So you may or may not remember the controversial instagram story about my horse. It had a video of my horse limping in the indoor with text over it “WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO DIE ALREADY” And “STOP WASTING MY VALUABLE TIME AND JUST DIE” Most people took this as a wow this chick is crazy. But other people, who have followed our story for a while knew this was just me venting my frustrations with my dark humor that I use pretty often for everything.
The response to that story was a mix of “relatable, I feel your pain” to “here’s how you can put your horse down” to “you’re promoting animal cruelty and need help.” What stuck with me the most was that someone was SKEPTICAL that my horse was actually hard to take care of. People don’t understand the emotional and physical toll having an accident prone horse takes on your body. It does make you go insane, and honestly dark humor and a glass of wine is the only healthy way I can think of to deal with the stress.
Just to give you an insight if you are still skeptical about how hard it is to take care of my horse, here is a comprehensive list of every injury she has incurred since 2016-2018. Yes, three years. Only three years. Injuries are posted in random order, as I can’t remember exactly when each one took place. WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGES DO NOT SCROLL DOWN IF YOU’RE SENSITIVE TO BLOOD/GORE
1) Knee Puncture
Ahhh yess, the knee puncture of winter 2016. Remember that nasty snow storm we had that was a state emergency? Yep, that’s when it happened. My barn owner at the time texted me that Eve had a “scrape” and she put some medicine on it. I wasn’t able to go up, so I figured “oh if it’s just a scrape I can see it tomorrow.” Well, I went up the next day and no it wasn’t just a scrape. It was a deep puncture that had gone untreated for a couple days because the fur was so long, it hid the severity of the wound. The vet came out, antibiotics were given. Treatment included flushing and wrapping once/twice a day for a few weeks during the snow storm which was difficult to get up there. Lucky me!
2) The injury that almost killed her
Yes, the great infection of fall 2017. This image doesn’t even do it justice. I didn’t get a photo when it was three times its size. So basically this infection we had caught a day late. It was pretty swollen up to her thigh. The vet came and gave antibiotics. The day after that (day 3 of infection), the leg had tripled in size. She didn’t respond to the antibiotics. Even with wrapping and cold hosing twice a day, the swelling was so significant that it was cutting off the already poor circulation in that leg and her hoof was starting to separate (as in fall off). The vet told us if she walked out of her hoof then there’d be no coming back and we’d have to put her down.
Thankfully, she was able to overcome it. The swelling was brought down and her hoof hardened back up (you can see the line where the old coronary band hardened and then grew out). However, her leg was never the same again. That leg is already mostly scar tissue with poor circulation, but after this injury the circulation was even worse. She couldn’t be in a stall without stocking up doubling the size. The vet also warned us that if that leg got infected again, it might be the end of her because it was just that much damage. That is when I started going up everyday, not every other day to scrub her leg and keep it clean. My daily routine of scrubbing her leg and putting alushield and swat over the scar to protect it originated from her almost dying in 2017. But I don’t care about this horse right?
3) Pink eye twice in a row
What are the odds? I really don’t know. Probably got reinfected from her fly mask, but I really don’t know. What I do know is that she got pink eye and we had to put medication in it twice a day every day for a few days then once a day for a few more days. A week or two later, she got it again! And the process started over. What fun. For whatever reason, she is very prevalent to conjunctivitis. She had gotten in once more before this. But she hasn’t gotten it since this last time.
4) Random armpit injury
I honestly don’t know how the hell this even happened. I wouldn’t have even found it if I hadn’t been looking (I do thorough body checks of her regularly because I expect the unexpected like this). It was a awkward place to treat because there’s so much movement there. Swat was pretty much the only treatment I could do, and it slid down her leg from sweating so it kind of was worthless. I had to clean it daily and make sure it healed on its own. Thankfully it did. Still have no idea how she did it.
5) Leg scrape
So since her scar leg has less feeling, when she walks she trips over sticks and scrapes herself up. This was the second time she scraped her leg. It was swollen from the trauma and pretty much skinned it. I had to wrap it to keep the swelling down and put antibiotic ointment on it to prevent infection. It healed up after a couple weeks, but had to treat it every day!
6) The Kentucky Fiasco
Probably the most stressful day of my life. The day I was to leave for Kentucky, this happened, a massive puncture. I had to clean it up, run to Dover to get supplies because I didn’t have time to go home and get them (I had to leave for Kentucky in like an hour, and this whole ordeal made me late). I couldn’t get the bleeding to stop before I left. I called my mom to call the vet. She and Meghan (Eve’s babysitter who was already coming to watch her while I was gone, but now had to play doctor!) had to give her antibiotics and wrap her leg while I was gone because the barn owner I had at the time didn’t know how. I felt so bad because my mom isn’t really a horse person. I couldn’t be there to treat it. I was so upset. It was actually horrible. I had a mini mental break not gonna lie. When I came back, it healed really well. Still had to wrap it. Thankfully it never got infected because we caught it literally minutes after it happened, but antibiotics were given just in case. There’s still a scar (ha another scar on her scar leg) from the puncture.
7) Puncture that put her in the horse hospital
This puncture I caught early as well. It didn’t get infected, but it was very deep. She was sent to the horse hospital to get care and they wrapped it and gave her antibiotics. I went up everyday and walked her around and let her graze. That’s when she reared and was feeling good. She stayed there for like a week or so I think before she came home. It was bad because it was so deep and near the joint, so it was a little more serious than her other punctures. It never got infected, but if it had it would’ve been bad.
8) Her bandage bow and sores
This leg actually just recently healed completely a couple months ago. So what happened was she got an abscess and my barn owner had been pressuring me to put her out with the wrapped hoof when I wasn’t ready. Well, horse went out and slipped and twisted her leg. I wrapped it and cold hosed it everyday. Then one day it rained while she had her wrap on and boom bandage bow. That one was my fault partially. It was difficult to treat because the tendon needed the wrap, but the sore on her leg needed to air out and dry. So if I left it unwrapped, the leg would swell and be really sore. This took months to treat and heal properly. It only healed because my friend @nikkaydee told me about Equiaide that dried the sores up so well and healed it completely. The tendon healed. The leg healed. The sores healed. It’s finally better, but it was horrible to treat. Stressful and took long to treat also. I had to cold hose it, put medicine on it, then gauze pads, then gauze roll then polo. It was the worst injury to date. All because my barn owner wanted my horse to be out with a wrapped hoof. Not safe. Don’t ever do that.
9) The abscess
It’s funny because abscesses are actually pretty rare for my horse. They were rare until living at the barn where she had been these past few years…. So this was the most recent one a year ago. This is the abscess that caused her leg to get effed up (above). I’m not sure why people think abscesses aren’t a big deal, but they actually are very bad. An abscess damages the inside of your horse’s hoof. And hooves heal very slow. My farrier told me how serious abscesses are and how they can create dead hoof and just affect how the hoof grows. It’s not anything to take lightly. But apparently some people (like my old barn owner) think it’s not serious. They would turn out horses with abscesses and wrapped hooves then be surprised when the horse would re-abscess the same hoof days later. That’s HORRIBLE. Like I can’t even comprehend how damaged that hoof now is and how sound that horse won’t be because they turned him out in a muddy field with a hole in his hoof. They turned my horse out with a wrapped hoof and she twisted her tendon from slipping. It’s really infuriating.
10) Mmmm yummy puncture again
Awww yeah this is probably the most recent puncture I think. It was shallow thankfully, but it still took a decent sized chunk out of her leg. I cleaned it and came up and wrapped it everyday and cold hosed it. It never got infected, but since it was a part of her scar, it took a decent while to fill back in and heal back up but it did eventually.
There were some minor ones I didn’t mention, these were just the big ones. Each one required weeks or months of healing and care. Literal blood sweat and tears went into this.
For a while I blamed her for getting hurt, but it wasn’t until I stepped back and really analyzed the situation that I realized that the barn where she was staying was the culprit. The trees were sharp, the hills were steep and rocky, the fields were huge so she was always galloping like an idiot…It was just bad all the way around. It wasn’t safe for her. Since moving her to a new barn (smaller flat field with one other horse and a stall), she has healed so much better. Her bandage bow healed completely in the first month. She’s not losing shoes, no abscesses, no punctures(!!!!) – it’s fantastic. She did get a very mild infection in her scar leg, but it healed in less than a week and was the most mildest case she had ever gotten. It was caused by scratches under her pastern (my fault since I missed that).
But yeah whoever says my horse isn’t hard to take care of, has no idea what they’re talking about. I think after these 3 years, I’ve owned the right to talk smack about my horse. Thankfully she’s been staying out of trouble since moving to this new barn, so I finally feel like she isn’t a burden anymore. Which is how it should be honestly. Your horse shouldn’t be a constant stressor, and she didn’t used to be. So I’m super grateful we have hopefully permanently moved past that suicidal phase in our life.