I’ve heard that 10% of horses have 90% of the injuries. I’d say that’s true based on my experience with Baron. He has again ripped a giant hole in his flesh. My best guess is that he did it on the gate. He kicked out at another horse and hit the gate but I didn’t realize he had cut himself until about 2 hours later when I came back to feed and found him like this.
The vet came out and bandaged him but the bandage only stayed about 24 hours. After that he was supposed to be on stall rest, but Baron respectfully disagreed with the vet. He paced so much in his stall that he started bleeding again and he wouldn’t eat or drink his water, at which point I turned him and Thunder out in the little pasture where hopefully less damage can potentially be done. Baron says he is a pasture horse now, thank you very much. Stalls are for chumps.
After being turned out he was happy as a clam and he’s been healing well. His wound is a giant nasty scab but it’s not infected and the leg isn’t swollen. Again what could have been a life-ending emergency has turned out to be a month or two off work for Baron. I’m starting to think he does this when he wants a vacation.
Taking care of Baron meant 3 or 4 hours a day at the barn for the first week after the injury. He had to be cold hosed, walked, stall cleaned, etc… so I haven’t done as much with Thunder as I hoped. But I decided to start all over with him from the beginning. He has a lot of gaps in his training and a lot of bad habits. I need to address some of these before I worry about getting him to move like a show horse.
I started free lunging him and doing groundwork. We do the most basic stuff- moving his butt away from me, lunging WTC in both directions, halting and standing still. At first he HATED it, such a sourpuss expression, bucking when I ask for a canter and looking generally miserable. But he’s really smart and now he’s figuring out that it’s kind of a game. I think he doesn’t mind working without a rider. There’s no bit and no one on his back and he’s able to relax and move correctly.
We’ve also been working on standing still for mounting. When I got him, he would not stand still. He scooted his little butt over the minute I stepped on the mounting block. When I managed to scramble on with one foot in the stirrup he immediately moved forward. We’ve been working on standing still at the mounting block. I would put him where I want him, then stand on the block and rub his back and give him a good butt scratch. If he moved, I moved him back. Eventually I would lean on him, then put one leg on and just stand there. I didn’t get on him the first day, just stood with my leg draped over. Last night for the first time he stayed completely still for his back rub, leaning on him and even when I slid onto his back. He didn’t move off; he just stood still for the very first time ever! That’s progress!