Just looking for some advice on how to get over witnessing a traumatic horse event? This is going to be long and may be disturbing.
Today, hubby and I took our horses on a short trail ride this morning while we had a pleasant breeze and low humidity. Scuffy is hubby's leased TWH. He is 28 and in good health. He lost some weight over the winter and was finally beginning to show his age but he lived to be ridden. He would get depressed and would stop eating if he wasn't getting ridden lightly once or twice a week.
The only health scare we ever had was about 2.5 years ago, He tripped and fell and even though he wasn't injured, he wouldn't get up. We had to use ropes to get him up. Once he got up, he was fine. Vet was called and couldn't find anything wrong. Checked heart and looked for sign of stroke...nothing. Was told to just take it easy on him for a while. No sign of anything after that...until today.
We were almost to the barn. Hubby and Scuffy were in front of me. I saw Scuffy suddenly veer to the left, heading straight to the fence, like he didn't know where he was. Hubby reined him to the right and Scuff collasped to the ground. Hubby rolled away from him. When it was all said and done, Scuff was laying on his right side with his neck bent backward and twisted so the right side of his head was on the ground. It was a horrific sight that will haunt us forever.
I ran for help and vet was called. He was still alive but with his neck twisted that way, he was having trouble breathing. BO was there and realizing that if his neck was broken, he was a dead horse anyway, we made the decision to untwist his neck. He started breathing easier right away..just lying there on his side. He didn't seem to be in pain,mbut he was going into shock.
Hos owner was called and she got there in 15 minutes. We ran a hose over him and put a canopy tent over him to keep him out of the sun. Gave him electrolytes. He tried to get up a few times but we kept him down until the vet got there.
Vet didn't think his neck was broken. He was a very flexible horse and thinks it may have been strained but then the underlying cause became the big concern.
Doc thinks it was most likely a stroke that brought him down because of the way he crumpled to the ground. The way he landed with his neck twisted like that showed he was not in control of himself when he fell.
Doc oumped him full of fluids and we tried for over an hour to get him up. He could get up on his front end but his back end wouldn't cooperate. He could move his legs, but they wouldn't do what he wanted them to do.
The decision was made to put him down.
My hubby is devastated and feels responsible even though the vet said that it was going to happen and most times it happens out in a field when they are by themselves and are found sometime later. At least this way, he didn't suffer long and he was doing what he absoutely loved when it happened. This horse was the definition of a trail horse..he loved it. When he would see hubby grab the saddle, he would perk up and and paw at the ground like he was saying "let's go"
But the image of him lying there with his neck twisted at that horrible angle is hard to erase.
So, any of you that witnessed a horrible accident that resulted in a horse's death..how do you ever move past that?
And please, if you are going to say he shouldn't have been ridden at his age and with his history of going down for no reason once before...please don't post. I assure you that we are thinking that already and don't need it thrown into our faces to make us feel worse than we do. (If that is even possible)