Friday, July 4, 2008

New management and a crisis

Yesterday afternoon when I went to the barn there was finally a notice posted with the new manager's name and contact information. It said that she would be looking for help around the barn, so I immediately called her to suggest that I handle the stall cleaning in exchange for board.

The new manager — whose name is Cat — actually came down to meet with me and discuss the barn. We discussed the horses, their owners, and the current setup at the barn. We also talked about me cleaning stalls in exchange for board, and it sounds pretty certain that I'll be able to do so.

While we were there, a major incident happened that totally reassured me regarding Cat: One of the horses, the bully of the herd that used to be turned out separately from everyone else, tried to bite one of the other horses. Usually he doesn't do anything more than take off a little fur and skin, but this time he really went after his victim. Somehow he managed to push the other horse into the fence, and cause a split on the other horse's front leg that exposed the tendon and was nearly a foot in length. The fence post broke nearly in half, and two boards came down.

The owner was there at the time, and Cat and I were in the back pasture. We heard the crash and his owner start screaming at the bully horse to get away. Cat and I ran over and saw that the horse's leg was gushing blood. I hopped the fence and ran to the tack room to grab some white terrycloth rags that I keep there, and Cat created a makeshift bandage for the wound and applied pressure to slow the bleeding. Between the two of us, we got a hold of a vet who was able to come right away.

The vet was able to stitch up the wound, and says that the horse will be fine — he just has to stay on stall rest for two weeks. In the end, though, the incident — and Cat's immediate response — was the best character reference I think I could get. I believe my horse will be in good hands under the new management, and since I can work off the board, the only better scenario I can imagine is if Karen found a place and reopened her business elsewhere!

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