Friday, July 17, 2009

Waylaid plans

I went to the barn this evening with the intention of riding Panama in the field again. Unfortunately, the barn owner was just feeding him when I arrived — bad timing on my part — so I decided to just hang out and watch the horses eat. There's something so calming about it...

My horse eating hay

The two new horses have been combined with the other three now, and although it has ruffled the alpha's feathers a bit, the five of them are working things out.

Horses eating hay

The two new ones look like twins, don't they? They are actually different breeds, but both have the same odd color fur — light brown and dark brown intermingled for kind of a tortoiseshell effect. It was evening when I took the picture, so it didn't capture their interesting coloration at all.

Anyway, I was planning on letting Panama eat for a little bit and then riding him — until I realized he had a fresh bite the size of Texas in the saddle area. The picture doesn't show it, but in addition to the abrasion, it was pretty swollen.

Horse bite

I don't know if the alpha gelding did it — he's chasing everyone around, since he's upset about the new horses — or if it was the new gelding. Panama has been trying to befriend the new mare, so it could very well be the new gelding, who is rather protective of his lady. My horse is a homewrecker, heh...

Shortly after finding the bite, I also noticed a cut on the inside of one front foot. It was caked with dirt, and he wasn't crazy about me checking it out, so I decided I'd need to clean it before I could tell how bad it was.

It's a dark horizontal line extending back toward his heel — see it?

Horse hoof injury

When I cleaned it out with betadine and water, I found it was only a surface cut, so I just flushed it with cold water for a bit and then put some furacin on it.

I'm hoping the bite on his side will heal quickly, so that I can ride him out in the field again. Tomorrow, however, we're planning on doing some trailer work. Wish us luck!



At July 18, 2009 at 8:24 AM, Blogger Nuzzling Muzzles said...

That stinks. I get upset when people put horses together that hurt each other. I know they have to work out a pecking order, but I think as soon as one horse leaves a mark on another, they need to be separated. My horses pin their ears back at each other and chase each other, even give warning kicks or take warning nips, but they never physically injure another horse.

My farrier had a client who introduced a new horse to his herd. He came home and found his old horse's leg broken and had to put it down. He bought another horse, came home from work, and found that one with a broken leg too. The horse he introduced to the herd knew how to permanently get rid of other horses with a swift, hard kick to the cannon bone.

At July 18, 2009 at 11:04 AM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

NM, I agree with you about horses that do as much damage as what you described. There was a horse kind of like that at my old barn that had to be kept separated or only with certain horses, because he was TOO aggressive.

However, I don't think the horses in this case are going too far. Yes, the bite was a little swollen, but I was exaggerating a bit about it being the size of Texas. :o) Normally they don't make contact on one another, but with new horses there is always a little bit more activity. It'll calm down in a week and won't be a problem again until another new horse comes (which may be later this summer -- but maybe not for a while, as we're almost full now).

Finally, Panama always does get more bites than the others, as he is the baby and the most passive. He is also, as Pony Boy was discussing in the DVD I blogged about, the omega of the herd: the one all the other horses pick on to relieve the tension created by the alpha. My poor sensitive boy! :-D


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