Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Of Course...

Ever have your "spidy-senses" tell ya you need to do something? Today after piddling around with a fencing project for mom, I decided I needed to head out to my ranch. Normally I would not head out there late in the afternoon-there just isn't enough daylight left to get much of anything done. But I store all of my holiday decorations in the basement of the ranch house and thought today might just be the day I needed to go get them.

As I was coming through the gate, this caught my eye...
I glanced at the other horses, but quickly turned my attention back to my bay mare. Something just didn't seem right about that stance. Now nothing will get your attention around horses as quick as one that just don't seem to be "right". So I watched for a minute. Kinda like when you see a horse sprawled out in the sun...you just hold your breath, waiting for movement.

So I started to walk toward her. The closer I got, the more my alarm bells were going off...

Yea, just as I suspected, that is NOT a good stance. She is not putting any weight on that left hind leg. As I eased closer, I could tell she was in distress. She was breathing heavy and tight as a drum. When I got just about too her, she moved off and I almost broke into tears. She was packing that hind leg. The most she would attempt to do was step on the toe. I watched her move. Broken leg? Fractured fetlock or hock? Or hip? I just couldn't tell. The very worst was running through my mind.

Finally she let me get up to her. No swelling, leg not hanging like it is broken, hips look level. No cuts, no blood. What the hell? And then she moved again and I saw it. Her stifle was sticking out at a funny angle. Oh crap!

There was nothing I could do there, so I headed to the ranch house to call mom and set gates to bring the herd in. I went back to start bringing the herd in and it took forever to get those idiots moving in the right direction and to get my poor mare to follow. At first, she didn't even try to put any weight on the leg, but as she got left behind, she started dropping the toe to the ground and hobbling after the rest of them. By the time we got 1/2 way back to the house, she was traveling better. At least she was putting some weight on that leg.

I quickly ran the herd into the corral, sorted off all but the bay mare and closed the gates. She was sweaty and in obvious pain, but thankfully not overly excited about being separated from her herd. I threw some hay in the stall for her and rubbed her sweaty neck with a rag. When she was breathing normal, I gave her a bucket of water. By the time it got dark, she had drank, was eating and at least she was standing flat on that foot again.

I don't know if she dislocated that stifle slipping in the mud or by stepping in a hole, but making her move must have popped it back in place. Now I suspect there will be a long period of recovery and restricted movement while everything heals.

Tomorrow I will head back to the ranch with a horse trailer and if she is capable of handling the haul, bring her to town to rest and recuperate. That is all a person can do at the moment.

16 comments:

Mikey said...

Yikes!! That's not good! Good thing you noticed!! Funny how you just KNOW when something isn't right. Good catch!

Andrea said...

Oh no! That is horrible. Poor Bay Mare! She does look rather uncomforatble in that picture. I hope she can handle the trailer ride!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

Poor girl. I hate to see a horse in pain.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I just popped over here from Pony Girl's blog afer reading your comment.

I just wanted to say that I hope your pretty Bay Mare has a quick, speedy and pain free as possible recovery.

Horses really are a lot more delicate than they look, aren't they?

~Lisa

Adventures Of A Horse Crazed Mind said...

Ewe! That is one uncomfortable looking mare! Glad to hear that she is on the way to getting better. Wonder what she did? Hope she is ok to haul.

Paige said...

I know exactly what you mean, about having the feeling. I get that when I think, naw, I can let them go for one nite and not check on them just this one time---the guilt gets to me and inevitably I go and find something wrong

I bet she hops right in the trailer for you--are xrays in order?

cdncowgirl said...

Poor mare :(
Kimfer's gelding hurt his stifle at the beginning of September/end of August. At first they thought it was out but after much consideration they think the muscle was pulled/sprained.
He's finally back out with the herd.
Hopefully your mare makes a quick and full recovery.

Pony Girl said...

Oh goodness, you went through what I just went through! That awful feeling that something is not right. Like you said, you know when you see it. I am glad you were able to get her in and if it popped back on it's own, that is great! Is the stifle a tendon or ligament? I hope she is on the mend soon! Keep us posted.

Laura said...

Yikes - good thing you found her and got her isolated. Hope she is ok to haul into town for a bit of a rest...

kdwhorses said...

HOly cow!! It's always something isn't it!?!? Glad you have a eye for those things and caught it! HOping she has a speedy recovery!

Train Wreck said...

Oh my I was holding my breath the whole post! I hope it is just as you said! I hope it worked itself back in place. Damn horses, you have to watch every minute!! Thanks for the congrats. I do feel like bad luck sometimes, it seems he does well untill I watch! I guess it must have been he "clean" shirt! Keep us posted on your mare!

BrownEyed Cowgirls said...

Beauty is doing okay. I did not bring her in from the ranch today. She needs more time for some of the soreness to go away. No sense in stressing her out and causing more pain and discomfort hauling her over 25 miles of rough gravel roads.

I'll post more on it tonight. But I am sure that time will make this all better. Thanks guys!! I gotta go finish my fencing project-it's getting to be time to wean my colt.:)

Strawberry Lane said...

Yikes! You had me on the edge of my chair! Amazing how something not right ... usually is just that! Hope everything heals quickly. Keep us posted.

I'd sure like to borrow your expert eye and help me out with the starving horse I just rescued. (I posted the story last month)

Something just isn't right in his back quarters. Will be posting a photo soon. Maybe you can tell me via cyberspace.

Callie said...

Good Grief! That always scares me! Why do they do that to us?! Hope she heals well and all is ok with her!

Vaquerogirl said...

Good luck with your pretty bay mare. No breaks? Lets all hope for afast recovery!

Holly said...

Oh man....I was holding my breath the entire time I read that post. Scared me to death. I am so glad you got her home ok and that time will help!