Sunday, August 30, 2009

High Tensile

It has not been the greatest week for Steen and me. On Monday I went out to the barn with high hopes for a nice ride only to have my plans utterly dashed by the herd of cattle. I'll not go into detail, but suffice it to say I could not so much as get Steen out of the pasture. So, after trying for a while, I left in frustration. I told myself, one more week and the new pastures will be in and we won't have these kinds of problems anymore. I had grand plans for an excellent ride tomorrow.

Except today at 2:30, Cathi called me and said, "Steen just ran through a wire. He has a cut on his left hind leg. The vet is on his way. I don't think this is going to be life threatening, but I'd feel better if you were here."

Not good.

Particularly not good because Cathi is not the type to call the vet if the vet is not really quite necessary.

So, Brian and I got in the car, and we arrived at the stable fifteen minutes later to find Steen in the barnyard bleeding in four places. I guess what happened is the whole herd ran through a section of fence that only had one piece of wire strung across. Steen was not the first horse through the wire, but he was the first to hit it full force. Being high-tensile pasture-fence wire, it put up a good fight before snapping. It hit him first at the tops of his front legs, only removing some skin there, then clothes-lined him midway between his knees and his ankles, leaving deep gashes and chunks of missing skin. The right hind was mostly just bloody, but the left hind had a large flap of hanging skin and a visible tendon exposed to the air.

This is not what any horse-owner ever wants to see, but the good news is Steen was accepting care with only minimal protest, and when I arrived he seemed to calm down further, though he was still breathing heavily and was clearly upset.

About ten minutes after Brian and I showed up, the vet came and after a quick examination stated that although the tendon casing had been cut, the tendon itself was intact.

That was good news.

So, he gave Steen a painkiller, a couple of sedatives and a gigantic bandage around the one leg. To Steen's other wounds he applied a pink zinc ointment. The vet assured me there would be no long-term lameness from this, though there will be a scar.

Brian and I hung out for a while after the vet left, and Steen grazed a bit. Then Cathi brought her daughter's (friendly, mellow) pony over to keep him company, and we installed the two of them in a smallish run with a fresh bale of hay, on the other side of the (fully constructed) fence from Steen's normal herd. Without any complications, we can leave the bandage off in a week and in another two or three, I should be able to finally have a nice ride... In the meantime, he gets daily antibiotics, semi-daily bandage changes and perhaps an increased dosage of apples and kisses.

2 comments:

  1. Wow, sounds like an adventure. Glad to hear Steen will be ok. At least he didn't break his splint bone...then you'd be out of riding for a month and a half.

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  2. Thanks. I'm glad he'll be ok, too. Not a fun adventure, but it could have been worse.

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