Today was one of those days. The type of day that makes you superstitious because so much goes wrong.
Thanks to the frozen ground, I managed to fall on the driveway with my hands full of brand new sunglasses, my cell phone, keys and a ceramic bowl. Needless to say, but my arms and knees saved everything I was carrying and my head from getting cracked into too many pieces (which, in my opinion, is anything more than 1).
Luckily, I know my horse is safely inside (I lost a horse to a bad fall in a snowy pasture and now keep all my horses in/hand walking at the slightest sign of bad pasture footing).As I head down to the barn, however, I realize that my @%*~#! of a horse has managed to let himself out his back door, so that he could remove the upper portion of his stablemate's back door - 100+ pounds of STEEL and GLASS - and land it on the ground, and then somehow open the side gate so he could walk around the generator and patio behind the tack room. Did I mention that I am calling my horse names because he somehow managed to escape all of this without damaging himself or his buddy?!?! If I could tell you how he did even one of these things, it would be a miracle. To explain how he opened two gates and lifted a door off its hinges, without breaking anything, is totally beyond me.
A lungeing session later and I think I have worked some of the Houdini out of the little guy. He is now on lock-down, with the upper part of his Dutch door now closed. That is what you get when you can't stay in your room!
After this whole mess, I headed home... and fell out of my truck on the ice. This time, I hit my leg on the truck door and it hurt like... (insert whatever you think I just called my horse). At this point, I am thinking: Maybe I am making up for all the injuries my horse managed to avoid. Then I found the following email upon arriving home:
(My friend) has her two horses at a private farm and let them out for a short time yesterday evening. When they were coming in, one of them slipped and slashed his leg on some ice and cut 2 arteries. The vet was able to come out in about an hours time, and she couldn't stitch the arteries so they had to bring the horse to (the animal hospital). It took them over 3 hours to get the trailer dug out and driveways cleared enough to pull out. At that time there were about 20 people involved in the operation, between digging out, stabilizing the horse who was starting to go down from all the blood loss, and calling around and finding a truck that could haul safely over the ice. The horse made it to (the hospital) and is doing well this morning, but very scary situation in all of this.
My point? A horse can just as easily get himself into trouble in or out of the barn, so you might as well just give up. Seriously though, anyone in the horse world knows that accidents happen - especially freak accidents - and only prevention and luck can keep your horse safe & sound.
Since luck is impossible to control, we MUST focus on injury/disaster prevention. During these winter storms, this includes:
- Keep your horses in when the weather is not safe to turnout.
- Appreciate the increased energy levels of a stall-bound horse and/or a horse that has been out of work because you cannot get to the barn in the snow - turnout, riding and lungeing become riskier as a result.
- Recognize that there is a lot of snow on the roof - make sure that it can handle the weight load. Don't forget the lovely crashing sounds it makes when it melts off.
- Falling on ice really sucks. Slipping with your horse on ice is 10x worse - watch your step, trust me!
- MAKE SURE THAT YOUR TRUCK/TRAILER ARE ACCESSIBLE TO YOUR HORSE(S) AND EMERGENCY VET CLINIC.
For additional information on preparing you/your horse(s) for all situations, please visit the following link:
Thank the "Idiot of the day" for such a helpful blog: