Saturday, July 14, 2012

life can be so, so cruel

As everyone knows when you own a horse it comes a time when tragedy will strike. You can either pull your big girl pants up and do the right thing or run in the other direction.

Rocky died yesterday afternoon.
Maverick and I went from petting and playing with Pepe and Moose to scrambling to help a 1500lb horse that was bleeding to death in less than 30 seconds it seemed.

I won't go into the extreme details here. It was a freak accident sort of thing. Rocky was tied to a sturdy post wile we played with Moose and Pepe a short distance away, well within view. We have had horses, really rank, wild horses tied to this post before. It's secure and sturdy, made out of an old Osage tree. Rocky was tied short. I am really anal about tying horses short. I've seen more freak outs with people tying a horse too long so I knew better. She was a bit anxious but nothing uncontrollable. She pawed a few times, neighed. She was used to us playing with Moose and being tied up but before we knew it she had climbed the old five foot tall gate and was stuck somewhat like this cow.

I had to add something to lighten the post. This cow makes me laugh.

Her being stuck on the gate was fine. She hung out for a few moments, pretty calmly I might add, as we came over to quickly determine what was to be done and she thrashed. Rocky has always been a pretty calm horse in situations others would have lost their marbles. Her sudden realization she was caught hung over the gate she flailed and broke the gate. When the gate broke she landed on a T-post I had no clue was even there, tight against the gate due to some tall foliage. But the damage was done and she began to bleed, very bad.

We had to do what I hope, and I sincerely mean this, none of my readers ever have to do. We had to get a gun and shoot Rocky to end her suffering. She was in shock and bleeding out fast, unable to hold herself up once she came off that post. The T-post hit a main artery, right off her heart and there was nothing we could do and no time to get a vet out there that fast to euthanize her.

Murphy's law of horses should add another one to the list: "Horses will find it and they will injure themselves on it".

This is not the first time I have seen a horse get seriously injured on a t-post. This time it just happened to be my horse in a place horses shouldn't have even been. I cap most of my t-posts either with bike tire tubes folded over with electrical tape or commercial t-post caps. For anyone who has not yet seen a horse at the very least give themselves a good scrape with a T-post please think about capping them. The caps and time it takes to do that is a lot cheaper than a vet bill, or a life.

This left us with one 6 week old colt with no mom. Moose had his buddies with the other horses but he cried and cried and cried for his mama. He could smell where she was near the gate and spent a long time there. Then he proceeded to escape from 4 separate pens we thought to be escape proof (electric and a pretty solid round pen made of telephone poles, and one wooden gate he climbed like a ladder) and run around in a panic looking for mama. Finally he settled in at 10 pm with the rest of the horses and ate hay. He wanted little to do with the foal lac milk replacer but gladly ate his regular grain; if it wasn't mixed with the foal lac poison!

It's very unfortunate, but life can be so cruel sometimes. Rocky was a great mare. I really liked her and so did everyone else who met her. She had such a steady, easygoing personality she was a blast to work with for a horse who spent her previous 9 years totally wild. You never had to teach her something twice. I can only hope Moose will grow up to be like her. For now I shall spend my spare time feeding a rambunctious colt and loosing sleep for midnight feedings.


Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Oh no....I'm so sorry. I don't remember you ever talking about Rocky on your blog, and I don't remember you mentioning that you had a foal, but Rocky sounds like she was quite a special mare and now you have her baby to raise. Yes, life can be so cruel.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry - that is so awful - words can't say. Sending best wishes and thoughts.

Mrs Mom said...

Holy Hell Sydney- I am so sorry to read of this tragedy and loss. I am glad you both knew what to do though. And Moose will have a great growing up with you keeping careful watch on him.

Knee mail from our corner to yours, for everyone.

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