I went camping this week taking my horse G-Man. This is the first time that I have had him camping. This was part of a large organized ride. There were about 250 riders. There were a lot of new experiences for my horse to endure. I want to say very proudly, he did well. I was concerned that he may not be ready for all the excitement so we went a day earlier than most of the other riders to get him use to the trails and camping. That helped because he handled in all in stride.
Now for the almost disaster:
I had him stalled up the first night. The second night one of my friend’s horses got injured and they had her on a tether line. She couldn’t put any weight on her leg so I told them they could use my stall that I had my horse in. There weren’t any more stalls left to rent.
This was the first time my horse has been tethered over night. I was nervous about it and made sure that I had put lead rope through a swivel line that would be easy to break if he got into any trouble. I was very cautious to make sure his line was at a height that would keep him safe. I had my husband to check everything before we went to bed and I woke up a couple of times during the night to check on him. I woke up around 4:30 am and looked out of the window and he was lying down. I had his line fixed so he wouldn’t be able to lie down. I jumped up grabbed my coat and a flashlight and slipped on boots as I went to check on him.
I have camped a lot and have had my horses to get themselves in a lot of different situations but I wasn’t prepared for this. My horse’s legs were over his head and neck with his halter and lead rope caught which was cutting off his air. I could hear him struggling for air. I yelled for my husband as I tried to undo the emergency line I thought I had him in. It was too tight; I tried to take the halter off again to tight. My husband comes running out and he tries to help me. The horse is starting to give up and we couldn’t tell if he was breathing. My husband said to run to get a knife, I took off for a knife, scared that the horse would be dead before I could get back with the knife since I am not able to run due to a leg injury.
One of the guys in the group heard me yelling for my husband came out to see if he could help. He had a knife on him (thank you god). He was able to cut the lead rope. After he cut the lead rope we could hear the horse take a deep breath. It took a few seconds to get him up. He was shacking all over. I had to rub him down a little bit to help get the circulation going again and to calm him down. I walked him around a few minutes and then decided that I was going to put him in the horse trailer for the rest of the morning until it was time to get up. My friend and my husband said if I hadn’t went out when I did that he wouldn’t have been a live. He was already giving up and he wasn’t getting enough air. I am so thankful that something woke me up when it did and I got on up and checked on him.
I found out later that someone had undone my horse to show him off to some friends and when they retied him they did not tie him up right. They felt terrible about the situation, I was trying not to be upset but I was pretty mad. I was thinking that they had no right to undo my horse , they could have the people to go to him or wait to the next morning. It all most cost me my horse that I have grown very attached too. I still shake at the thought of what coul have happen. I am thinking that if I ever have the problem of not having a stall that my horse would be safer staying in the horse trailer over night. I don’t ever want to tether my horses over night again.