Thursday, July 12, 2007


So I went out to the barn today to meet the new holistic vet. My mare was in the pasture with the other two mares, one that is around six years old and one that is a yearling. I learned an enormous lesson or two today.
  1. First lesson: I've become too complacent thanks to boarding at the old barn, which was full of old nags (seriously) who had been trained to death and rarely gave you any trouble.
  2. Second lesson: my savvy needs a tuneup.
  3. Third lesson: young horses behave differently than old nags—or rather, they don't behave unless they've been taught to, so don't expect them to be polite and respectful of humans like the old ones do.
  4. Fourth lesson: if it's your first time in a new pasture, best to let the unfamiliar horses get a whiff of you AND have your leadership established BEFORE entering the paddock to retrieve your mare.
  5. Fifth lesson: when holding the rope, remember that the hand should close slowly, open quickly, not the other way around.
  6. Sixth lesson: my leadership is what "controls" the horse, not the rope.
  7. Seventh lesson: the hand holds the rope loosely not clamped down on it for dear life.
  8. Eighth lesson: always take the Carrot Stick™ with me in case I need it.
  9. Ninth and final lesson: LET GO OF THE ROPE, DUMMY.
My mare is in season. The yearling charged her the moment I snapped the lead rope onto her halter. My mare pulled back hard and semi-reared up trying to wheel away from yearling. Yearling also charged at me. I had turned when she pulled and saw it coming, so I wisely backed up fast out of the way (ran backward, are you kidding me?) and deflected yearling but not before I got the rope burn to end all rope burns on my right hand.


OK. So I'm typing slowly and I've been hit over the head with a Gunsel* Stick today. On top of the injury, I received my first golden shower too. Boy the search engines are going to light up over this one, eh? As my mare wheeled, her butt aimed at me and I got doused with mare juice. Pee, I think. Whatever it is they squirt out the back end to try to tease the boys and dominate the mares. I don't think she meant to aim it at me—I was just lucky enough to be in the path.


Great way to start the afternoon.

From the looks of things, I've got a second-degree rope burn on the middle and ring fingers and two placed in the palm of my hand. The biggest one covers the two joints of the underside of the ring finger near the palm. Finding a bandage big enough to cover it was a neat trick. Thanks to my dear old Dad who had quite the stash due to his own fragile skin, I was able to cobble together a pretty good coverage. Neosporin is my friend. I have yet to determine if I can still knit or not. I can hardly type, so we'll see.

As for my mare, she got a very thorough treatment. Chiro, Reiki, stretching, something called a VOM activator (Veterinary Orthopedic Manipulator), a massage in spots, and some new herbs and holistic stuff to add to her diet. The diagnosis is that she was completely out of alignment in her lower neck, spine, right hip, and left shoulder, has a few pinched nerves, and a slight liver malfunction. I've had her adjusted before, but those were like Cliff's Notes adjustments compared to what this vet did. She also has all over muscle soreness and knots galore. The herbs and stuff will treat that, loosen her up, calm her anxiety, give her a super antioxidant detoxification (say that three times fast), and treat inflammation, circulation, the liver, the kidneys, any arthritis, and so on. She'll get another adjustment in 2-4 weeks after the herbs etc have had a chance to loosen up her muscles.

I saw yet another expression on my mare's face that I've never seen. Her eyes changed. She looked relieved. It's hard to explain unless you know what it looks like. Mostly she has had wide anxious eyes, occasionally there has been a slight hardness from pain, and the best I've seen is focused and softer. Today, her eyelids drooped, her eyes got big and soft, and her face totally relaxed. I've only see her look a bit like that when she's been sedated. After the treatment, it was like that but fully awake and aware.

She's walking better. She feels better. I can see it. She was splashing in the water trough, which I've never seen her do. This is all good. I guess it's worth a little rope burn and pee if she winds up feeling good again.

*Gunsel: in Parelli terminology, it's someone who don't know squat about horses and is like to get hisself kilt because of his stupid behavior

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At 8:41 PM, July 12, 2007, Anonymous Erin said...

OUCH!!! I hope that your burn heals quickly. Ouchy, ouchy, ouchy!!!

I was in a sailboat once, squat down for the boom to pass over head, and when my dad pulled the rope to put it into the kleat, the rope pulled right across my face. I had a severe rope burn that made me look like a raccoon.

One thing I learned from the experience is that when rope burns start to heal, they itch like a b*tch. Fight the urge to itch it because otherwise it will make the injury and scarring worse. Ice cubes wrapped in a washcloth held on the bandage work nicely to keep the itching at bay. Also, it might sting a bit, but swimming in a chlorinated pool makes it less itchy and keeps the burn clean. I wouldn't get into a pool, though, until it has scabbed up some.

At 6:58 AM, July 13, 2007, Blogger Sheepish Annie said...

OWWWWW! My hand aches just thinking about that rope burn. I'll be thinking healing thoughts for you and hoping for speeding knitting recovery.

Glad to hear that the horse is feeling better. The eyes of the equine are the most amazing in the whole animal kingdom. A horse's eyes say it all...sounds like she was saying, "ahhhhh!"

At 10:20 AM, July 13, 2007, Blogger becky c. said...

Wow! I learn something new everyday - I had no idea horses could be adjusted. Sorry about the burn; I hope it heals quick. My favorite antibiotic cream for burns is Silvadene, works very well and is soothing. I haven't had a patient with a rope burn yet, but little people are always burning themselves on something!


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