The footing here in NY has been awful this winter. We've gotten quite a bit of rain which turns the pasture to mud, which the horses then slog through and rut up. Then we get a hard, hard freeze and all those ruts get frozen solid, making it very difficult for the horses to get around. There were days when Butch, the belgian boss-hoss would just stand in the run-in all day waiting for me to bring hay to him because the ground was simply too difficult for him to walk on.
This brings me to last Saturday, I'd just spent the morning struggling with a draft horse who really didn't want her feet done, when I went out to spend a pleasant afternoon riding my two lovely horses. Unfortunately Gwen came up to the gate hobbling on three legs and acting like her left hind was broken (Kristen, I'm feeling ya right now). She stood around without any weight on it and when she walked she just stabbed her tippy-toe into the ground, holding as little weight as possible.
I immediately picked her foot up to see if something was horribly wrong with it, there was a small flap on her frog sticking out, it wasn't enough to cause her so much pain, but I cut it off anyway and stepped back to see her reaction. Just the same. Then she very carefully lifted her hind leg up and to the side, took her little muzzle and pointed to her hoof, "it hurts there, fix it please," she said.
My heart promptly broke and fell all over the ground.
I put some bute in her feed and went to text my vet. Vet said check her for scratches, put her in a stall, cold hose, feed her bute, and check her temperature, call back in two days if she hasn't improved.
- Check for scratches: check, no scratches.
- Put her in a stall: anti-check, not going to happen
- Cold hose: anti-check, hose has been put away due to freezing winter temps
- Feed her bute: check, already done
- Check her temperature: anti-check, I don't have a thermometer- add buy a thermometer to my mental wishlist
- Call back in two days if she hasn't improved: enthusiastic check!
Seriously, it's like she's taking up scaring me to death as a winter hobby...