A Word of Caution

I am fortunate to have beautiful no-climb horse fencing with hot wire on top and capped t-posts, and for the most part my horses are safe and accident free. However the property we live on is an old one (like finding Indian artifacts on it Old) and with continued use things have a way of working their way up out of the ground and appearing suddenly and unnervingly. For example, I found a fist-sized hunk of rusty iron in Joey’s paddock last month and promptly removed it. Yeah, scary!

In the hubbub of daily life–or just feeding time, if you’re me and have multiple animals of various species clamoring at you FEED ME NOW twice a day–it is occasionally tempting to just throw hay and go on your business without giving the animals a thorough once-over, at least visually. I can’t caution you strongly enough against that, it is so important to invest those few extra minutes in carefully checking your animals head to tail for any injuries, lumps, bumps, etc. Because while you may provide your loved equines with great fencing, feed, and regular health care, things can still crop up and let’s face it, Shit Happens.

Case in point. This morning my 15 month old filly, Sheza, was chipper as usual, looking for scratches along with her breakfast, basically just her same old self with no outward signs of distress. As I was throwing hay to her, boss man mini Bandito, momma Desire, and the yelling goats, my eye was caught by something silvery behind Sheza. My heart sank as I realized she had about a foot of old wire wrapped tightly around her right hind fetlock with a little tail of wire sticking out behind, the only part that had caught my eye as it was otherwise quite close around her leg. She gave me no clue anything was wrong and the wire had not visibly cut her, but was wrapped tightly enough around her leg to be SCARY.  I crooned to her and rubbed all over her body and down to the fetlock where I untwisted the wire enough that when she got nervous feeling the wire move and tap danced away from me she stepped right out the wire.  She was free and uninjured and trotted away with all her filly arrogance intact. But PHEW.

She didn’t tell me there was a problem and I didn’t see it at first. So please, friends and readers, check your loved animals head to tail to toe, daily if not twice a day, and be sure there isn’t something hiding there that might cause you all a lot of grief later.

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5 thoughts on “A Word of Caution

  1. Poor Sheza! I'm glad to hear that everything is okay. Even with our indoor cats, I'm careful to at least *find* the darn things whenever I come back in the house – they're really big on hiding, and I am always worried that they're going to get into something they're not supposed to.

  2. this is a great reminder and i'm so glad your filly is fine. i had no idea our paddock is made of landfill, basically, old building materials including copious amounts of rusty bent nails. the longer my horse lives here, the more turn up. there is some sort of bathtub, i think, about to be exposed where he likes to roll. i think it's awful but back in the old days, people just dumped their junk out back even in germany. in this case they put soil and grass over it, but horses tend to bring it up. my solution for now is to restrict access to this area unless a thick bed of grass is there, so the chances of nails rising up is lower. a metal detector will not help when the entire side of the hill is made of junk.

  3. So far in our pasture we've found:
    * a roll of barbed wire
    * a car jack (the entire car jack…because you jacked up your car in the middle of a hayfield and then drove away??)
    * two hammers (I kept them)
    * a screw driver (kept this too)
    * the bottom of a broken beer bottle (eeek!)
    I also found a perfectly-intact metal livestock water tank buried in the front yard. It is now in my paddock, full of water for the horses.

    But hey: we've only been here three years. I think lytha's experience is extreme; our pasture hasn't been part of “habitation” very long, maybe 20 years at the outside including the last three years of just housing horses and goats. Before that it was forest. Still, in 20 years it's possible to accumulate a lot of weird junk….thanks for the warning!

  4. Ugh wow, what a selection of crapola we all have appearing in our pastures! What can we do but be vigilant and cross our fingers for our equine pals!

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