Back on the 23rd of this month I went out to find my horse Aramis (Arie for short) stuck in the fence....but his foot was suspended in the air, hanging there, by a piece of barbed wire. It had dug into the back of his foot, leaving a huge puddle of blood on the ground and me in hysterics. My nieghbor came and cut him loose and the vet came out to remove the last bit of wire, flush the wound and wrap him up. Through all the treatment Arie was so incredibly good, he knew we were trying to help him.
The next day a different vet came with a truck and trailer so we could haul him over to a friend's barn where she had a stall for him. Even though Arie was in some pain, he loaded right on the trailer for me without a second thought. Got to the barn and the vet wanted to give him a sedative. I told him that Arie had come to me with baggage with shots and to go slow with him, but he didn't listen to me. Arie fought him hard, trying to bite and slam him into the wall, but not doing so to me in the process. The vet gave up and asked for a chain to use on him and I said "We are NOT doing that." He started arguing with me, but I wouldn't have any of it. I started my needle prep exercises that I have done a thousand times with Arie and very soon he settled down, softened (mentally, emotionally and physically) and started giving to the pressure. The vet was watching, but came in again and started to do the same thing, and Arie started fighting so I told the vet to back off and do what I had done. He said a few words but did it anyway, and guess what, Arie stood still and allowed him to give him the shot.
The x-rays showed that Arie has fractured the wing of his coffin bone, but luckily it's not a weight bearing part. Long story short, he put a catheter in and started him on antibiotics and wrapped the foot. Arie has also done a self-nervectomy, so now he can't feel anything on that side of his foot to a degree. This is actually a good thing considering the injury.
The foundation I've put on Arie up to this point is being tested every day. He is learning that being doctored isn't something to get defensive about, even if it is uncomfortable at times. I'm able to take his temp every day, give him the injections in the catheter without a halter on, and bandaging his foot is pretty easy. Today the vet came out to look at the wound and he gave me the sedative shot to give to Arie. He doesn't want anything to do with Arie and shots, which is fine by me, but he definitely noticed how calm and cooperative Arie is with me. Maybe he's learned something. The wound looked excellent he said and he cut away all the proud flesh and dead tissue and then he put a cast on him. He said Arie should make a full recovery and I'll be able to ride him and work him like normal, but after 4-6 weeks of stall rest.
I plan on making the most out of the stall rest period, working on our foundation in little ways and spending a lot of undemanding time with him. I feel this will make our relationship even stronger. I really don't want to think about how this would have gone if this had happened when I first got him. Disaster seems to be an appropriate word to use. I've done so much needle prep work, feet handling work, tolorence building exercises, getting him used to different people being around him, and just the work I do with him in our sessions has really paid off. He trusts me to take care of him and that alone makes it worthwhile. My foundation isn't done being tested, but so far Arie and I are standing on a very solid structure He has taught me so much!