Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Western Massachusetts
Hard to write about
Lostastirrup's recent barely-averted trailering disaster was very painful to read, because I have just had a trailering disaster of my own. I have not been able to talk about it much less write about it much. But maybe it will be cathartic or something. Yes. Hug your horses.
Three weeks ago I was hauling my horse to my trainer's for a lesson when the door latch failed and the door swung open. It's a simple stock trailer, no butt bars, and Brooke slid, the safety catch on her trailer tie let go, and she fell out. Not more than five miles from home.
She was on her feet, in fact trotting down the road in a daze, when I caught her. I called my vet, called my trainer. The guy whose driveway I ended up in was truly nice and even rather horse-savvy. Didn't mind the equine first aid station in front of his house. Brooke had abrasions all over, maybe thirty of them. I haven't counted. Some were deep, and a couple were frightening. Her carpus (knee) was exposed bone.
My vet was there within fifteen minutes, sedated her, cleaned out her wounds in the field, bandaged her well. I knew I was in no shape to haul her anywhere even back home. I called a friend with a trailer and very luckily she was already at her boarding barn getting ready to ride. She immediately dropped everything and brought her trailer around. Meanwhile my trainer had come to find me, she got me to drink some lemonade and eat something. We got Brooke into my friend's trailer and she hauled her to Tufts equine hospital two hours away, while my trainer drove my trailer home for me. Everyone was so kind, and generous, and competent.
Brooke is still there. But she is healing well and will be released in three days to come home, unless something untoward happens. They thoroughly flushed the exposed joints, they infused them with antibiotics, and they covered them with sterile bandaging until they had granulated over. I doubt she would have made it without such skilled medical help.
Her terrible knee is now quite covered with granulation and is already half the size it was. She punctured the joint capsule on one hock; that is almost closed. And the other bad place, front of a rear fetlock, slower to heal than the knee although a much smaller wound, is finally doing well. The vet at Tufts used "amnion" on her knee and fetlock to try to help them close; an alternative to skin grafting, which was the other option. I had never heard of it. It's a manufactured membrane made from the amniotic tissue of a foal (the sac that encloses them in the womb). So it is a kind of stem cell therapy. Not cheap, but it clearly made a difference.
I've been driving out there to visit her twice a week. It is absolutely exhausting. Pippa pony stays far out in the pasture both night and day and doesn't come in except for breakfast and dinner. She mourned for a while and now is resigned. The goat doesn't seem to cheer her much. Nor me, I'm still grieving. And still traumatized. Anything that reminds me of that event collapses me. The stable feels so empty.
But I will get over this. I am healing too. Brooke will come right. No ligaments or tendons or bones were involved, she only has to grow her skin back. This has been a hard hard year. But I am grateful to God. It could have been far worse, I can't even contemplate it. So thankful for my friends, for the vets who have cared so well for Brooke, and grateful I had enough money to save my dear horse.
Short horse lover