Friday, October 3, 2008

The Most Terrifying Moment of My Life

No picture today, folks. The mental image is bad enough.

I called my sister this afternoon to catch up and to wish my 10-year-old nephew a happy birthday. Usually I would sit in the living room or the kitchen, but I was on the couch in our mud room so as not to disturb David (napping) or our friend Roger (working). About 20 minutes into the conversation David came bursting out of our bedroom and shouted "SARAH! There's something wrong with Raven. She fell down." I was off the phone, into boots and out the mudroom door like a shot.

What I saw was my beautiful girl almost upside down in the old bathtub we use as a water trough. Her eyes were closed, her legs out straight, blood running out of her mouth, my heart stopped. As I got closer she opened her eyes and I could see that her lower jaw was caught behind the upper chest strap on her rain sheet. She was perfectly still and she gave a low nicker when she saw me. I thought you'd never come.

Those moments are crystal clear but the rest is a bit of a blur. Our neighbor from across the street was just running over as I shouted "I need scissors", which came flying out the bedroom window. All the dogs started to bark and Raven, previously so calm and patient in her predicament, seemed to decide that it was safe to resume her struggle. She gave a mighty heave, tipped herself and the trough sideways, got enough slack to get her jaw free, and came to her feet in a shambles.

She is better than can be expected. A few gashes but nothing that should be stitched. All ribs seem to be intact and her breathing looks easy. My biggest concern is her cut up gums, but a warm mash went down with ease. She has nibbled at some grass, but any hay she takes up just drops out followed by funny faces. They are obviously sore, but I am hoping that a steady diet of soaked beet pulp will allow her to heal up over the next few days. She will be one miserable horse tomorrow I imagine.

Once Raven was taken care of I got that tub out. of. my. paddock. Not good for the back, but good for the soul. Never again will I use a water vessel that could potentially contain a horse. An old garbage can will have to suffice for now, but I think that an automatic waterer will be on its way.

18 comments:

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

How scary! What a bizarre accident. I used to use an old bathtub as a water trough until my horse cut his leg on the edge. I had filed down all the rough edges, but it didn't make any difference. I got rid of that and started using the Rubbermaid troughs, but those get so much algae build up. Now I'm using aluminum troughs. The horses kick dents in them, but they are a lot easier to clean. I'm glad you were there to rescue your baby.

Amy said...

Oh, that's scary. I'm glad that she and you got through that ordeal with relatively minor trauma (ie, she can still eat - very good thing).

Black Jack's Carol said...

Well, that's an image that will stay in my mind for a while, and I bet, in yours, forever. I am so glad that it turned out as it did, and hope she'll be able to munch her hay comfortably before you know it.

EvenSong said...

Holy Smokes! That is SO frightening! I had a similar scare once, when I realized a "gate rattle" didn't sound quite right, and looked out to see my young mare with one rear cannon slid down the slot between a gate and its post, resting on the latch, with her other foot just barely able to reach the ground--so most of her weight was suspended on the caught leg! Like Raven she stayed pretty calm until I started to unbolt the hinges, then she had just enough leeway and made a mighty kick/thrash and got herself free. It was just lucky we were home--vet was surprised she didn't bust a bone or demolish either of the adjacent joints! Glad YOU guys were there when it happened!

Sounds like maybe Raven got caught in the sheet first, then did the frantic backing up act to try to get free, and backed herself into the tub! She must have been soaked and chilled to the bone! Any idea how long she had been in that position? With all the blood in her mouth, it's a blessing that it didn't choke her!

How's she doing today? Probably sore all over! (You guys might be too, after the adrenelin rush and headlong rush to the paddock!)

Hoping for a speedy recover!

EvenSong said...

p.s. Isn't it nice how quickly you can jump into the Muck Boots?

dp said...

Raven looks very stiff this morning, but she is fine. She is nibbling some hay and enjoying the frequent meals of beet pulp. Swelling has gone down around the biggest of the cuts and it looks to be healing well.

I am so glad that we were home. David heard the crash of her going down into the trough, so she wasn't there for more than a minute or two. I have no clue how long her jaw was caught before that. I'm sure that our neighbor would have helped if we had not been around, but I hate to think of her lying there with no one around.

She is in her new rain sheet now (I was saving them for winter) which has a higher neck. Even still, I will try probably start tying it with a bit of leather instead of buckling it. She is very flexible through the neck and I'm sure that she got stuck by snapping down at an itch on her chest.

And yes, Muck Boots go on very fast!

Carole said...

I'm glad Raven is better. How scary for everyone! When one of our horses colicked, those 20 minutes waiting for the vet to arrive were among the longest I've ever experienced. There's nothing worse than an animal emergency!

allhorsestuff said...

THAT was a terrifying read..so glad it came to a great ending..and yea, the tub is outa here!
Trash cans do very well in the summertime as the horses can escape the flys by dipping their heads in them.
Very glad it has turned out well!

Brandy said...

What a frightening thing! I'm so glad you were home and able to take care of your beautiful girl!

I wonder if you could put the bathtub so just half of it is under the fence? But a nice bucket is good too!

Isn't it amazing the ways our babies get into trouble? Who would think she could get her jaw into the strap on her sheet? So weird! And she was such a good girl when you came to save her!

I'm so thankful that she'll be ok! And you as well! {{{HUG}}} for you!!!

Daun said...

DP, Thank goodness she is OK! Lesson learned, I will never put big tubs in paddocks.

Thank you!!

horsesandhounds said...

Very scary, glad she's ok!

Anonymous said...

Thank god you were home. Me thinks a horse is an accident waiting to happen. Just seems that way.

dp said...

Thanks for your kind thoughts everyone. Raven is eating hay again, and we're back up to 90% normal consumption. The cut on the hind left swelled up again over the night, but there is no heat or sign of infection. I think it is just stocked up as she's not moving as much as normal.

She did take herself for a long trot in the pasture today. Not quite sound, but back to her old spirits. She is being mean to Tonka again as well.

Melanie said...

Oh, my poor little lady. Sorry to hear about this.

ronnie said...

Wow. I'm so glad things ended well. It sounds like Raven is still a bit embarrassed thought!

ronnie said...

thought=though

oregonsunshine said...

Glad she's ok! And, I will never use a tub in a paddock again. I never thought about the potential for something to go wrong.

Five O'Clock Somewhere said...

Holy Moley!!! That is for sure a freak accident, but thankfully Raven is ok!!! Unbelievable!