The standing wrap was still intact, perfectly wrapped exactly as I had left it. I know he stood there all day long with his teeth on the quilt, tugging and working that sucker loose. I can just imagine the joy that raced through his silly little mind when he was finally able to yank it free and play with it.

Last night he got re-wrapped with vet wrap and NO quilt! The booger. He still had it on this morning but I could see where he'd been working at it with his teeth and lips. I swear...that horse...

The ankle looks much, much better this morning. The swelling and heat is almost completely gone and it's looking less like a cantelope and more like a fetlock. I don't like keeping them on bute for very long, so I switched him to aspirin for today and tomorrow. After that, he should be just fine.

It's always something, isn't it?


  1. Must be something in the air - Legs did a number on his right hind, same kind of shenanigans. I would tell him to "act his age" but I do like it when he doesn't act like he is 21. Fetlock swollen, no heat though. Luckily he left his wrap on last night and is 90% back to normal size today. they do keep life interesting though.

  2. My vet told me a story about an AQHA stallion that was kept in a padded stall for protection. He got stuck between the pads and suffocated. So padded stalls aren't even safe.

    Gabe sounds like a trip. He must make you chuckle everyday.

  3. Oh, that poor idjit! Glad to hear there's no lasting damage.

  4. Maybe Gabe and Denali should go out! He sounds just like her. lol.

  5. Hmmm this sounds oddly familiar... almost like it happened to me a few weeks ago...

    The sad truth is that all horses are equipped with self-destruct buttons and they spend their entire lives trying to press it.

    And there's nothing like a good even standing wrap, isn't there? I always want to take pictures of mine and say "SEE I didn't waste my college years!"

  6. What can I say but...Oh Gabester!

  7. Pony Girl...I think their goal in life is to drive us crazy all while self-destructing for no obvious reason.

    Smazourek...see? We just can't protect them from themselves...sheesh. In a padded stall even. Yes, Gabe makes me grin every day. I love him to pieces.

    Funder...a perfect word for him...idjit! Ha!

    Denali...I went to your blog...cute mare! I think they would make an adorable couple! :D

    retiredracehorse...ROFL! Goof nut horses. What's even more mystifying is how some manage to escape injury as racehorses, but break themselves in the pasture. I am very proud of my standing wraps! Nearly picture perfect every time...all those years squatted down around legs and wrapping and re-wrapping to get it JUST RIGHT has definitely paid off. got that right! You just want to shake your head at him and say "What now, you goofball?"