Monday, April 16, 2012

Broken ankles, then and now

This photo was taken one year ago today. 

On that fateful day, I was riding Scout with a different bridle (curb bit) than usual (snaffle bit with side-pull noseband) and a bareback pad without stirrups. We were doing fine until we came upon a couple of neighbors out walking their several large dogs. The dogs surrounded us and Scout panicked. He reared up and, because we were standing on the edge of the road, he lost his footing and we went over backwards down the embankment. Fortunately, I was wearing a helmet so, when I hit my head, that didn't get hurt. I did bend my glasses and cut my face. I bent a finger and the joint hurt for months. I landed on my tailbone and that hurt for weeks. I broke my ankle on the inside and had to have surgery to put in a plate and screws.

See here for more details. 


I spent several weeks in a wheelchair and had a few sessions of physical therapy. Even now, I have constant discomfort in my ankle and I cannot flex it fully. The best PT I had was walking in the snow this winter going to the barn to feed the horses. Without those long, difficult walks in the deep, uneven, crusty snow, I probably would have less flexibility in my ankle than I do have. 

Today, I was hoping to ride Scout to the place where we had our accident, but, alas, I got home too late and it got dark too quickly. I did however, ride Scout around the arena, in the dark, with my daughter on Nadia. We had fun, even if we did just walk and jog a few times. But the night air was chilly and we made it a short, uneventful ride.


It was a very different story this morning. . .

I woke up at my usual time, around 6:30, and took all the dogs out for a walk. Usually, Yalla! will be at the end of the arena by the gate waiting for me to come over and pet her or give her animal crackers, which I always have in my pocket. Annie sometimes comes down for a visit too, and when Nadia and Scout are in the arena they come too. I always enjoy visiting with my equine herd even though they are like little kids, vying for my attention. But this morning, Yalla! didn't come down to see me. Annie came part way and then went back to the barn. I figured that maybe I had caught her off guard, she was still asleep, or it was just too cold and she didn't want to leave her stall. It was 29 degrees and Annie was wearing a blanket. I thought nothing more about it and took the dogs inside.

Soon, I went out back to feed the horses and alpacas and for some crazy reason, I brought along the camera. Yalla! was still nowhere to be seen. Nadia and Scout were in their stalls and Annie came up to the fence as I approached. Then I could see Yalla! standing in her stall in the distance. 'Strange,' I thought to myself. 'That's just not like her. Why isn't she coming over? I wonder what's wrong?' 

I hurried into her stall and immediately saw the problem. Her right leg was stretched forward and her hoof was up on the pipe rail, or rather, through the pipe rail and caught against the portable panel that we had added to the alpacas' pen. 


She couldn't free it. I wondered how long she had been standing like that,  hours probably, all night possibly. Otherwise, she looked to be all right. I ran (I'm still kind of stiff-legged from my broken ankle so it must have been quite a sight!) back towards the house to wake my son and then, midway, I decided that I could do this by myself. After all, what would I do if I lived alone? I hurried back to the alpaca pen and pulled the latch pins out of the panels nearest her hoof. I worried that the panel would fall against the pipe rails and pin her foot further but, fortunately, they stayed upright. I pulled at the portable panels to move them away from Yalla! hoping that she would pull her foot out. She didn't move. I let go of the panels and they stayed upright so I ran back around to Yalla! I lifted her hoof and put it on the ground. She suddenly realized that she was free and took off away from me at a run, defiantly kicking out at me as she ran away with her neck stretched and her head snaked out. What a little beastie; she looked like she was saying, 'what took you so long to rescue me?' Sigh! I AM glad that she wasn't hurt though. 


Here's where she caught her hoof, just above the lower rail.

What a day!

11 comments:

Reddunappy said...

Glad she is ok!! Sensible girl to stand there and not fight it!
She wasnt walking funny?? so maybe she hadnt been there to long.

Dan and Betty Cooksey said...

You were fortunate. I'm glad she was OK.

Dan

Dreaming said...

How absolutely wonderful that she didn't try to struggle and tear herself up. Oh, naughty girl! That's no way to thank anyone after being rescued!

Val said...

What an unnerving experience! I am glad that you were able to come to her rescue and that she ran off, uninjured.

BrownEyed Cowgirl said...

What a smart little girl to not wreck herself trying to get undone. Naughty little shit though for kicking out at you after you freed her. LOL

Dunappy said...

I"m glad she's ok. It's really good that she didn't struggle or she really could have hurt herself.

Mikey said...

Glad she's ok. More proof that horses can get in the strangest predicaments. I've found my favorite gray, Monte, stuck like that on the non climb (ha!) fence with a shoe hung up. Like yours, no telling how long he'd been like that. The things they do...

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Yalla! still uses her mouth to check stuff out, but she also loves to use her front hooves to explore and investigate stuff.
I've seen her rolling those blue barrels and the big feed buckets around the arena, and just today I first hear her and then watched Yalla! tap on and then push around the empty metal water tank up by the barn. She is always curious.

Glad she wasn't injured.

~Lisa

Fantastyk Voyager said...

She does use her mouth and feet all the time to play with things. Every night, I hear her banging the metal feeder. She knocks it over and rolls it around. Hopefully, she's learned to be a little more careful, probably not though.

Shirley said...

If there's a way to get in trouble, they'll find it! I've always thought of corral panels as a safe fence, but some recent events have changed my mind. Glad your pretty filly wasn't hurt.

achieve1dream said...

Yikes! I'm so glad she wasn't hurt and that you were able to free her fairly easily. I never even would have thought about the panels trapping a hoof like that!

Ignore my previous comment about not having read since Feb. I didn't think it had been that long (although April is still a long time ago lol). I guess I had just missed that gator teeth post and thought that's where I'd left off. This is definitely where I left off last though, so now I'm going to catch up. :D