Welcome to Fern Valley

Here in central Alberta prime farm country,my husband Martin and I work together raising beef cattle and Appaloosa horses. Fern valley appaloosas have long been known for their quality of temperament conformation and color.I have recently rediscovered a love of writing and have published 2 collections of poetry. "Telling Tails" and Tails Trails and Campfire stories" . I look forward to a future spreading my wings as an author and as a horse woman .

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Readiness is all

Well the title is a quote from Hamlet  but it fits this post well enough .
the next quote is the status I posted on FB this morning ,which will explain ,I hope where this train of though sprung from
"I have laughingly said in the past that horses are born looking for a place to die. Just because I was laughing doesn't mean I was wrong . Treating a lovely huge gouge in Cactus' leg for the foreseeable future.A long way from his heart but still..."

Got up this morning  at my usual time "sleepy o'clock" and started to have a cup of coffee, but the horses were talking already so I headed out to feed.Most are still on pasture but I have a few that are being supplemented with hay now . Fix did his usual morning dance and  Jewels and Harley were good .Then I got to Cactus , all seemed well with him as he rushed up to meet me,then I glanced down.He had a gash  above his knee about the sized of a deck of cards ,with a skin flap hanging .Sigh here we go !

I let him eat for a bit while I gathered supplies then  haltered him(though why I bother I don't know he is a peach to treat!) and set to work, he stood well and let me clean and examine the wound ,the skin flap may or may not slough off or may need to be cut off in time but because the wound was so fresh I decided to  dress it in place . 

which is where we come to the title of this post ...
I try very hard to keep a full first aid kit on hand for the horses(also for me ) .Dressing supplies , wound treatments etc. Why? because very often the faster you can treat a wound the better that chance are of it healing well. 
Not only by having supplies, but by having eyes on your horses as often as you can.The difference between seeing a wound in the first  hours to day that it occurs and a couple days in can be huge . As for that skin flap? well if it even stands a chance of adhering back it had to be dealt with PDQ, that said it still may come off, I just felt as angry and as fresh as the  wound was it was maybe kinder to let it be before poking around in it more,the fate of that flap will be decided in a couple days , but letting the inflammation go down for a bit won't hurt him.

Readiness is also in educating ourselves.

Educating in how to manage wounds, how to bandage , how to assess, whether the wound is in fact something we can manage on our own or whether we need veterinary intervention. 
And with that ,how do we report and request service from our vet should we need them. 
Yes they will weed though the ramblings of a panicked phone call, but they are far better able to help you if you can report clearly what has happened , the history of the animal as it pertains to the current incident . Vital signs etc. Building a relationship with your vet is also a good idea, (after all not everyone has an honorary niece as a vet! color me spoiled!LOL) Its very nice when they know who and where you are.
And readiness, in the handling of our animals. Cactus is a good boy , and due to the injuries he sustained before I had him , has had his legs handles A LOT.Plus  he is very trusting and  sensible 
But what about others, I have had a couple  situations over the years where a horse has been injured ,the horse panicked My old Jewels mare comes to mind and others ) what is the plan then? well I had a set up for the cattle that I was able to run her into get her in a small enough space without her panicking and we were from there able the ge the vet to sedate her. However you do it , you need to have some form of a plan , and some form of facility to make it happen. But the best course of action is to have them used to being handled and trusting you so that when they are injured and upset , you are the safe place .  Easy enough to do with the average pony or one you have raised, but what about the rescues or the adopted Mustangs? 
Have a plan 
Have a full kit 
Keep your eyes open
and as always 
Stay safe! 
That's it for me for the moment , hope everyone has a great weekend , and has  few or no occasions to  dip into those first aid supplies! 


Ami said...

I hope he heals well and quickly.

Being ready for just about anything is good advice most of the time, I think.

Be ready and then hope the worst doesn't happen.

Have a great rest of the weekend!

Anonymous said...

All very good advice. It's amazing what trouble they can get into!

Shirley said...

I must confess my first aid kit is a little lacking in supplies! Best remedy that PDQ! Thanks for the reminder. We don't have a good horse vet here unfortunately. If it was anything major I'd have to haul an hour and a half to Cranbrook. I've learned over the years to do a lot of things myself as far as wounds go but there's lots I couldn't or wouldn't do.
I hope your boy heals cleanly, there is no doubt he'll get the best of attention.

Janice said...

It's always something!. Good post you reminded me that my Kit is glaringly bare and if something happened I would not be ready.My one saving grace is the Vet(s) I use are not far away and they know me and my animals pretty well....if the need should arise.

Reddunappy said...

Sorry he hurt himself.

Great post!

Crystal said...

Very true, I always have a kit ready and I also have one I carry in my truck just in case.

I too have treated horses who were not easily handled (not halter broke) and there is always a way but so much nicer when they are used to lots of handling for sure.

Paint Girl said...

Hope he heals up quick! Poor guy!
I always have a first aid kit with lots of extras for that just in case! I have a lot of great vets in my area so if my regular vet can't get out here then I have plenty of back ups which I have had to use.
And since I am one who has mustangs, with one being recently adopted and is still not gentled, I have a plan in place if I ever need the vet out for her. But fingers crossed that we will get through the gentling process and I won't need to utilize my mustang emergency plan!
Great post and there is always a lot to know and being prepared for an emergency with our horses!

kden said...

You sound more than ready!

Cut-N-Jump said...

What a timely post. Between Kat and then yesterday handling anothers horse for a trim, I gotta say- the farrier was glad to work on mine... The other horse? Well part of his problem is thrush, the effects of such and a few other small things.

We may not have a 'kit' per say on hand, but plenty of stuff to get the job done as it is. And digging thru a grooming tote- there was a bottle of thrush treatment. Who knows how old it is, but it was there.

I hope things heal up well and soon for Cactus. Ouch! I guess part of Readiness is also being able to deal with some of the greusome things we see and encounter with our animals. Or being blessed with having others around us that can while we hold the animal and restrain them for treatment.