Friday, August 13, 2010

all lifes challenges

i have found disaster always strikes when you least expect it. The Grey is a different horse these days. her attitude,her looks and her behaviour have changed dramatically. gone is the tenseness and withdrawn suspicious attitude she has had since she arrived. Now she actively seeks to interact with me and seems happy about it. In fact shes almost could be described as affectionate and cuddly as far as horses go. No longer does her neck and head stick straight up in the air at all times, so that she has the appearance of a sheared sheep. Now she drops her head licking her lips, a sign of thinking and relaxation in horses. She even nays to me every time she sees me approaching, whether to get her from the paddock or just walking past in the stable, which none of my domestic horses do! Shes constantly follows you in the paddock, getting in the way And she leans into her daily brushing as though she enjoying a really good massage. Horses change you just have to give them time. Never discount them from a first impression. So when the the grey got both hind legs stuck in a fence last week, it was a double blow of devastation after all her progress..

it was one of those things you see from a distance and watch with horror knowing you cant do anything, and it is all about to go horribly wrong. Sure enough i saw her lie down for her afternoon roll in the paddock, saw that she was too close to the fence, saw her roll right over to her other side and both back legs go straight through the fence. This is where you, as a owner almost don't want to see how bad it is. Horses talent for self destruction is always my worst nightmare. Ive nursed enough animals through bad injuries to know just how bad it can be. Horses being prey animals there first reaction is always to try and flee a bad situation. Which usually results in shredded legs, whenever a fence is involved. Luckily there second reaction is just to give up completely.

So as greys legs went through the fence her first reaction was to try and get up and get out of there. Our fences, luckily are good smooth wire fences and are only have the top three strands, the idea being that horses cant paw and get there legs stuck, like with low wires. We didn't take into account horses rolling into fences obviously. I was already on my way down the hill towards the grey when i saw her struggle to get up, thrashing and somehow managing to stretch the wire so it had the opposite effect of getting more caught on her legs. Great. Thank god she only struggled a bit, realised she was stuck lay there letting out one long desperate whinny for help.

i was hopping i was just going to be able to pull her leg out of the fence. That however would have been to simple. When i got there i could see that one strand of wire had been stretched and she'd managed to get that underneath her leg while the bottom strand and gone across the top...she was stuck. Off to the house i went for the wire cutters. Thank god, these wild horses have such a sense of self preservation and calm nature. I think some others horses would have thrashed around till they really injured themselves, while she just lay there still.

Back i came with the wire cutters. i went around the back of her so i was standing on the other side of the fence. Talking to her the whole time just like when I'm brushing . Hoping to keep her nice and calm, thinking that if she started thrashing again i was in the perfect spot to get taken out by those back legs...But she was an angel. Snip, snip, with the cutters and one legs was free. Up she hopped pulling the other leg free in the process. Lots of snorting and carrying on and away she walked. Horses for you.

Not seeing any gushing wounds, i set about doing an average job of fixing the fence (fencing not being one of my strengths). Finishing this i walked over to check the grey, who was busy eating. No massive wounds but a few minor cuts around the hock, nothing to serious. By this time it was almost dark so i just grabbed some iodine and wound powder and sprayed them on the leg.

Next morning on checking her over, the leg was a bit swollen, it looked like from bruising more than the cuts. i washed her leg, just to make sure wounds were clean, put wound powder on again, and let her be. For three days her leg stayed swollen and she stayed pretty quiet not moving much in the paddock. On the third day, i was starting to worry that it was indeed infected and i would have to take her to the vet. After much internal debate, i came to the conclusion to give her one more night and if it got worse i would take her to the vets.

fourth day after the leg incident, i came to the paddock to catch her, apprehensively waiting to see if a vet trip was in order. As i got to the gate a grey bullet shot past, full speed down the hill, galloping, bucking and kicking her back feet in the air. Never have i seen her do more than walk around the paddock before, shes never shown any such physical exuberance since she came here. but this morning it was bright, sunny and fresh,spring felt just around the corner, and she obviously felt a lot better.Galloping and bucking two full loops of the paddock before she turned on her haunches and galloped straight to me executing a beautiful sliding stop metres before colliding with the me and the fence. It was great i laughed to see her so happy and full of herself on such a nice morning. obviously not feeling any ill effects of her disaster a few days ago (fence still looks worse for wear).

These wild ones are tough little horses, they have had to survive without human intervention for generations. It shows, they are sturdy and calm creatures with a good head on their shoulders. To see the grey change completely, mentally in her attitude and finally showing some real life and spark galloping around on a spring day, is awesome. she is just getting more affectionate and trusting each day, cant wait to see what next couple of months have in store for her. You can just never write a horse off straight away they can change so much with time and training.