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Discipline: LD/Endurance, CMO, Trail Rider, Cartoonist, Writer, Co-Director/ Green Bean Endurance

March 12, 2012

Phebes: near disaster

I don't even know exactly where to start.  But we may have averted disaster barring an infection.   This afternoon I got off work and threw the horses out a flake each of hay as I ordinarily do.  Came inside to do a few things, and then with pen and paper in hand decided to go out and take some measurements in the horse trailer as I keep wanting to make the living arrangement out there a bit more comfortable, but never seem to actually get it done.  Money goes goes there....I had to buy a truck last week as my car was so high mileage that I held my breath with every commute of 42 miles.  So anyway, out I go making it halfway to the horse trailer and notice out of the corner of my eye the electro-braid rope sagging.  Eyes scan upward and the t-post cap is popped loose from the t-post.  I run over to the t-post, and there is hair on it.  My heart leaps straight to my throat and I'm off in search of horses to see if they were all okay.

Phebes was not okay.  She is limping on her left front leg and has a laceration running from forearm diagonally across the knee, with a gash behind the knee.  It's bleeding, and she held it out if you touched it.  So I grab a rope halter and retrieve her and tie her up.    Run in the house for warm soapy water as she has also been rolling in the muck today.  Warm water is run over it and gently sponged to get it clean enough to see.  Shit.  I see red, and the skin is gapped apart.  Doug pulls in thank I need some extra hands.  He holds her for me so I can get the hose running and flush it out.  Then I hang with her while he calls the vet.  I have to bring her to the vet.  (hyperventilate) (take a deep breath) (she hasn't loaded into the trailer in a freaking year WILL SHE EVEN LOAD?). She loads right up. We get to the vet, get her in the horse stock and Phebes is sweating, hurting, and wants out of dodge in a big way. The lady vet is afraid of Phebes.  I tell her, just don't show her the needle and things will be fine. Sedation.    In fact a double-dose of sedation because that is what it took last time...she was better, eye a bit softer,  but in no way sedate.  Vet was able to clip and explore the wound, said it went through the first two layers of skin but the under layer is still intact.  She decided not to stitch (probably  partly because she is afraid of Phebes), but it was a toss up if the stitches would hold that close into the knee.  The whole while I'm thinking Phebes is actually doing pretty good for Phebes, not pawing or trying to climb out of there.  Vet didn't wrap it, but I did when I got home as the barn yard is so muddy right now.  She's on Banamine, had her tetanus booster, and is chilling in the barn.  Praying I can keep it reasonably clean.   Will have to cold hose her daily until she shows some healing to close the gap in her forearm and knee.    Just another little bit and she'd have got into the joint, muscle.  I shudder to imagine.  I love this goofy horse, and I guess I always will.  She is kind of like a divorce that YOU didn't want.  *sigh* But hopefully she will be okay.  That is what's important to me.

As to how she did it?  I think she stuck her head between the electric strands to get at grass, got zapped, jumped back pulling the fence upward which pulled off the t-post cap.  Then she came down on the t-post with enough force to bend it near sideways.  So I am re-thinking these type of caps that carry the top line of fence.  From now forward I'll have to work on putting new insulators below the caps to carry the fence and let the cap just be a cap.   I'm also thinking of putting duct tape on top of each t-post to pad those sharp edges if something like this would ever happen again.   I guess a horse could still potentially dislodge one, but at least the risk would be somewhat reduced.  What is ironic is I've been cutting out old barbed wire trying to make it safer in the event someone gets out of the electric rope fence.  So she gets hurt on something I thought I'd pretty well horse proofed.  Poor Phebes.



p.s. Horse trailer renovation will once again go on hold.  Emergency vet care is not cheap.  I did "almost" make it out there to measure though!


  1. Oh no! Get some Schreiner's spray, it is great for wounds like that. Here is a link:

    Chief got in trouble reaching through a fence and catching his eyelid on the hotwire insulator :(.

    Keep vaseline on the hair underneath the wound, so as it drains it won't melt the hair off. Good luck, hope this heals quickly!

  2. Its a good thing you found the wound right away and could get it cleaned up! This time of year they can go bad real fast with all the mud. Sending healing thoughts your way.
    Oh, have you tried the new AlumiShield wound spray? I had really good luck with it on Cartman's wound last summer that couldn't be stitched (skin missing on the front of his cannon). It actually provides a protective barrier and is a light aerosol spray so is really easy to apply.

  3. that was a scare, but glad it turned out better than it could have. Don't have to tell me about safe proofing the farm... JB still managed to practically kill himself on our place in a way that , to this day, even the vet can't figure out how he did it!... Horses will be horses. glad Phebes didn't injure herself any worse. I know how scary it can be.

  4. OMG, you poor thing, how nervewracking! Fingers crossed that Phoebes heals well!

  5. It seems like horses are always waiting for things to happen... Healing vibes to Phebes, and don't worry too much; they seem to heal remarkably well! Ditto on the vaseline; keeps the hair from being matted and pulled loose, causing more wounds.
    Bionic Cowgirl