I would not want to own a horse in a situation where there were not 24 hour, on site caretakers who not only "checked" the barn at night, but where they either a: had a monitor in the barn that they kept next to their bed on the loudest setting possible and were familiar with every NORMAL sound of a barn at night, or b: lived in the barn. Sighs. Banging water buckets. The occassional thump on a wall. A horse standing and shaking off its sawdust after laying down to rest... normal sounds.
Exhibit a: just was awakened to very much NOT NORMAL sounds something to the effect of "WHAM - bANG, BANG, BANG, SLAM!" (in no specific order). I wait a second to *see* if the sound that woke me was part-dream or all reality. A repeat about a minute later lets me know, "No, 'tis not part dream!" and I wake up my husband.
Rush out to the barn (complete in slippers and pjs) and flick the lights on to find a horse cast. While dh goes to get ropes, I stand back (horse has a beautiful, new, full, razorblade sharp set of shoes) and talk calmly to the horse and try to reassure her while assessing the situation and working out how we are going to nab her and get her over. She tries to get up a few times while dh is getting ropes resulting in a uproarously loud version of the above written sound effect, and ends up pushing herself a bit towards where I'm standing in the doorway. YAY! I'm pretty sure that turning the lights on helped this poor horse re-evaluate her situation. Before dh has a chance to run back with the rope he's collected, she rolled completely over towards me and hopped up. I almost cried.
Silly horses. As much as I love them, STOOOPID horses! Really ponies: just roll in the opposite direction. A lot less thumpy-ouchy-bruisy than slamming yourself repeatedly into a wall .
Ah well... that is one of the many reasons they need people. Also one of the many reasons that I wouldn't be comfortable leaving my horse anywhere but here, where I am onsite/alert/monitoring throughout the night for such situations. I hated the helpless feeling of watching this young horse thrash and grunt and praying that it didn't injure itself before dh came back with rope in the short time it was going on. I know that being there within 2 minutes of the banging starting is excellent timing, and am very happy that we were able to be right there immediately. But still... it is just terrifying.
I just think of all the horses that break themselves or die before their people get to them and realize what is going on :( Thankfully, she hopped up then sauntered over looking for goodies and attention like nothing at all just happened. She got an extra flake of hay for being smart enough to roll back over, haha. So scary, tragic and sad to think that so often horses die from that sort of preventable situation because they are down so long and get so worked up that they colic from being down/twisting around/being overwhelmingly panicked, break their legs in their wild attempts to "upright" themselves into a wall, and their people just have no clue it is going on. :(
With my heart still pounding and unable to get back to sleep right yet, I thought I'd share. The horse is standing, happy as a lark eating her extra hay...