Inspired by a free webinar that KAM’s Equine Learning Circle is hosting on Monday, September 26, 2011 about Equine Emergencies (go to www.kamanimalservicesto sign up), I went to HARO (a web site that allows journalists to reach out to find anecdotes for their stories) and asked if anyone had some equine emergencies they cared to share. The response was quite good and so I’m going to share some of those stories which I’m sure will inspire you to “be prepared.” This is Part 2 of a three-part series since there were too many stories to fit in one column.
Tammie Monaco and and Sparky
Tammie Monaco is from LifeBridge Health Marketing but she’s spent a lot of time around ponies.
“I trained and showed ponies professionally for years (everything from pony racers to fox hunters to conformation) before returning to pencil pushing,” wrote Tammie. “I show, primarily on the Welsh (WPCSA) circuit, in-hand/conformation/breeding, English pleasure, and hunters.
“I have two show ponies – Nifty and Sparky. As usual, when I walked into the field to give them their morning feed, I dropped a couple apples off (or ‘appletizers’ as I refer to them) as I headed to the barn. A few seconds later, I heard their thundering hooves headed to the barn, followed by a THUD. I went racing out of the tack room but everything seemed fine. I fed my mare then as I turned to feed Sparky, I saw his side hanging wide open. Yuck. We suspect that he caught himself on the bolt that holds the gate to the post (an error that has since been corrected).
“Emergency call to the vet on Saturday morning – but not just any Saturday, this was the morning of the Shawan Steeplechase races. Of course my vet is the race vet too. She asked how urgent it was – and I told her it was pretty darn urgent. She’s not used to getting calls from me so I suspect she sensed my worry. She told me to cold hose it until she got there. And to be honest, I caught it so quick that it hadn’t even started bleeding. But within a few minutes, he had blood running down his side…
“Long story short, the vet pulled in chatting on her cell, took one look at my poor pony, slapped the phone shut and immediately jumped out and got to work. She spent almost three hours stitching the three layers back together and inserting a drain (which lasted all of two days before he plucked it out). For two weeks, she showed up every day to flush it (I have no stomach for gore and spent most of the time she worked with my head between my knees trying to keep it together). After that, she cut back to every other day for a couple more weeks. Luckily he was a good patient.
“All in all, Sparky enjoyed a month of R&R before I was able to start riding him bareback. It took almost three months before I was comfortable putting a saddle back on him. He still has a large scar (about the size of a fist) but thankfully most judges overlook it. He shows in both conformation classes and performance (he was Grand Champion 1/2 Welsh at the MD State Fair this year).”
Pretty amazing story I would say. As for some details about those ponies; Sparky (show name: Ringo Starr) was 5 years old when this happened, almost exactly a year ago. He’s a 14.0 hand Welara (half-Welsh, half-Arab), chestnut gelding with three socks and a blaze.
Nifty (show name: Glencoe Nifty) who was 16 at the time, gray, 13.2H, medium pony is “as wide as she is tall,” remarked Tammie) “and sheer alpha mare.”
Mindy Selinger and Chris
Mindy Selinger, San Diego, CA, is publisher of NetworkingEventFinders.com, a national resource for those who host or attend networking events and the author of a book on Business Networking: Face-To-Face Networking Skills In A Social Media World.
Here is Mindy’s story. “My horse Chris was a 12-year-old bay Quarter/TB cross gelding who did his best to adjust to the Wyoming Mountains after being raised in Southern California. When I took him to Jackson Hole he, at 15 hands with a lighter Thoroughbred build, looked puny next to the larger, thicker mountain horses.
“One day my horse and I ran into loose barbed wire in tall grass and he got a deep cut on his front pastern. I was thrown as he tried to get loose. The wound was bleeding profusely and there wasn’t a soul around but there was a ranch down the road. I removed my knee socks, balled them up on the wound and tied my t-shirt around the bloody mess. Fortunately, I had a jacket to wear over my bra.
“I left him tied to a fence. Wearing boots with no socks, a too warm jacket, no shirt and covered with blood, I started walking down the road to the ranch. Soon I got a ride and the ranch owner trailered my horse to the vet’s.
“Chris and I rode together for 11 years and the standing family joke is that the longest relationship of my life was with a gelding.
“I changed my habits when I moved to Jackson. No more bareback riding. Always used a saddle. I always carried a rope. (I once had to pull a small tree off a mountain trail, blocking me in) halter and lead, food, water, rain slicker, Buck knife and map.”
Now Mindy goes prepared.
Well both Mindy and Tammie make it easy to understand why it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected equine emergency.
I’ve got a few more stories to share in the final phase of this three-part series, so be sure to subscribe to this Examiner page so you can be alerted each time a new story goes up. And sign up now for KAM’s Equine Emergency free webinar. Get all the details by going to www.kamanimalservices.com. The panelists will be answering questions at the end of the webinar.
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