Horrific Horse Injury - extremly long (Warning, Graphic Pictures)
On May 31 I took my 2 year old filly to a team penning to move cows and help hold the cows...NO CHASING...that night I moved her into a different pasture with new horses. I absolutly new this was a bad idea but I took the chance because we had ridden with these horses in the past and had no problems. I turned Sweetness out with the herd it was 4:00 pm we watched them until we could see them in the dark no more, I thought since they had been good all afternoon it was ok. The next morning the barn owner got up to go to work and check them, Sweetness and the rest of the herd was laying all together. No injuries. He left at 8 am I came at noon went out to get my mounts for the day and figured I would catch the first on and the get sweetness and ride her ponying the other back to the barn. I caught the first one and could see Sweetness but she hadn't come when I called her. I thought, since it was a new pasture, she just didn't understand what I wanted, so i was just going to leave her there and if she was still there when i got back i would check on her. But on second thought, it was unlike Sweetness not to come when called, I walked out the check her. When I arrived she was standing in a puddle of blood in shock, caught between the top strand of barbed wire on her right side and the lower three on her left. Her chest was hanging open and her right forearm had a massive chunk of flesh hanging out, she had another cut, not quite as big, on the inside of her left forearm and there were numerous cuts and scrapes running down her side and wrapped around her hind quarters, but because of the ground work I did with her thoughout the time I had owned her she knew better then to fight so she was standing stock still. I just about collapsed seeing her this way. I turned the other horse I had been leading loose and grabbed my pliers in my back pocket and took down the top strand, it was so streched that it fell to the ground and Sweetness dragged her leg acrossed it. We were at the far corner for the pasture and the barn was at the opposite corner. We were on the outside of the fence, so I led Sweetness, dragging her leg, around the outside of the fence to the barn, a mile or so. We got to the barn and I put Sweetness in a stall until I figured out what to do next, I got her halter and lead out and led her over to the water hose and began to cold hose the wound out and control the swelling. Then, I pulled her shoes and took her back to the barn and let her stand tied in the stall, while I called the BO. He wouldn't be off of work until late, so I tied her in the stall and ran back into town to get some stuff. While in town I got a call saying the the BO's dad was on his way to pick me up and that we needed to remove the large portion of flesh hanging off of the wound. We arrived at the barn and found the BO holding Sweetness outside while the blood drained down her leg. the BO's dad and I went into the barn and I grabbed a twitch while he grabbed a knife and some proxide and scarlet oil. We then proceeded to remove the flesh that had been hanging out of the wound. First cut was a major potion of it and Sweetness didn't move an inch. Second cut blood started to gush out of the leg, I grabbed and innertube strap and tried to tie it to stop the bleeding, no sucess, so then we grabbed a rope to tie around it no luck. We had to caterize it with an electric branding iron, no movement from Sweetness. I walked her to make sure she didn't open up the vein again, all was fine. We then, scrubed out the wound with proxide and then applie scarlet oil, Sweetness came unglued rearing, striking and chargeing all over. The BO had been holding her by the halter for this reason and was able to push her into the fence and stop her while the BO's Dad and son got out of the way. We finished applying the scarlet oil and then I led her to the empty round pen and turned her loose in there. She lived the the round pen for 2 weeks by herself, in the morning the BO turned her loose to roam the yard to get exercise on her own while she grazed and at night I put her back into the round pen and fed her, the same routine for 2 weeks. For the first week she couldn't lift her leg so she drug it all over, The sencond week she began to lift it slightly and by the end of the second week she was severly limbing in it, but at least she was walking. At the end of two weeks I had decided that it would be better to get her away from the farm and all of the flies, so turn her out in a pasture that had 3 other horses, about 6 miles away. She lived in there for 7-8 weeks before we brought her back home. Within the first week of the injury I had thought about putting her down 3 times, one to the point I had the gun loaded. In the end I thought if I could get her sound enough to get a foal from her it would be worth the cost to me. Two months after the injury I was lightly riding her and 3 months we began to lope. She still has a large scar across her legs and chest, but to me no matter how she looks shes worth everything to me. The other day she split the wound open, not quite nearly as bad but she is on pasture rest and she just gets to be a horse for awhile. In about a week or so I having a Equine Massage Therapist come out and we are going to try to get the scar lossened up a bit so doesn't continue to tear it as we begin to recondition for riding. I'll doctor her again and again for many years to come but in the end It's all part of the game of owning horses.
I accept full responsibility for what happened to my mare and now have this expirence to guide me though the rest of my years as a horse owner.
(yes, I know the dangers of barbed wire, but this is the best boarded facility around here and the haven't had the money to change over all the fenceing. they have replace quite a bit of it already though.)
I will provide pictures if requested.