Thursday, April 29, 2010

Taking a beating

My poor big baby.

He got the shit kicked out of him yesterday and is now sporting a dozen or so big bumps, bruises and scrapes all over the side of his body. Even his boy bits weren't immune to the kick-fest. A hoof caught him right on his weinie and the sheath is swollen and sore. I feel so bad for him, but at the same time, so thankful none of those kicks made contact with his legs! He does have a rather large hematoma on the muscle (biceps femoris) above his gaskin and it's sore, sore, sore, but he's not lame. I'm going to keep an eye on it and if it doesn't go down fairly soon, the vet will be called. Poor baby.

When I turn all three out in the big pastures they are fine together. Gabe has room to get away from mean ole Calypso and bossy boy Chief when they give him "that look." And he can definitely outrun them any day of the week, so there haven't been any major kicking issues. But when they all wander down into the mud lots and into the run-ins, that's when the dirty business begins.

You see, Gabe is a lover. He's not a fighter. He won't kick back and prefers to get the hell out of Dodge when one of the other horses gives him a look or lays back an ear. He's happy at the bottom of the totem pole. He's happy with just being allowed to wander close to them every now and again.

Until he becomes a kicking bag.

Calypso cornered Gabe in his run-in yesterday and beat the crap out of him. So badly they busted a 2X6 and practically removed an entire sheet of siding from his shed. His shed has 3 and a half sides, so there's an enclosed area for him to get out of the wind, rain, sun, whatever. He likes his house a lot. He sleeps in there, he hangs out in there, eats in there and considers it a safe place to be.

Yesterday his safe place became a beating zone. He was so traumatized by the whole thing he wouldn't even go back in there to eat last night without plenty of coaxing and a couple of carrots.

That won't happen again. I closed the gate to the mud lot this morning when I turned them out so there will be no more cornering Gabe in his run-in and whaling on him like a red-headed stepchild.

Inexplicably, I was PISSED at Calypso (she was witnessed committing the foul kicking deed against my big guy). I know she's just being a horse doing what horses do, but still, he tries so hard to GET AWAY and move out of her way and she was just being, quite frankly, a bitch.

I was going to ride Gabe tonight. We had a FABULOUS session Monday and I was looking forward to more today. His inside hind was stepping under, under, under and pushing beautifully around corners, responding to my inside leg tap, tap, tap, tapping him. He lifted that back and belly like you wouldn't believe and stretched nicely into the bridle. He even quit with the bit fiddling long enough to really listen and pay attention, ears flicking back from time to time, listening...thinking...responding. It was so invigorating and inspiring!

But with him being rather body sore today I won't ride. Instead, she gets to fill in for him. And she needs A LOT of work.


  1. I also hate when they are just being horses and someone winds up getting hurt. With our crew and the crazed-playful 3 year old, it happens too. I hope Gabe mends quicky. Awwww don't be mad at Calypso, she was just being head mare. I am glad you are able to close off his shed. My next blog entry will give you a taste of our life with Wrangler this spring.

  2. They can be so rough on each other! Brats.

    I know I shouldn't have been angry at Calypso, she's just being a mare, but every time I touched a scrape, a kick, a bruise on Gabe to put antiseptic ointment on them, and he flinched under my fingers, I got so MAD at her for hurting him. He's such a big baby, he just wants to be part of the herd and he never fights back. She can be such a big bully.

    She shouldn't be able to pick on him again like that with access to the shed taken away.

    Looking forward to hearing about your "fun times" with Wrangler! :D

  3. Darn it...I am so sorry Jenn!
    Yea, never again would be my response too...they will work it out at his body's expense!Not good parings there for his health.
    "Sore-No-More" is a good alternative liniment...doesnot chill them and can be used under wraps and the saddle too. It is really great stuff!
    He's probably like a little TLC in that direction about now, huh!

  4. KK...I gave him some Bute last night because he was really hurting. There are a couple of spots he would probably appreciate the liniment on, but with so many gashes, scrapes and open cuts, I think it would hurt more than help!

    Yesterday he got a lot of TLC and pets and cuddles, carrots, loving and promises that I will never let that happen again. He'll get some more tonight...and he'll eat it up!

  5. Poor Gabe! Give him kisses and hugs from me!

    "You see, Gabe is a lover. He's not a fighter. He won't kick back and prefers to get the hell out of Dodge when one of the other horses gives him a look or lays back an ear. He's happy at the bottom of the totem pole. He's happy with just being allowed to wander close to them every now and again."

    I wonder if this is an OTTB thing - Legs is EXACTLY the same way. I have a theory that it has to do with not getting turned out with other horses much while at the track - they don't get to learn those herd skills?

  6. Ugh, so frustrating. I agree with Pony Girl, maybe it's an OTTB thing? Jasper is ALWAYS on the bottom of the pecking order and is the one with large chunks of hide missing while all the other horses are fine.