Apologies for the cryptic post yesterday [CAST!]. On Saturday morning, Hubby was greeted by Mathilda flat out on her side. He’d heard her kicking at the stall, so he knew she was awake. She has rolled over and gotten herself stuck. In hindsight, it only took a few minutes and some maneuvering to get her back on her feet.

Deep Back Story
Many years ago, a horse at the barn at which I boarded got himself cast. He was rolled over on his back with his legs up against the wall. Every helpful, I jumped in and gave his hooves a yank. Whereupon he flopped onto his side & heaved to his feet. Easy-peasey. Except that as soon as felt the first breath of freedom, he flailed wildly with his hooves, clocking me in the head. Note to self, next time avoid the feet.

Back Story
A few weeks ago, Mathilda lay down to roll and had trouble getting up. Since seeing her stuck on the ground had been our fear since her injury, I descended immediately into screaming hysterics. I did everything to get her up immediately. Now. Right away. The sort of urgency you bring to preventing a colicking horse from rolling. I made it infinitely worse. She staggered 3/4 of the way up, collapsed, fell, and rolled. It was horrible. It was also fortuitous. She ended up pointed across the hill instead of up it & used the terrain to hop to her feet. Note to self, next time panic more slowly.

Back to Our Story
So on Saturday, Hubby comes down the path yelling my name in that tone of voice you do not want to hear. He said, “We have a problem*.” Which isn’t nearly so funny when you really do have a problem.

New barrier. He does good work.

Mathilda wasn’t classically cast. She was lying on her left side, with plenty of room for her legs. However, that is her weak side. So she couldn’t get up nor roll back over. We took a collective deep breath (see note 2), thought about the situation, and decided to roll her over, with Hubby using a rope (see note 1) around her hind legs with me pushing on her fronts. Unfortunately, this resulted in her wedged up against another wall. More not panicking. We tried banging down one of the walls. Understandably, the incredibly noise caused her to fuss and shift about. That’s out. The shifting brought her more into the center of the stall. The tow rope around her front end & a hefty heave by hubby got her aligned and able to roll up into meatloaf position. With the help of more time & a hay bale, she rose gracefully to her feet. End of acute crisis, beginning of decompression and renovation.

First order of business was where to put her. She is not cleared for the pasture & no way was she going back in the stall. If she had another problem, we wanted lots of room to maneuver. My handy, wonderful, hard-working, in-house carpenter spent the rest of the day building sturdy but movable barriers to block the two entrances to the run in-shed. Mathilda now has the space of fours stalls to move around in.

Although it was not the way I would have wished to arrive at the solution, turns out to be a darn good one. The pen area gives her room to move, thereby exercising her joints/muscles/mind without the risk of her tearing around the field on three legs refusing to be caught.

The crisis itself was quite short. The adrenaline poisoning took a day and 1/2 to wear off.

[BTW, a deliberate misquote according to Wiki: Apollo 13: Popular Culture.]

Ever had a cast horse?

4 thoughts on “Debriefing

  1. Healthy horses who get cast — more than once — I generally regard as irretrievably stupid. But my mare cast herself years ago, when she went into labour for the first time, and I had to chalk it up to her being somewhat distracted and very confused. She went down with a crash and got herself wedged in the foaling stall with her nether regions jammed into a corner, so we had no choice but to flip her over. Unfortunately, the foal’s feet were already on the way out by that point (the whole hurricane-force labour lasted maybe 20 minutes), so she got kinda shredded in the process. The rectal/vaginal tear that resulted took four surgeries at the U of Guelph to repair, and earned her a red flag on her chart by the second visit; even in stocks she was NOT amused at having a bunch of students mess about with the aforementioned nether regions, given the amount of abuse they’d already taken, and she came close to denting a couple of skulls.

    She has managed never to get cast again, though. And the foal is now a rather pudgy 10-year-old.

  2. Indeed, no-longer-Young Master Spike. Who at least has caused his dam a minimum of grief since, and although he’s perhaps not the sharpest knife in the drawer, has also managed not to get himself cast. Though as a youngster, he did like to get his head wedged under the chest bar in the trailer. Repeatedly. Mercifully, he’s too big to accomplish that particular contortion now.

    Old and infirm is a valid excuse. Not dissing Ms. M. under the circumstances. Nor you guys for having your little freak-out moment — I’m all too familiar with the panic triggered by old horse going down and possibly not having the wherewithal to ever get up again.

  3. I have been fortunate never to have to deal with a cast horse. And from the sounds of it, seems like a really great thing to have missed. Glad to hear the Divine Miss M managed to walk away from her ordeal. And the shed sounds like a win.

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