It's always something, isn't it? Again, I lament, even if we wrapped them up in bubble wrap and locked them snugly away in a padded stall they'd still manage to find some insane way to injure themselves.
I was sitting in my intellectual property law class at 8:30 p.m. when the first ominous text came through: "Call as soon as you can." Oh, that can't be good.
Then the second came through shortly later, this one from my daughter: "Gabe was very bad! He broke through the fence at the top paddock! A lot of poles are bent, two lost the caps, almost all of them have a torn down wire."
Oh. Crap. I'm an hour away from home, it's dark out and I'm in the middle of a lecture I can't just get up and sneak out of. So of course, I'm freaking out and mentally trying to urge the professor to talk faster and get us out early.
He did. I called home immediately to find out what was going on and if I should start panicking or if the vet needed to be called out again. I just had him out a few weeks ago because the big gray guy was colicking. Always something!
I learned that yes, he had gone through the fence, and yes, he did have some injuries. But, my boyfriend is still learning about horse first aid and couldn't tell me how bad the wounds were. "Well, they are bleeding but they aren't gushing blood." he relayed. He is very observant about the horses' behavior and noticed that Gabe just didn't seem to be his typical self: He wouldn't eat and seemed depressed but did have good gut sounds and wasn't acting like he was colicking, just not himself.
Still an hour away from home all I could do was drive (while keeping it at a safe, mostly legal speed!) and imagine the absolute worst.
When I got home I immediately pulled on the headlamp and went out to check out my guy. Yup, he was definitely cut up, but nothing to call the vet over. He has some cuts on his left stifle and cuts on his right forearm. He wasn't lame, but that rear leg was swollen and sore. I'm guessing he tried to go OVER the fence at a post and failed to clear it. All I have to say is thank GOODNESS I have every single post capped. The injuries would have been much more severe, perhaps even fatal, if he'd tried to go over a capless post and hung up on the top electric rope. And thank goodness I use electric rope with insulators that will break under pressure...if the fence hadn't given and the insulators broke to drop the fence to the ground, the injuries could have very well been significantly worse.
I scrubbed him up good with Betadine, sprayed the cuts with an antibiotic and dosed him with some bute to alleviate some of that soreness.
He was eating fine (had to soak a bit of grain to mix with the bute) and seemed to be himself again, so colic wasn't a worry any longer.
This morning he was still sore, but not lame, and the wounds look good and clean. Chief, however, also appears sore but he didn't go through the fence so I'm wondering what happened to my horses up in the pasture while no one was home.
What could have made Gabe go through the fence? He typically respects the fence and doesn't test it or push on it or even go near it unless he's face-fighting with Chief. He knows it bites hard and he tends to avoid that bite. What could have not only made Gabe freak out enough to go through the fence, but also apparently freak Chief out enough that he ran until he was sore?
I don't know, but I have a couple of guesses. The neighbor's peacocks are in super-roam mode again and my horses DO NOT LIKE the peacocks at all. My best guess is the peacocks paid the horses a visit and freaked them out, add to that the fact that the farmers were out in the field next to the pasture yesterday, which usually doesn't bother the horses but if you combine a couple of big tractors, dust and peacocks, it may have been enough to send them all into a tizzy. Ugh.
I hate mysteries like this, not knowing what caused the issue in the first place so I can try to prevent it from happening again.
And now I have a damn fence to fix.
Horses...it's a damn good thing I love 'em as much as I do.