Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Life Delays Twins Saga for Lessons Learned

I planned on posting the next segment in the series about my Arabian twin foals, however, life got in the way and I spent most of my day in the emergency room dealing with an injury. Since I didn’t have the piece for today finished yet, I thought I’d do a brief post on the lesson I learned today and continue with the twins’ story tomorrow when I can do it justice.

The small farm I live on is on wetlands and can get to be quite slick and even dangerous for the horses this time of year. Because of that my horses have been stalled for an unusual amount of time, between two and three weeks. That kind of confinement drives me crazy, I feel so badly for the horses. I believe it’s only the second time since we moved here that this has ever happened.

Finally, today, the ice was gone and the fields dry enough to put the horses out. Of course, they’re pretty wired and that turned to being naughty as they were being led out to the pasture.

I had my daughter, Lindsay, helping me. Lindsay had brain cancer during her childhood that leaves her with some brain damage and nerve damage which manifests sometimes in slow response time to incidents with the horses. I don’t ever ask her to handle a horse that might give her any kind of trouble. In this situation that meant there were only a couple that I felt that she could manage.

Since these are Arabian horses, they already have an increased tendency to be tuned in to children and disabled people. Most of the horses watch out for her. So we got the first two Legs’ daughters put out just fine. Mine was extremely naughty (3 year old filly) and Lindsay’s (8 year old mare) was a gem.

From that point, I was going to put the rest of the fillies out on my own, but Lindsay thought she could handle Faith so I told her it was all right. That was my first error. That listen to your gut thing that told me I should lead all of the younger horses myself shouldn't have been ignored.

It started off ok. Faith was really being good for Lindsay but Dancer was having a heck of a time containing herself with me. She was prancing and bucking and kicking, trying to race around me and overall just plain not listening. I was handling her ok until something got to Faith.

I heard the commotion behind me and my motherhood instinct took over. I turned to see that Lindsay was ok. That was my second mistake. I’m pretty sure the number one rule of horsemanship must be NEVER, NEVER take your attention away from an excited horse you are handling. If it’s not, it sure should be.

Dancer is a very sweet coming 3 year old that I absolutely love. And no horse could try harder to behave. But she’s a youngster and being cooped up for that long, she just couldn’t contain herself. When Faith erupted, Dancer went right along with her. For just that brief instance I looked away to see my kid was safe, my horse leapt into the air, coiled up and let loose with a kick that blasted me in the hand so hard, it sent my hand into my ribcage and knocked the wind right out of me.

I couldn’t get my breath but managed to hang on because I was afraid of how Faith would react if Dancer was loose. Again, I’m looking out for Lindsay. I managed to get Dancer into the field and turned loose and actually made it to the house before I hit the ground.

I spent the rest of my day at the emergency room getting x-rays and seeing a hand specialist. Fortunately, while I do have sixteen stitches in the top of my right hand, there were no broken bones. The tendons were exposed but not damaged. So I really lucked out. Had my hand not been a buffer between that kick and my body, I would have most definitely suffered internal injuries. Had I not seen the kick coming and turned as I did my hand would have had far more severe damage. Lindsay was a little rattled but not hurt and I learned a very valuable lesson. Never again will I take my eyes off of a horse that’s been cooped up like that, even for an instant!

The other thing I realized today is even though I spend lots of time with my colts, I am not spending enough time with my fillies. They're so good most of the time, I forget about getting the cues in place for when they're not. The only horses I had problems taking out were the girls! The boys were great! Shame on me!

The picture is Scandalous Dancer. The twins' saga will return tomorrow.


  1. OM Gosh MiKael I am so sorry about that, I had a similar experience a few days ago after mine had only been stalled for about 5 days. They really gave me a workout getting them out to the field so I can only imagine what it was like for you. I also hate leaving them stalled for so long but sometimes unless you have an indoor area where each can get a bit of exercise there is no option. I am so glad your daughter is okay. I also had an accident in the barn not horse related a few years ago which left me with 22 stitches to put my thumb back in place and also fortunately my tendon was still intact and know that the barn work still had to be done even with one hand as I have no-one that can do it for me, so take it easy and be careful. Do you have anyone to help you with the work?

    And lastly yes, even your most trusted horse can have an "episode" be it from a fright, a sting, someone appearing unexpectedly or anything for that matter, so we always have to expect the unexpected from our horses, never get lax and always take the precautions even if we feel they are unneccessary, it just takes one mistake to turn into a disaster.

    I look forward to the next twins episode.

    Hope you feel better tomorrow.


  2. Sorry to hear about your injury