Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Port Orchard Washington State
Traumatic entry into a new home
I bought a Friesian stud colt from lines I've been seriously researching for a while now but I've drooled over his dad and grandsire since I was about 13. He just turned 9 months old so I arranged yesterday to finally bring him home.
Last night was a disaster so the whole point of this is I'm just asking for well wishes and hoping that maybe if it happens to anybody else this will help.
I picked up Lestat at 7pm last night. He had never been loaded before because right before the Kurrings (sp?) his owner broke her back and was unable to go as she had planned. I'll post his pedigree later. He's from lines I've been drooling over since forever. Anyway, he loaded like a champ. Snorted a couple times and then stepped in. She advised hauling him lose since he was a baby and had never been hauled. My trainer and I secured the divider to the wall and I drove off very very slowly. The trailer occasionally moved around but nothing major. I took every corner very slow and made sure I was braking with plenty of time to gently coast to an easy stop.
We got home and as soon as we get out of the truck the whole trailer violently shakes and we hear a bang/thud. I run to open the doors and of course my trainer stops me because we don't want him flying out. We gently crack the doors and see his head on the ground. Opening wider we see he's cast against the wall, his head falls into my lap and his right front leg is wedged in the sliding gap that hooks the divider to the wall which of course has his shoulder hyper extended. His left front is bend against the wall and I'm holding up his neck and head with everything I have.
My trainer called her father who runs down with a hammer to take the divider off. I call emergency services to send my vet out or any vet for that matter. Then I call my boyfriend who drops everything and hauls a$$ over to the barn. During all of this I have Lestats head in my lap telling him everything will be fine and we have help on the way. My boyfriend is on his knees petting his neck and talking to him. My hippy side kicked in and I started trying to do some light energy relaxation and healing work on him.
My vet calls and says he's 10 minutes away. Right at that moment my trainer and her father losen the divider and Lestat pulls his leg in and out. Of course I broke and started crying out of relief and everything else on top of that. We bute and banamine him and let him rest on hay bales we stuck under his head and neck. The vet gets there and gives him a quick sedation that's fast acting but not long lasting. 5 of my horse saavy riding buddies and friends pull up and we pull him back into the trailer and then slowly guide the butt of it into the arena where we can unload him in a lighted area and out of the pouring rain onto soft ground.
We gave him a few minutes to calm down while the vet palpated him to the best of his ability from that angle. Now my main worry is colic. He's been down for over an hour at this point, thrashed a couple times, I'm scared. I get down at his level again and talk to him telling him everything is going to be ok. I palm rub his cowlick on his forehead and give him kisses on his nose. Then the best thing ever. He grunts, pricks his ears and blasts a fart. It sounded like someone jumping on a whoopy cushion. Somehow that got his attention enough to lift his head and neck and give a quick look around. Then he put his head gentle back in my lap and nuzzled my hand. It made me cry. He's such a sweet brave boy.
After about 5 minutes the quick sedative wears off and the next time he lifts his head we tuck his front legs under him and with a grunt he stumbles out of the trailer and takes a dump. I cry and he puts his head into my arms. I give the leadrope to my trainer and two of my friends grab me and hug me tight and tell me how brave he is and how they're proud of me for doing the best I could in a very stressful and traumatic event. The vet palpates his shoulder and says he's only pulled muscles in the front of his chest and in his armpit. He taped him at 640lbs and gave us directions for bute and banamine and started ulcer guard.
I slept in the horse trailer and check on him every two hours. He was always happy to see me when I walked in and gimped over to me for scratches and attention. The vet called and told me he credited my account because I decided against breeding Caleigh so the money I had already put towards that would be put towards the vet bill. He's going to come back out on Friday or Monday to use a laser on him to help the healing process and then he'll tell me if I can hand walk him a little to get him out. Until then I'm going to buy him a few lick it stall hangers and something to keep his mind busy while he's on stall rest. The vet said at the moment since baby's bounce back much easier than adults the estimated healing time is 4-6 weeks of stall rest. I'll be doing rehab massage on him to help since I'm an apprentice for that and my final leg of my certification ironically is rehab.
Anyway my outcome with my boy was positive but I would never wish anything like that on anybody ever. That was terrifying and when it's you're own horse every brilliant idea you'd normally have to help the situation runs right out of your head. I couldn't even form sentences so I spit out words closest to what I needed. I had a lot of great people helping me and he's expected to make a full recovery.
Anyway, please send healing vibes his direction. He will have many follow up appointments and so far I have a whole team working on making his recovery as comfortable and easy as possible for him. I will post pictures later today since of course I wasn't taking any last night. My tears now are tears of happiness that's he made it out from a situation that could have had a much worse outcome. He's a very brave boy. I'm proud of him.
The final thought which has been agreed on by vet, trainer and everybody else is when we do haul him again we're taking all the dividers out. Not just locking them to the wall but that won't be for quite a while. For now he gets to relax, heal and of course get pampered. He's very bonded with me now and everyone that took turns helping him last night. I think he knew we were doing everything in our power. I'm just glad to finally have him home and from what could be worse, he's healthy and safe.
When life gives you lemons....chuck em at whoever is giving them to you!
I don't want lemons! I want cookies!