"Post from the Past"
March 5th 2008
I worked with both Chico and Cody last weekend. Cody and I went for a ride down dry creek road. We rode past the scary place with all the equipment to the top of the hill. We did quite a bit of trotting and cantering. She did well, but she was really eager to go home, not so eager to walk away from home. With Chico, I primarily did ground work in the round pen. I also began teaching him to bow. He was really starting to get it. I had him good at picking up his leg, and leaning back…not quite a bow yet, but close. Todd came out and took some pics of us and even a short video clip.
It seems that will be the last time that I will work with Chico for a while as he cut himself. The story is that last night, him and Catlow ran through the gate while Todd's parents were putting round bales in the pasture (I wonder why they were the only 2 to "escape"...I suspect that they were excluded from the barn while everyone else was let in to be grained, but that's just speculation due to knowing how they are despised because of their mutt breeding). Chico ran through the barn and slipped and fell on the wood pallets that keep the bales off the ground. I guess Todd's mom told him to check him, and he looked at Chico's lower legs as he ran by at one point, but I don't think he was looking at he correct side of the body to see the gash higher up. Plus he wasn't limping then, he was all pumped up from being chased around and back into the pasture. So, they missed the gash completely, but it was quite evident, this morning, that something was wrong (he wouldn't walk), then they saw the gash and called me. I rushed out there from work and we took him down to the Lewiston Vet Clinic to be sewn up. He had a 5-6 inch gash on the side of his right hind leg at the flank area. It was swollen and had bled a bit. He ended up tearing a bit of muscle, but the majority of the wound was to the skin, which is good. For being a nasty looking wound, he’ll heal up well, as long as we can keep it draining and prevent abscesses and infection. It’s a good time of the year for cuts! No flies! The vet ended up putting about 3 stitches in the torn muscle tissue, and 11 in the skin. He is on bute and antibiotics.
When I first tried to lead him out of the pasture to take him to the vet, he didn’t want to walk, and was very very hesitant to put any weight on his right hind. Once he started walking, he would put some weight on it, but he was gimping along pretty badly. We were able to load him in the trailer fairly easily considering his injury. He’ll do anything for a bucket of grain! He just sort of leaned in, then stepped up with his front feet. It was hardest for him to get in with his hind feet because he didn’t want to put any weight on his hurt leg. He did manage to get in without putting weight on it. Impressive. When we arrived at the vet clinic, I led him out and into the clinic room, a large cement room with two stocks in it. I was so proud of him. He followed me right into the room, around the stocks, then he walked right into the stocks after just a moments hesitation. He was a bit nervous, blowing and looking around, but he wasn’t scared and he trusted me enough to just follow me. Once they gave him anesthetic, he was droopy and happy, although he could still feel what they were doing to his wound. He was great. They had to give him a second dose of anesthetic. Chico seems to be able to process those drugs very quickly. They do put him under, but sooner than expected, he starts to perk up. It was a little bit harder to get him to go back into the trailer after the vet was finished. I think he was still a little groggy, the step was higher, and he was distracted by all the stuff going on outside the trailer. I just had to be persistent and try several things. In the end, I circled him back around, walked into the trailer, and then pulled until he gave in and stepped on up. Todd's mom tried to "help" load him by pressuring him from behind, but she was worried that he would kick her, so she was trying to not get too close to his hind end, which I thought was interesting, as he has not tried to attempt to kick at me in over a year, since I first started working with him. And he didn’t even kick at the vet when she got near his sore leg. I’m not sure why she thought he’d attempt to kick her. She says he's a kicker, but he never ever tries that stuff with me. Maybe it has to do with trust and the fact that he knows she doens't like him. I think horses are very perceptive.