DiDi catches her foot in the wire.
On the Sunday we went up to collect DiDi from the field so as to ride her out. As usual she saw us coming looked up but she carried on grazing. BG went into the field and slowly walked towards her with the head collar in hand. Long before he got close, DiDi raised her head and trotted away at a fast pace which quickly went into canter. She cantered down the field with BG following her at the walk towards the corner. She twisted and turned and then fast cantered back up the field to where the other horses were grazing. There were two geldings, Sam and Dannie plus DiDi’s little friend the Shetland: Teddie. The four horses picked up the mood and as a small herd they then went into canter and circled the rectangular field which is about four acres in size. Both BG and JAG stood and waited to see how things would settle. DiDi was obviously feeling “fresh” - this behaviour was very much out of keeping.
Sam and Teddie soon lost interest but Dannie suddenly started to show more interest in DiDi and he chased off after her. The pace went from canter to gallop. DiDi tried to move into the corners of the field so that she could fend Dannie off with her two back feet as discouragement, which she did on several occasions. But it made no difference, Dannie was suddenly a very excited gelding who was out for a chase. The game had become a frightening sequence of charges at the gallop.
Eventually DIDI was galloping around the edge of the field with Dannie in close pursuit but he, with his longer legs, could run the fastest. Suddenly DiDi turned and attempted to take the wire fence separating the home field from the adjoining field in which had been grazing another pair of horses: a mare and a gelding. Earlier on they too had been running around their field with all the excitement. However DiDi did not make it over the fence. She came down with a bang, with both hind feet caught in the wire and a mouth full of mud.
Even when BG got over to her there was no way by which he could free the right hind foot which was still trapped in the wire. Surprisingly the wire was so called “horse grade” wire but surprisingly the squares at the top allow a horse’s foot to go through yet there is not enough space for the foot/leg to withdraw easily. Didi had managed to free the left hind foot herself but the other was firmly snared. She was down on the ground on her side, fretfully kicking out. The fall alone must have shocked the horse but the restraint of the wire induced panic and DiDi was striking out frantically to free herself By this time, luckily other tenants on the livery yard had responded to the call for help and the shouting to bring wire cutters. BG sat on the ground with DiDi’s head in his lap. Whilst laying down DiDi was obviously in severe distress and she was heaving and puffing. Within a few minutes we had the wire cutters, the wire was cut and the right foot was freed up but as we much later discovered the flesh had been cut into right in the crack above the hoof. The vet had already been called and thankfully she arrived within 20 minutes. By the time the vet arrived I was beginning to think that I might have lost DiDi, she was obviously in a state of severe stress and she was breathing hard.
Now the vet was on the scene, DiDi was still laying on the ground, free from the wire but unwilling to stand up. In the presence of the vet, DiDi did then make the effort to stand and she got her self up onto three legs. The vet felt her over, listened to her pounding heart and gave her a shot of painkiller and an anti inflammatory. BG then walked a very lame horse quietly back to her stable. There were no obviously serious cuts but the wire might have dug into the tendons just above the hoof. DiDi would have been in pain. She was also shocked and very breathless. A day or so later the three grazes on the left hind started to become apparent. But seemingly only the skin had been damaged. The thin wire cut on the right hind foot, obscured deep within the foot feathers, did not show up for six weeks.
Once in the stable we got her calm but obviously she was still in distress. But at least she could walk even though she had to hobble on the fourth foot fall when the injured leg had to take the weight. The vet looked her over again and it was agreed that she would come back the following day. We wrapped DiDi up in her sweat rug, gave her a biscuit, her hay net and a bucket of water. There was little else we could do.
After an hour or so we went back to wrap her leg with some ice to help with the swelling. DiDi was still stumbling about in her stable. She could stand on three legs but the injured leg had swollen up and she was obviously reluctant to put her weight on it. There is a very true saying: “No feet, no horse”. The good thing was that she was actually standing and she wanted something to eat. Then BG took a brush to remove the mud on her back, legs and neck. In doing so BG found the lumps on her back and flanks - 6 of them where Dannie had managed to bite her. BG covered these with Dermalene cream We had now found the reason for DiDi’s flight in panic. In some places she had lost lumps of hair. These were the signs of where Dannie the gelding had bitten her.
During this process DiDi stood and allowed herself to be petted. BG gave her tea of roughly half as much feed as she usually gets mainly Happy Hoof, a handful of pasture mix and some apples and carrots. It was time for her to go to bed. It had been a eventful day. The following day would give the clues as to how things might develop.
To be continued/..