Sunday, June 23, 2013

Can I Wrap My Horse in Bubble Wrap?

. . . or even better, can we wrap Cali in bubblewrap?

I first really got to know N when Cali was hurt at Christensen's, last summer. She was stamping at flies (we think) and managed to clip the inside of her left front leg right over a major vein. Thankfully, she did this when there were people at the barn and one of the women who boarded there saw the injury and called the BM. They quickly applied a compression bandage and called the vet. The gash was about two inches wide right over the main vein (thankfully not the artery or she could have bled out) but serious enough to need immediate medical attention. If she had managed to clip herself like that in the middle of the night, she might have died from blood loss before treatment could have been available.

N and I started talking and hanging out when Cali was hurt and in the inside barn stall. She quickly became a favorite and I firmly ensconced myself and J as the bringers of good treats while she was recouperating. N and I started working our horses together, first in groundwork and then in starting our horses under saddle. We have become close friends and I admire and appreciate her knowledge and horsemanship. It is rare and valuable when you meet someone who shares your philosophy on horses. We have also become each other's go to person for things related to our horses. Everyone at the barn knows we are friends and so yesterday I was the person they called when Cali cast herself in her stall and they couldn't get ahold of N.

As soon as I saw the phone number, I expected something to have gone wrong at the barn. I wasn't expecting that it was Cali. J, listening to my side of the conversation, immediately sprang into action gathering food and drink in case we were there for any length of time. I loves her. Four minutes after answering the call I was on the phone with N, who was at Waterworld with R and T, reassuring her that I was on my way to check out the injury and would send her pictures when I got there. Good thing we didn't go to Waterworld like planned, because then neither of us would have known what was going on.

Cali had managed to put her back right leg through the front of her wooden feed bin. There had been a hole there, much smaller than now, and somehow she managed to fit most of her lower leg into the feed bin. Henry found her and with help, managed to extricate her leg from the bin without injuring her further. Denise, rider of Wrangler, and Erika, rider of Aron, cold hosed the leg and searched for any remaining wood splinters or debris. It was clean, no longer bleeding and not real swollen yet when I got there. She managed to scrap off a pretty decent strip of hide and hair. I think she was probably stomping at flies again.

In probing the injury, it didn't seem as though it had reached any of the underlying structure, although the skin was cut shallowly, probably by the edges of the broken wood. I texted N this picture, then called and told her it didn't look serious enough for a vet. She asked me to make sure it was clean (I used Betadine) and slather it with antibiotic ointment. I did so while J, true to form, fed Cali cookies. :)

As you might be able to tell, I rinsed the leg good with the Betadine, which for those of you who don't know, looks like blood on a white leg. Kinda freaked out Dessa when she walked by. I quickly reassured her the bright red stuff soaking Cali's white leg was not blood and the injury was not as serious as it now looked. Once the betadine was dry, I slathered the antibiotic ointment into the trough of the gash to the point that it began to slag down her leg as it became warm. I figured more is better, right?

I had Dave, who was helping Henry, and who had already fixed the front of the feed bin so a reoccurance couldn't happen, walk Cali up and back down the aisle of the barn. I couldn't see any lameness at a walk. After I slathered her leg, I walked her again, listening to the sound of her hooves to see if I could detect anything. I had Dessa listen and watch her as well. She sounded fine, although Dessa did point out she was dragging both toes of her hind feet. I figured both were better than one. I also asked her for a five step trot, which she did so sweetly, and I couldn't see or hear any lameness. We stopped and said hi to Ashke and then she went back in her stall.

J and I went to Ashke and gave him love and some treats. He kept trying to pick J's pocket, looking for snacks. I had put the fly blanket on him the last time I was out and it was still fine, although I am going to need to upgrade because he has put so much weight on in his chest the blanket is to small now. Beefy little boy. His fly mask was gone and we found it tore up on the blanket holder on the front of his stall. By the looks of it, I would guess Aron thought it was great fun to pull it off Ashke's head. I'm not sure I want to try again, because I've read enough blogs to know that geldings think this is a very fun game. I don't need to pay the money to replace an endless series of fly masks.

N said the leg was swollen and hot when she checked on Cali last night. She cold hosed her and plans on doing so again several times today. J and I are going to do a trail/bike ride together, since T is spending the day with a friend and going to see a movie at some point. We will check on her at that point too.


  1. Poor baby! Hope she heals quickly.

    1. Looked better today and not too swollen. N thinks she did it to have a week off work.