Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My horse's battle wounds

This evening after Michael got home from work, I headed out to the barn to check on my horse. I put him in the cross ties and groomed him, but he was still rather antsy from his exciting morning. We still don't know what scared him so badly that he jumped the fence into his neighbor's run, but whatever it was, it still had him jumpy almost 12 hours later.

The worst wound is on his chest:

As you can tell, it's a pretty wide area, and looks pretty raw. All the hair is scraped right off. I'm guessing that when he landed he ran into the fence on the opposite site of his neighbor's run.

He also scraped both hind feet, probably against the fence as he jumped it. The left is worse than the right:

Unfortunately, the left hind leg is one that he has injured several times, and had some trust issues with when I first brought him to Denver in September. This is the leg that sustained the worst injury in the trailer accident when he was a yearling — if you look closely, you can see the proudflesh just above the hoof, and directly beneath that, the ridge that continues down his hoof.

Last summer, he also got this same leg wrapped up in a wire fence. He was probably caught in it all night, and by the time the in-laws found him, the wire had sliced his leg open almost all the way around. That was just before I brought him to Denver, so when he arrived he was extremely protective of his hind end.

Unfortunately, his injuries today sparked a little bit of the old habits: When I tried to pick up his left hind foot, he acted like he was half trying to kick, half trying to hold the foot out of my reach. I'm not afraid of him kicking me anymore, so he got his foot picked up anyway — probably about a dozen times.

There are a handful of bites on him as well, probably because his neighbor didn't think very highly of his surprise visitor. The three worst are on his withers, his back, and his left flank. The bite on his flank actually broke the skin, and seems to be a little more sore than the others.

Panama was extremely jittery while I was grooming him, probably partly because he was still freaked out and partly because he was sore. I had been intending to lunge him (to make sure he wasn't favoring a leg), but I decided he had enough excitement for one day, and settled for cleaning his injuries as best I could.

Once I put him back in his stall and gave him a few treats, he relaxed visibly, and was a little more affectionate with me. Hopefully he won't try any more gymnastics tonight, and will be in a better mood tomorrow!



At March 26, 2008 at 11:03 AM, Blogger Irreverent Freelancer said...

Aww, poor thing. I hope he heals quickly! He's already been through enough in life.

At March 29, 2008 at 4:31 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Thanks, Kathy. I hope so too!

The bitten areas weren't as sore yesterday (Friday), but he is still acting a little sensitive about his back feet. I don't actually think they're hurting him anymore, though -- I think the injuries just reawakened his old foot-trust issues.


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