Two accidents in one day...I'm still a bit shaken. - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 32 Old 09-22-2013, 06:55 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 702
• Horses: 2
Two accidents in one day...I'm still a bit shaken.

I don't know if this is a rant or just a retelling of yesterday's horrible events, but here we go...

Yesterday started off as a pleasant day, with the sun shining after a long time of rain. I went down to the bush with my sister to enjoy the awesome weather and came back after about an hour to ride the horses.

I tied Luca (my gelding) to the fence and groomed him, while my sister took Fleet (a TB gelding we "lease"- his story is a bit complicated) and laid his leadrope onto the fence, since Fleet has tying issues (he came with those). If he is tied up properly, he sometimes just freaks out at the fact that he can't move wherever he wants to go, so he pulls back hard. He is good as gold when ground-tied though, and when his leadrope is just sitting on the fence. So anyway, we started to groom them. After a while, my sister went inside to brush her hair or something along those lines, so I stayed with the horses and tacked Fleet up, since my sis was going to ride him. After about fifteen minutes of waiting, I ran inside to find my sister lying on her bed, angry about something (nothing to do with me I don't think) so I told her that Fleet was outside, tacked up, and that if she wanted to ride him, she had to come outside now, since there was no one to supervise Fleet (who was, of course, not tied up properly.) But my sister couldn't make up her mind so I told her that this was her last chance to ride Fleet today, and if I made it outside by myself, she wouldn't be able to ride him anymore. Tough love, I know, but you need to be firm with my sis about things like this.

Well, she didn't follow me, so I decided to ride Fleet myself, since he needs his exercise. I got my helmet and riding boots, but then noticed that I didn't have any socks. I dashed inside and grabbed socks as quick as I could. As I walked down the stairs, out of the front door, I suddenly noticed a fast movement out of the corner of my eye. It was Fleet, moving violently near Luca, who was still tied up. The first thing that sprang to my mind was "Fleet is attacking Luca and Luca can't get away" (since Fleet is the lead horse and does occasionally chase his herdmates) I also found it strange that Fleet wasn't standing still, since he's the best ground-tier (or in this case, leadrope-lying-on-the-fence-tier) I've ever met. So I dropped my socks and ran towards the horses. My heart practically skipped a beat when I suddenly saw Fleet's four legs flying through the air as the gelding fell backwards (with tack on, too! ) and landed heavily on his back...

I realised with shock that Fleet's foreleg was stuck in his reins, causing immense pressure on his mouth. Of course, he didn't know that the pressure would cease if he lowered his head, so he was in sheer panic. I dithered helplessly for a few moments as Fleet stumbled around in sheer panic, running backwards into the fence several times and then rushing into the middle of the paddock, where he twisted gotesquely and flipped over, landing on his back again. That's when I sprang into action, first shouting "Fleet! Fleet!" in a panicked voice, and then correcting myself and telling him to stand in a calm-as-possible voice. But Fleet was on his feet again and he started stumbling backwards around the small paddock again. I tried to grab him, but he nearly ran into me, so I had to step back and try to get him from a different angle, all the while Fleet was throwing himself around, pure panic in his face. Although I was pretty sure that he was either going to break his leg or neck, or get tangled in the fence, I tried to stay optimistic (which was immensely difficult) as I tried to grab Fleet.

I finally got the side of his bridle and he suddenly slowed down and sunk down as if he was going to lie down. His whole body was trembling, but I didn't see any injuries on him. The pressure was still on the bit, so Fleet could just explode into another panic-attack any moment. Nobody was outside. Nobody had heard the commotion. I was stuck here, trying to keep Fleet calm, not able to reach the connection of the reins. So I did the only thing I could do...I screamed. Again and again. As loud and shrill as I could. SOMEONE would have to hear it. Not Luca, though. He was actually DOZING, not fazed by it all.
After a while of screaming, someone finally came to my aid. My dad. He ran over and I burst out crying. I managed to gasp something like "I'll explain later, just get the bridle off!" Dad did so, Fleet flinched as the pressure of the bit suddenly ceased and I broke down, sobbing hysterically. I was in shock alright.

After he was untacked by my dad, Fleet immediately walked over to the lushest clump of grass and started to graze as if nothing had ever happened. I calmed down and examined his body. No injuries at all, just a few missing strands of tail hair. I was stunned. His tack wasn't damaged either. Fleet must have itched his head on his leg or something, causing him to step through the reins. He couldn't have been grazing, since (before he came to us) he had been trained very thoroughly that he was not allowed to graze when "tied up". Maybe he did graze, I'll never know, but one thing is certain...I will NEVER leave a tacked up horse out of my sight when there's no-one else to supervise him.

The second accident happened about an hour and a half after the Fleet accident. My sister decided to ride her gelding Syd and invited me to do the same. I had just ridden Luca (just doing bending exercises), but I said yes anyway, since Syd is really awesome to ride. So he got tacked up and ridden. First by my sis, then me, then by my sis again because she wanted to cool him down. Syd had other intentions, though. He hadn't been ridden in a while, so he wanted to keep going (This horse has loads of energy for a 16 year-old). When my sis asked him to walk, he set off in a trot (his trot is unbelievably fast). My sister managed to calm him down and get him to walk, so she rode to the end of the paddock and turned around. The paddock has a little gravel driveway next to it, and when Syd suddenly spooked at my neighbour biking past (and ringing the bell of his bike ) he veered off the paddock, onto the gravel. My sister, again, managed to slow him down and bring him onto the grass. She rode a few circles and then got off, leading him back to the tying-up place. That's when she noticed that Syd was leaving a trail of blood behind him. I told her to lead Syd onto the asphalt in front of the house carefully, since you couldn't see the amount of blood he was losing in the grass. As soon as Syd's left front hoof touched the ground, blood pooled around it. Syd was keeping his weight on the hoof, though, so my sister lifted it up, to see a strong stream of blood running out of a puncture near his frog. I ran back to the house and grabbed giant wads of paper towels, telling my dad what happened on the way there. I also took a bottle of antiseptic liquid with me and returned to Syd and my sis. Syd didn't seem to be in much pain, fidgeting and reaching for the grass, fully using the injured hoof. My dad applied pressure to the wound while I went back for more paper towels. After about 15 minutes, the bleeding stopped completely and we disinfected the wound with the antiseptic. We waited for half an hour (just in case the bleeding started again) and then returned Syd to the paddock (thank god this paddock isn't as muddy as the others). It turned out that Syd stepped on a sharp rock when he spooked, causing it to pierce his hoof. I checked in Syd today and he's as good as ever, the wound has been cleaned again and it didn't bleed during the night.

Whew, that was a lot of writing. Cookies for you if you read all that. Well...I'm still a bit shaken about all this, but I'm just so glad that Fleet didn't get hurt and that Syd is doing fine. I'm going to be a lot more careful in the future when it comes to potential danger.

Proud owner of a Standardbred!
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post #2 of 32 Old 09-22-2013, 07:11 PM
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: New Zealand
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Oh heck that is horrible :( I'm loath to leave a horse tied up, tacked up unsupervised. Ive had plenty of broken reins and freaked out horses and it just isn't worth the heart attack!
Hope all your ponies (and you) are ok :)
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post #3 of 32 Old 09-22-2013, 07:13 PM
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: South East Texas
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This is why it is important to NEVER leave a tacked horse, especially with reins, tied without watching it, and even more important to have a sharp knife on you at ALL times. If you'd had one, you would have been able to cut the rein and give him relief. Some one left our TB mare with her reins looped over her neck once even though they know they should NEVER do that, and the same thing happened with her, except for that I got to her before she flipped and I sliced the reins to relieve her. It could have ended VERY badly. You need to check his mouth for bruising and cuts, and if he fell on his back twice, I'd say he's going to need a visit from the chiropractor. There's no way he isn't sore from that.

You're probably going to need a vet for that gelding's frog too. Puncture wounds can have something stuck in them that you can't see, and if it went in deep enough to hit a big blood supply like that, he is very prone to infection right now. If I were you I'd call a vet, have him make sure nothing is in it, and pack it to keep bacteria/mud out.

I won't say I'm glad you're horses aren't hurt, because they are, even if they don't outwardly show it. But I hope the lesson has been learned.
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post #4 of 32 Old 09-22-2013, 07:18 PM
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: New Zealand
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Wow, what a nightmare of a day! D: I'm glad you or your sis didn't get hurt with all of the disasters that happened. Don't be discouraged, horses are remarkably forgiving, and Fleet won't hold it against you. ;) As for Syd, hopefully he heals well. Sounds like you did everything right to keep yourself out of danger and minimise injury to your horses. Bad days happen, and when they do, it leaves you with the most horrible feeling. :( But don't let it get to you too much, just learn from them and try to stay positive, which it sounds like you're already doing. :)

"When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will finally know peace." - Jimi Hendrix
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post #5 of 32 Old 09-22-2013, 07:21 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: May 2012
Location: New Zealand
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Yep, we'll have the vet out for both of them, just to make sure. And yes, I have certainly learnt my lesson. :(

Proud owner of a Standardbred!
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post #6 of 32 Old 09-22-2013, 07:45 PM
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: OK
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Wow, what a day you had. Lesson learned and I'm glad it didn't end much worse.
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post #7 of 32 Old 09-22-2013, 08:00 PM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Wow. That sure sounds like a difficult day. I'm glad everything turned out relatively okay, but I agree with Endiku, you should probably get those horses checked out.
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post #8 of 32 Old 09-22-2013, 08:11 PM
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Minnesota
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This is the main reason I have split reins. I LOVE my split reins. They also clip very easily onto the bit, rather than being tie-on, which makes it very easy to tack up and then clip on the reins right before riding - and unclip them if I have to do something quick. You might look into such reins - I absolutely LOVE them. (Unless they aren't in your discipline, of course).
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post #9 of 32 Old 09-22-2013, 08:44 PM
Join Date: Dec 2011
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Omg how scary!!! This is why I cringe when I see people tie with the reins. I don't want to risk my horses mouth/teeth, safety or tack. Tying with a bridle just ain't worth it to me. I'd sooner get off and just loop a breakaway halter around his neck. Another reason why I also like a halter under my halter!!

As for the puncture you may want to get a vet out. I don't think a rock could puncture a hoof like that. He likely stepped on a nail or something. You'd be best off getting him a tetanus shot and a course of antibiotics. Sepsis isn't anything to mess around with.

Oh well, we live and learn from our mistakes!
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post #10 of 32 Old 09-22-2013, 08:49 PM
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Seattle, WA
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why did the reins not snap? if a horse can break a thick leather breakaway halter in a panic, he should be able to snap any leather rein you use.
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