Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Solidare............the Fall

Part 1

Unfortunately, when Dave and Lindsay went out to the barn to feed grain that night, Solidare tried to get up and the colt jumped up at the same time. The foal crossed her path and the mare stumbled trying to avoid him.Solidare was unable to regain her balance and managed to fall landing with her bad leg underneath her. Once again the mare was in a situation where she was unable to rise.

Dave put in a frantic call to me in the house to come help get the mare up. I understood the emotion in his voice because it's exactly how I felt knowing the mare was in jeopardy again. Both of us understand all to well, the possibility of a catastrophic injury in getting Solidare to her feet.

My daughter had come earlier in the evening to check on Solidare and see the new foal. As it turned out she was just getting ready to leave when this situation arose. Instead she joined me heading to the barn to see what we could do to get Solidare on her feet.

I knew immediately when we reached the stall, we had our hands full getting Solidare up this time. Instead of being right in the middle of the stall she was near the wall we would be rolling her towards. It didn't look like there was much chance we could get the mare turned over without getting her caste once again.

We tried tucking her legs underneath her and rolling her over the top again. Yet, again, Solidare just really didn't want to cooperate. I was stripping off layers of clothing with sweat dripping everywhere and we were no closer than when we started. There was no point in wearing ourselves out on a method that just was NOT going to work.

Because of Solidare's proximity to the wall, we tried to pull her away from it before we even tried to roll her over. Solidare wasn't really happy about that either and such she wasn't stuck, she fought our attempts. We were unable to make any progress getting a better distance between the mare and the wall.

The only thing left to do was go back to the method that had worked in the morning. I fastened a lead rope around Solidare's left fetlock and got myself inside the people door in that stall wall. Dave went to the mare's front end getting a hold of her left front leg and on the count of three we pulled the mare over onto her back and into the wall.

Solidare fought in the middle of the turn. She did quite a bit of rolling to and fro resisting the turn. My heart sank into my stomach as I saw this resistance. From all the conversations with the vet, I knew this was our biggest enemy.

We did get the mare's body to complete the turn. Solidare was now scrunched up into the wall much tighter than she'd been earlier that day. I studied her position for a time trying to figure out the best way to get her free. Solidare laid there quietly waiting to be saved, yet again.

Because the mare was so tight into the wall, we were going to have to pull her around much farther than we had earlier in the day. Then there had been some room for her back legs. Now they were jammed as tightly into the wall as her front legs were.

Just looking at the mare in this position made my back hurt. I think Dave felt about the same way. We knew we had to get her pulled around but we really didn't know if our backs could handle it this second time. Even with the third person to help, we had a lot of dead weight to move.

At first there was no way I could push off from the wall like I had earlier in the day. Nor was there any way to use the mare's front legs for leverage. We would have to get the mare moved enough to create that room first. Then we could proceed like we had earlier.

To start off, that meant all three of us were pulling on the mare's neck. We tried to get as close together as we could so we didn't cause any residual harm. The closer to the base of the mare's neck we could be, the easier the pull would be on Solidare.

The only problem with that was it made for some uncomfortable reaching for us. The more, we humans, stretched to get a hold of the right place on the mare, the worse it was going to be on our backs BUT from what I could tell, it was probably the only way we could get her moved.........so we went for it.

On the count of three, we all pulled on the base of Solidare's neck. Ever so slowly the mare's shoulders eeked their way towards us. The amount of exertion it took to gain an inch felt like that last push of childbirth, where every ounce of energy you have gets directed into that one movement. The strain pulsed throughout our bodies until we hit the point there was no more to give. Then we rested for a moment and surveyed what we'd accomplished.

Unfortunately, we hadn't accomplished much. It took us three attempts to get enough room for me to get in against the wall so I could push on Solidare's shoulder. Then with my daughter's help we managed to get Solidare out far enough in one movement the mare jumped up which I dove for the opening in the door.

With the mare back to her feet, all looked good but we were back on watch for a torsion. That meant it would be another long night with regular checks for signs of colic in the mare and monitoring the foal's nursing behavior..

To be continued..............


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  1. Oh my. It's just so hard to move weight like that, I'm surprised everyone doesn't have a couple of popped discs. I sure hope she stays up on her feet for a while and no torsion/colic please. Hope it all goes okay.

  2. would it be better to put her and the foal in a large paddock where the wall is less of an issue?? My horse's breeder puts all her mares to pasture to foal to help prevent casting and foaling into a wall.

    OR putting something on the floor like a tarp or something below the straw/bedding that you can pull to help slide her???

    I don't know anything about birthin' no babies and raisin no babies. :)

    Good luck!!!

  3. Do you think maybe you shouldn't breed Solidare again?

  4. Oh My ! my back is aching in sympathy! do you have a small tarp to roll her onto if it happens again! just enough to get under her body so you can pull her into position if she gets cast from rolling. They do take us on a merry dance these horses!

  5. Arlene, our back are still sore but other than that we're ok.

    BaxtersMum, unfortunately we had more issues with Solidare laying down with the wrong leg underneath her when she was outside in a paddock.

    Cheryl, the plan already was for this to be Solidare's last foal. That decision was made before the hock injury that has caused the mare's problems getting up. Had the mare been injured at the time of breeding, we would have skipped breeding her.

    fernvalley, baxtersmum suggested a tarp as well. If we get into this situation again, we'll have to see if it will work. You are so right about the dance horses can take us on. Despite our best laid plans stuff still happens.

  6. Scratch, even when pastured w his Mom was awful about casting. If there was a tight spot to be found, he could find it and get stuck.Luckily, he never panicked, just waited for me to come help him.
    After my fall, w shoulder broken in 2 places and home alone, I found him stuck in corner of 15 By 15 stall.
    Found old bed sheet, tucked it under him and drug him out w one arm. But he was a baby. Only about 400 lbs.
    I don't know how you guys did it. This just proves love can move mountains! :-)

  7. I'm so glad you guys have been able to help her through this, poor thing!