Mathilda has worn her last blanket. Before I tell the story, let me assure you that she is fine. The rest of us are a little jumpy, but she is fine.

When Chief Minion went to the barn for morning chores, he found her lying on her side unable to stand. Since her accident, we have lived in fear that this would be her exit strategy. Therefore, finding her this way, too tired to rise, lead to a certain level of doom and hysteria.

We managed to roll her over onto her chest and prop her up with a bale of hay. This gave her a chance to regroup and get her breath back. Lacking any idea what was wrong, we shucked the blanket just to get it out of the way. Up she popped.

As best we can tell, she compensates for a weak hind end by using her shoulders on the upsurge. Either she uses momentum to roll herself foreward, or she stretches out and pulls up with her forelegs. Either way, the blanket – the fancy, expensive, brand-name, winter stable blanket – had gotten wedged underneath and was constricting her shoulders. Her strength/balance is sufficiently compromised that she was not able to overcome the slight restraint this imposed. As best we can tell.

We very much want this to be the reason. That makes it a fixable problem. To keep her out of the wind, we have put up easily-removable tarps over the entry and quasi-permanent canvas over the other open spaces. The tarps will come down after each brief cold spell. The canvas will stay up until spring. My fantastic in-house carpenter is certainly capable of building permanent walls. However, the rest of the year, the barn needs as much air as possible. So, for now the horses are living in tent city.

The new barn door.
The new barn door.

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3 thoughts on “Windbreak

  1. It’s always a shock to find your horse – or any horse for that matter – on the ground and unable to come up. Thank God it was only her blanket holding her down!
    I hope the tent will keep the strongest cold out šŸ˜‰

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