Last night I was working on somethings in the house and I heard my mare reminding me that it was almost feeding time. About 10 minutes after I heard her I finished up what I was doing and went up to the barn to feed. I walked up to find an open gate and both of the horses were gone from the pasture.
Earlier that day my husband and I had been up at the barn doing some clean up and I had seen him latch but not lock the gate. I told him that Rain (my paint) can open the gate if it is not locked. I proceed to do what I was doing assuming that he had locked it. I did not look at the gate again.
But here I was alone with an open gate and no horses. I called my neighbor and asked him to call me if he sees them and give him my new cell number that I had just changed. I got in my truck and headed out to find them. I found them in my other neighbors yard. There was a barbed wire fence between them. I went to my paint and put her halter on. I had to walk away from my other mare to go around the fence to get to her. As soon as she saw that I was walking away with Rain she panicked. She started to scream and pace the barbed wire fence. I tried to calm her with my voice, but she tried to jump the fence. She did not make it. I got to her as quickly as I could, she quietly stood while I untangled her back legs and got a halter on her. At this point we are in the middle of the road. She was gushing blood from one of her wounds and I put pressure on it as soon as I could. A man and his son were driving up and stopped to help. I had the man hold her head and had his son take Rain back to her pasture and described in as much detail as I could how to close the gate and lock it properly. The kid probability thought that I thought he was in idiot. Another car stopped and gave me a bed sheet to put pressure on the the wound I had just been holding with my hand. My neighbor came on his four wheeler and held pressure on the wound so I could call my vet.
Of course it was after hours and all I got was the answering service, so I had them page the vet. I called my trainer next who happened to be with a good friend of ours who is also one of the vet techs from my vets office. I told them what was happening and they said they were coming right away. They informed me that my vet was out of town at a horse show. Another vet was on call, he called me next. I told him what was going on and the best description I could of the wounds. It was completely dark out by this time. I moved her to the street light to get a better look at the wounds. The one that had been gushing had slowed to a drip. The vet on call said that he was already in the middle of pulling a dead calf and would not be able to be there for at least 2 hours.
I walked her back to my property and my trainer and friend pulled up. We gave her injection to help with pain and inflammation. My friend had called my vet on his cell phone, so I was able to talk to him even though he was at the show. He instructed us to give her two different antibiotics which we did. For the most part her wounds had stopped bleeding, so we hosed them with cold water and flushed them with an iodine solution. I talked to the vet on call again and described what we had done and he said he would be there soon as possible. So we waited for the vet.
I went into my house to get more iodine and corral all the dogs inside. There was a copperhead in my living room. The snakes have been seeking out warm places and have been coming into the house when the door has been open. I put a plastic tote over the snake and put all the dogs in a back bedroom. I did not have time to deal with a snake.
When the vet came he stitched up her wounds that needed it and give me some medications and care instructions. When he was finishing stitching her up my husband drove up as he was now off of work. I felt really bad and knew that it had been him that had not locked the gate like I had asked. He had to go in and deal with the snake.
Her leg and wounds are going to heal fine and she did not damage any tendons.
This is exactly why I do not have any barbed wire on my property. I don't care how long you have had horses with barbed wire and they have been just fine. You replace it with safe fencing! This is also why I now double quadruple check my gates and why I am going to put perimeter fencing around my whole place.
Sorry so long, but I felt I should get this out.