A horrible thing happened - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 42 Old 08-15-2020, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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A horrible thing happened

Some horse people that I know had an accident with one of their mares.
They were competing and somehow the reins (not split) got up over the mares head, she stepped on them and her tongue got completely severed off.
They rushed the mare to the University vet hospital in the state that they were in. Over the phone the vet said that the tongue could possibly be reattached. When they got there and the mare was evaluated, they were told that the tongue could not be reattached. I'm not really sure why. Because of how much was removed or where it was at or what have you. The surgeon did say that the tongue would heal and the horse should be able to cope. Of course never again to wear a bit. The mare is very well trained and if she makes it should be fine to ride. I'm trying to wrap my head around how she is going to get any nutrition while her tongue is healing.

I felt so bad for the horse, the owners and the child that this horse belongs to.

You know, part of me says that this was an accident as it was not intentional but I don't really feel that it was an unavoidable accident. They were using a twisted wire snaffle bit with non split reins and it just seems to me that it was possibly an accident waiting to happen.

Here's my thing. The child feels just horrible and wishes it was them that got hurt and not the horse. How do you deal with this. Part of me thinks that you should talk to the kid and just try to soothe their hurt. Another part of me thinks that this could be a good lesson of how to take culpability and also be walked through the process of self forgiveness and forgiveness of others. Is this too much for a young teen?

I'll keep you posted on how the mare is doing. This just happened yesterday. Right now the horse is still at the vet hospital.

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post #2 of 42 Old 08-15-2020, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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An update came in. The horse is expected to make a full recovery (minus part of her tongue) and is eating soft mush food this morning.

Animals amaze me with their will to live.

There will be only one of you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.
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post #3 of 42 Old 08-15-2020, 12:19 PM
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Gosh, what a freak thing to have happen.
I can not imagine the force applied to sever a tongue from a bit, don't care what the mouth configuration...that is a lot of force.

Glad to read the horse is eating a mush diet while she heals...
Think hay is out of the question as long as she is not healed but it is said that Senior feed fed in appropriate amounts a horse can live and thrive on for years...
...

The worst day is instantly better when shared with my horse.....
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post #4 of 42 Old 08-15-2020, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Apparently, from what I hear, this is not the first time for this to happen to a horse. Other people's horses were able to have the tongue attached back on. All I can think is just WOW. This is almost unimaginable for me. It hurts to think about it.

I am also so happy to hear that she's going to recover, the poor baby. And this horse means a lot to this child.

I'm thinking that she may well be able to eat soaked cubes as well over time. I don't know though.

There will be only one of you for all time. Fearlessly be yourself.
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post #5 of 42 Old 08-15-2020, 01:08 PM
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I had a wonderful Mustang whose tongue was nearly severed a couple owners before me. I didn't even know it when I bought him, and didn't notice it for many months. When I did see the scar, it was really bad, like a corner of the tongue wasn't attached and the rest was a deep, puckered scar. But he actually rode great.....in a bit.


I asked previous owner what happened (kind of expecting to get mad at the guy) and he told me it was the owner before him and it was done with a bit (he didn't say how). He was upset by it too. So that made me feel better about the previous owner!


Anyway, that is such a horrible thing to happen, I can't imagine! Well, I can imagine, I have had (and seen) horses step on their reins with a bit in their mouth, resulting in a bent bit, usually, but not actually cut the tongue (thank goodness). I think the mouthpiece has a LOT to do with the severity of her injury. Because I've had horses step on their reins too and it never cut their mouth. Maybe it was a particularly bad accident. But the mouthpiece definitely played a big role I would imagine.


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post #6 of 42 Old 08-15-2020, 01:28 PM
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When I met my wife (teenagers) she had to give her mare a pill, we were in the barn. She was having trouble so I looped a rope nearby, wrapped around mares neck to pull her over. She yanked, rope was like a noose! I tried, could not get it loose. Her mare kicked back of her stall out then jumped up knocking down a ceiling joist.
I quickly got my pocket knife out and cut rope carefully from neck outward.
Horse was fine, I fixed the barn. I was a stupid kid, accidents happen so fast.
Every accident hindsite is 20-20. You can beat yourself to death, I should have done this or that.
Several accidents I've had over the years I could have died from.

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post #7 of 42 Old 08-15-2020, 01:35 PM
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This mare sounds like a prime candidate for some type of hackamore when she's healed.

Has anyone discovered that their normally bitted horse actually does much better in a hackamore? My current mare rides good in a bit, don't get me wrong, but when I discovered she rides well in a hackamore I have been trying all sorts on her (mainly mechanical) and she actually rides better in it than a bit. Which I was sort of delighted to find out, because I feel like she can eat treats/grass on trail rides better and when the reins aren't engaged, its just like she's wearing a halter.

It's a shame the mare lost her tongue, that's horrific. But I bet she will ride fantastic in a hackamore, I am finding out more and more horses do.

PS. I have feared a horse breaking their jaw if they step on their reins (in a curb bit) or nose (in a hackamore). But this is the first time I have heard of a tongue getting cut in this way. But I bet that's what happened to my old Mustang.


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post #8 of 42 Old 08-15-2020, 01:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuddyduddy1952 View Post
When I met my wife (teenagers) she had to give her mare a pill, we were in the barn. She was having trouble so I looped a rope nearby, wrapped around mares neck to pull her over. She yanked, rope was like a noose! I tried, could not get it loose. Her mare kicked back of her stall out then jumped up knocking down a ceiling joist.
I quickly got my pocket knife out and cut rope carefully from neck outward.
Horse was fine, I fixed the barn. I was a stupid kid, accidents happen so fast.
Every accident hindsite is 20-20. You can beat yourself to death, I should have done this or that.
Several accidents I've had over the years I could have died from.

Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk

I tied my very first horse to a barn door when I was getting him saddled and he set back and pulled the door off the hinges! Luckily no horses or humans were hurt in that extremely stupid move on my part. But just like with your accident I bet, you/I never did it again!


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post #9 of 42 Old 08-15-2020, 01:52 PM
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I'm not entirely certain you can prevent something like that? Child falls off over the horse's head, reins follow rider and the horse steps on reins?

Usually reins break when stepped on. What material was the reins made of? I would think the reins would break before the tongue would get cut. I'm not sure split reins would be that helpful, as the horse could still step on one rein with considerable force.

A freak accident.

I never use split reins but i rarely ever take the reins over the horse's head. I was taught not to do that in case the horse runs off and steps on the reins. Although that is more for preventing broken reins then preventing injury.

I've had many a broken bridle or reins due them getting stepped on. Sometimes that happens. I have a hard time understanding how the horse would get injured like that. Why didn't the bridle break?
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post #10 of 42 Old 08-15-2020, 02:04 PM
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Yeah, I , too , was wondering what sort of material the reins were made of. Most English type bridle set -ups. with non-split reins, have the leather taper to a finer width at the place where the two reins are buckled to each other. This way, the rein loop will break at that point, should it need to.


I would not put any kind of emotional weight on the teen who rode the horse. She will put more than enough on herself. I mean, yes, it is a freak accident that could happen to anyone, isn't it?
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