In the Night Farm…Your Ride is Here.

Never a Dull Moment

Ironman and I woke to a frantic clatter.  It came from the horse paddocks: the unmistakable sound of an equine and a fence panel in the midst of an undesirable encounter.

We were out of bed and into our clothes in twenty seconds.  Like firefighters, we didn’t need to say a word.  Just leap into coats and boots and hustle calmly out into the chill gray of first light. 

 The clanging had stopped.  My gaze fell first on Consolation, then Sandstorm, then Ripple and Acey.  All okay.  We topped the hill and opened the gate…and found Aaruba.  The sight of him was at once astonishing and terrifying.

He seemed to have attempted a double-barrel kick through a 12-gauge fence panel.  Both hind legs were caught up in the third and fourth rungs, so that he stood on trembling forelegs with his hindquarters “sitting” on the upright panel.  His legs tangled between the rungs such that both stifles and hocks were fully flexed.

He couldn’t move.  Thankfully, he didn’t try.  He merely looked at us with big, beseeching eyes.  Help me?  Of course…but how?

Ironman managed to get behind Aaruba and tilt one cannon enough that the fetlock and hoof were no longer looped over the third rung, but Aaruba’s hock was still jammed between rungs three and four.  He didn’t know the foot was free. 

We got on his opposite side and threw all our strength against his butt, shoving him toward the freed leg until he stepped down at last.  This eased the strain on his forehand, but also wrenched the other hind leg, still trapped, even higher.  Now what??

It seemed Aaruba’s hind end would need to lift up in order for his weight on the panel to slacken enough that we could guide him free.  But “up” wasn’t a possiblity, at least without the help of heavy machinery that I do not own.

Thankfully, Aaruba solved the problem.  He pivoted gently toward the trapped leg, which enabled his hip to flex upward and sideways, giving me the slack I needed to lift his hoof over the rung and free.

He took a couple tentative steps, then walked the length of the paddock and back.  Sound as a dollar. 

Of course, he was still jacked up on aldrenaline.  We gave him some hay to help him settle, wondering how much the legs would swell and stiffen.  They looked pretty battered, but all the cuts proved superficial — mostly just swaths of hide scraped off.

After a good hose-down and disinfecting session, he trotted gaily around the round corral like the invincible beast he thinks he is.  Still sound, very little swelling, not a flinch after the first touch of cold water.  All the same, I’m sure he’ll he’s bruised and sore enough to deserve some extra handgrazing time.  Poor guy.

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22 responses

  1. Dom

    Ouch! Poor guy. Watching them get stuck in fences is always terrifying. I’m glad he’s at home so you could hear him and run out to help. He got quite the collection of battle wounds there. Good to hear they don’t seem to be serious.

    May 16, 2011 at 6:54 am

    • Seriously! You try to keep them safe, but… 😦

      May 16, 2011 at 8:13 am

  2. Tom

    Oh man, that kind of thing is just terrifying. So glad it turned out the way it did. Good boy, Aaruba.

    May 16, 2011 at 8:11 am

    • He was SO good.

      Lucky we were home! That accident could have been fatal if he’d remained stuck there for long.

      May 16, 2011 at 8:13 am

  3. Even pipes can be terrifying. Poor Aaruba! Who was he trying to kick?

    May 16, 2011 at 8:22 am

    • Consolation…I think. It’s also possible that he was just playing. Either way, yikes!!

      May 16, 2011 at 8:24 am

  4. Wow! i read this with my heart in my throat… I have a real soft spot for Aaruba, he reminds me so much of my boy Apollo (seriously, in their looks and mannerisms, they could be TWINS). I’m so glad things turned out okay.

    May 16, 2011 at 9:24 am

  5. Helen

    WOW–some ugly looking legs there! Glad they are only surface scrapes. I swear horses would manage to hurt themselves in a padded room!

    May 16, 2011 at 9:25 am

    • Looks terrible, doesn’t it? I might have to try a padded room for that boy.

      May 16, 2011 at 7:22 pm

  6. Rosanne

    Yikes! I have had horses get caught up in fencing too. Thank goodness you were home when it happened. At least he seems ok. Poor boy. I think they want to give us all grey hair! 🙂

    May 16, 2011 at 9:54 am

    • That’s why we all wear helmets. To cover up the gray hairs our ponies give us. 😀

      May 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm

  7. Isn’t it amazing how quickly you can fly into action?

    So glad he was fine.

    May 16, 2011 at 10:27 am

    • Amazing, indeed. From dead asleep to wide awake in .367 seconds.

      May 16, 2011 at 7:17 pm

  8. So glad it turned out as well as it did. How has Aruba been doing? Have not heard to much about him.

    May 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    • Well, he hasn’t been doing much, but he seems happy (when he’s not sitting on the fence).

      May 16, 2011 at 7:16 pm

  9. Oh no.. I could hardly read this post , for reasons you are all too aware of.. I am so happy it turned out okay..

    May 16, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    • I thought of you immediately, Jonna. While it was still going on.

      May 16, 2011 at 7:16 pm

  10. sj

    Glad for the good outcome.

    Seems there’s no way to keep the ones you love safe from harm, no matter how hard you try.


    May 16, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    • So it seems, SJ. So it seems. 😦

      May 16, 2011 at 7:15 pm

  11. Poor Aaruba! Hope he is OK! I swear they’ll find a way to get hurt even in a padded cell!

    May 17, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    • Thanks, Karen. What a dingbat, eh? He still seems to be recovering just fine, poor guy.

      May 18, 2011 at 7:45 am

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