Saturday, June 21, 2008

Ghosts of Horses Past in Salem Part 7

Part 1

Don't ask me what I was thinking! Other than this Arabian horse needed help, I'm not sure what was going through my mind. Somehow I put aside any feelings of danger and told myself I needed to catch this horse.

My mind raced with how I might catch a horse that didn't want to be caught . John Lyons round pen reasoning came to mind. can you believe it? (God bless John!) I picked up the halter and lead rope and looked for an opening to go into the arena completely ignoring the warning this stallion had sent.

When I saw an opportunity to get through the door and get it safely closed, I made my move. Once inside I began making lots of noise, waving my arms and that halter and lead, getting as big as I could get. I pushed that Arabian horse down the arena. I think my bravado caught him off guard.

The horse hadn't expected me to challenge him and the stallion wasn't quite sure what to think.Luckily for me, he didn't think much, he just reacted.The horse ran back a half dozen steps and then reared screaming at me. I screamed back and ran towards him and he turned tail and ran. From that point on he was just another horse that didn't want to be caught.

Don't ask me where this approach came from because I haven't a clue. All I know is I just did it and it worked. Maybe it came from my experiences with Heiress. Chasing her into a corner always got her attention and it sure worked with this stallion.

Once I had diffused the stallion's rage.I still had to deal with him not wanting to be caught. I worked the horse just like he had worked that mare. I didn't let him stop unless I wanted him to. I made him travel the direction I wanted him to travel. I kept pushing him until he wanted to stop. When he did, I took a couple of steps back and rewarded him for standing still.

The whole time my mind raced with what was too much. The stallion was soaked with lather and sweat from head to tail. How tired was this horse? How much could he take before he dropped dead? Would he give up or die first? I knew I had to be precise. I had to get control of this horse soon.

I don't know how long it took but eventually I was able to walk up and halter the horse. As the horse stood still the sweat streamed off of him forming puddles on the ground. I have never seen a horse as hot as either of these two horses on this night.

The stallion was heaving struggling for breath just like the mare had been so I followed the same instructions I had given the night watchman. I kept the horse walking. He was slipping into shock. I could tell by the look in his eyes. Just like that mare, I knew this horse had to keep moving. Thankfully the horse dropped his head and walked obediently next to me.

By the time the show manager arrived the horse was nearly dry. His breathing had returned to a normal rate and he was acting like he was just another horse. It was hard to believe what had transpired looking at the horse in front of me. But if anyone had any doubts they only had to look at that mare.

As for me, I was chilled to the bone and shaking violently. Looking back at it, I think that I, too, must have been going into shock. Once the show manager finally came and took over the responsibility of both horses, I crashed and crashed hard. I still had to take care of my own horse. So I went and hung water buckets and threw him some hay. I would move in the rest of my stuff in the morning.

After that I only stuck around long enough to find out about the condition of the mare. The vet had given her a thorough once over and thought she was going to be ok as long as she didn't colic or founder from all the stress. Of course, she had multiple bite wounds that would have to be treated and she was put on antibiotics because of the likelihood of infection. Other than that both horses were badly bruised. Thankfully there were no leg injuries from all their crashing around on the concrete and asphalt floors.

I learned the next day that both horses were actually owned by the same person, a small breeder like myself. The stallion who had gone berserk was a sweet horse that even her ten year old could lead. The mare was a maiden and she had not been in season. Who knew what got this whole thing started but it was a night I will never forget.

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  1. Wow!! Such a freaking SCARY story! Dang!! Glad things turned out as well as they did...hope they recovered to 100% or as close to that as is possible! And I'm glad the stallion didn't hurt you! ((HUGS!!)) Thank goodness you had the sense to deal with the situation in the intelligent and horse savvy manner in which you did. I have no doubts that you saved both of those horses lives that night.

    I had a feeling they were owned by the same person having been stalled right next to the other. Can't imagine why the heck they would have done so otherwise. Ugghhh!!

  2. Yes, even stallions can be big babies. That is exactly what to do, even with dogs or other things that want to kill you. You cant run away, but you can fight with all your might, and most likely, your going to scare that/those dog(s) away. And you handled that stallion VERY well. You gotta make them not want to mess with you! haha. You definitely got what you wanted by handling that issue the way you did. Bravo and Kudos to you for saving those horses! once you got a hold of the stallion, he doesn't seem so bad, but when he wanted the maiden mare, and she wanted nothing to do with him at the moment, I guess his reaction to her would be quite normal for a stallion. But I don't think their owner imagine that would happen. I imagine when people do something, and something bad/crazy happens as a result, they wont do that again. Like when I crashed in our driveway rocks 2 days ago because I thought I could skate down them on my skates. The rocks put a cut in my knee, and a gash hole in my hand. I crash landed, and besides bleeding a lot, it hurt a LOT worse! so, I am definitely not going to do that. Anyway, I don't think I'd ever trust a stallion unsupervised with any mare, no matter how gentle he is. Stallions can change their behavior in a second, and use precaution when handling animals of any kind. Even when animals have training, you have to keep training and working with the animals, so they keep good behavior. Anyways, glad you were able to save these horses from each other, and handle them so well! you were very wise in how to handle them!

  3. Good job MiKael. I'm glad he didn't get his mouth or feet on you. Those two were extremely lucky that you were there. Did the owner ever find you and thank you? The shock alone could have killed one or both of them. Shock is far more deadly than most people realize. I'd also have been terribly worried about systemic crashing from dehydration and electrolyte loss. Good thing you had the sense to call for a vet first thing.

  4. Well at least the most dramatic parts are over but I still have questions from this story.

    I can't imagine the guts it took to head back into that arena with that stallion still raging. They do get to be a hormonal mess at a times. Good job.

    I hope both horses did end up okay in the end.

  5. Amazing story and outcome, especially how you stood up to the stallion by intimidating him. I guess you spoke "horse" to him at that point, and he finally GOT it!

    (Rose is lovely!)

  6. Well that's a relief. I can't imagine facing down a raging stallion. Glad it all worked out.... for now. Can't wait to see how the horses are doing tomorrow.

  7. Wow, I'm so glad that story is over, I was about to drop dread myself from shock I think! I had no idea horses could get so fired up without any apparent reason, I guess testosteron doesn't help matters does it!!Like any male, you don't know what goes through their minds!!
    You said you didn't think before going in with the stallion, my vote would be on your own instincts taking over...flight or fight applies to humans too and I guess you were subconciously sick of flight-ing!!
    I didn't know about keeping horses in shock moving, I knew about colic but not shock, I guess it makes sense though doesn't it! I've learnt so much from this series of posts, thankyou for telling your story!!

  8. Magnificent horse. I do visit and I do comment and I was here. I did look at your picture(s) and I did read what you wrote about them. I could say how great you are and how beautiful your work is but alas I would soon run out of things to say on the next blog I visited, so I just left this to prove I stopped and said a few words on Sunday.

  9. Wow, it always helps to think like a horse and that is exactly what you did and yuou put him in his place and gave him a bit of a wake up call!! I am so glad that it all endedsafely but I do still worry about how the mare was and how the owner responded, because I think the mare got the worst end of the deal for sure.

    Okay you are forgiven for keeping us on tenterhooks all week while you have been away, I am not champing at the bit waiting for another instalment, although I would like to hear more on how they were the next day.

    Drive home safely (((Hugs)))


  10. I'm glad that is over!!! What an awful experience to go through! Where were the owners? Weren't they camped on the grounds somewhere or were they in a hotel off grounds? How come no one else heard all this commotion? It's just such a scary thought that if you hadn't come in when you did this could have had a horrible outcome. Good job Mikael!!!!!!!!!

  11. Glad everyone was caught and getting the treatment they needed! Pat on the back for your quick thinking, you and the guard saved those horses lives. Your quick thinking and wonderful horse savvy! Way to go! I don't even want to think about what would of happened if you had not showed up. You were there for a reason at that time! ((HUGS))

  12. Thank goodness this story has a fairly satisfying end, if this is the end. Under control at last.
    Good blog, MiKael! Thanks for the cliff-hanger while you were away.
    I think/wonder if this shock condition is what we used to call "tie-up," or if that is another stress reaction.

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  14. Molly - tying up is different from shock. Tying up refers to either muscle cramps (charley horse) or HYPP, which I'm sure you know is a very serious genetic condition.

    I bet shock and electrolyte imbalance from sweating could lead to muscle cramps, though...

  15. Just for the record, if there are any questions, this is NOT fiction. I lived through this horrendous incident. There were extensive reports required for both the facility and for the show committee.

    I think that there was a lawsuit inititated by the owner, but I am not privy to how that came out.

  16. OMG, I have been on the edge of my seat for DAYS reading this series! I can't believe you went through this! Absolutely amazing. I can only think of how lucky those two horses are that you were there.

  17. I think Kaylee who posted here is these comments "What a work of fiction!!!" is the same Kaylee who harassed Callie saying Callie shouldn't have "dined out" and yada yada about Callie's horses and how she could of been able to afford her daughters college or whatever, should Callie have saved her money. What a stupid annoying girl Kaylee is.

  18. Thank you for referring us to this story. I'm glad I didn't have to wait for the next installment! :) And glad it ended as it did, with both horses safe, considering what all they went through.

    Enjoy your writing and hope to read your archives another time. (Better get back to work now! :\ )