Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Unexpected Rodeo

I'm typing with one hand here so forgive any typos, please:)...Horse owners often talk about how similar horses and small children are. I've just encountered another case in point, they both seem to relish making a liar out of you. Our farrier, Dale Collis, came yesterday to shoe my boys for the first time here and to trim Miss Brandy who has no need for shoes since she lives a life of leisure these days. We still haven't put in cross ties or a hitching post so I handle this the old fashion way and hold each horse as Dale works with them. Dale has the most uncanny ability to soothe a horse...usually.
Since I knew that Brandy would be bothering the other horses by curiously standing right beside me as I held them and nudging them with her nose every time she got the opportunity, I decided that she would go last and Rowdy right before her since he was the one that I expected some reluctance from. So, Django was chosen to go first because of his easy, laid back nature. Django and I had been standing there under a shade tree waiting on Dale to arrive and Django seemed his usual agreeable self, relaxed, grazing, enjoying some scratching. 
Django became alert when he saw Dale pulling into the driveway to the barn but I thought this was just normal curiosity.  As Dale drove up beside us, he rolled down his window and commented on what a beautiful horse Django was. I responded in the same manner I always do when Django's mama, Mouse, is complimented, I agreed, lol. I apologized and Dale told me not to worry about it because he was gorgeous. I told him that he was also the sweetest most laid back horse I'd ever met. I said that I expected a little trouble with Rowdy because of his stubborn streak but Django was always so good that shoeing him should be a breeze. 
I'd just finished this statement when Dale set down his tools, petted Django's nose and lifted his front hoof. Neither of us are quite sure what happened next to spook the horse but Django freaked! He slung Dale sideways, in Dale's own words, as if he were a handkerchief and then connected with Dale's hip when he, the horse, spun around. I was trying to hold him and calm him down but he was dragging me down the hill despite my best efforts to dig in. Finally, he gave one mighty jerk and the the rope and half the skin on my right hand went with him. Then I asked myself why I hadn't been wearing gloves. 
After, Dale assured me that he was sore but not seriously injured, he gave me some tape to cover my bleeding hands and I put on some gloves before we went to try and catch Django. I managed to corner him once but my hands were too sore to hold him. He reared and pulled away again as soon as we got close to Dale and his tools. So, we continued with the other two horse and Rowdy proved my prediction wrong again because he was the perfect gentleman. I did manage to get Django corralled in the round pen but he was still too agitated to do anything with.
Dale said that he didn't know why but the horse was obviously spooked of him so we would put off his shoeing until next week when my rope holding hands are healed and I've gotten something from the vet to sedate Django with before Dale's next visit. Dale said that a few sessions where the horse has been sedated should convince him that we aren't going to harm him and straighten out this unexpected problem. 
The almost comical end to this story is that as soon as he saw Dale leave, Django, who'd been running in circles full tilt around the round pen, stopped, turned slowly and walked over to me. He then gently laid his head against mine as if he was saying he was sorry. So evidently it is Dale he has a problem with which is surprising since Dale is usually amazing with even the most agitated of horses.
A post script to this story:
We still had no luck with Django this past Friday when Dale returned. Even after two shots of Dimosaden, one in the muscle and one in the vein, Django still managed to pull away. Steve was there to help but I think that Dale and I both are a bit wary of being hurt again. Dr. Hamilton will be coming next week to administer the sedative and hopefully get our new "rowdy" boy docile enough to at least remove the shoes and trim his hooves. I think I might try riding him barefoot for a while, lol.
So, thank goodness, no serious injuries over this latest lesson in horse ownership for me or Dale. As Huston told me when we were out in Missouri, when you ride a horse it's like you're driving through rush hour traffic in a big city; you have to be constantly aware of everything and everyone around you including your own horse and ready to react at a moments notice. It appears that lesson applies to ground work, too!


  1. No, the bandages are finally off. Unless my hand is slathered with medicine, I'm using both of them. I've been putting the medicine on at night and on the suggestion of my niece...clever girl..., putting a sock over the hand to protect it. That works well. It's still a bit sensitive and stiff but it is healing quickly.


If I Could Fly

If I Could Fly
The wind of heaven is that which flows between a horse's ears.