Friday, March 25, 2011

What a stressful day and poor Chrome!!

Wow. What a stressful day! I went out to work with Chrome. First I asked him to pick up and hold his front hooves and rest the toes of his rear hooves. He did great so I moved on to working on the trailer. He followed me on and stood still while I pet him all over the shoulder, side and hip. Next I asked him to back out and then we approached it together again. This time I stopped and he went on by himself. He only went halfway, but I didn't care. I was excited!

I walked onto the trailer to give him his treat and then he stepped forward and put his head in the stall all by himself. I'm so proud of him for figuring it out. It won't be long before he's loading fully by himself. :)

On the second or third time on I noticed what looked like blood on his hock. I backed him out and looked closer. It looked like a puncture wound. I took him to the yard to show my husband. He immediately noticed it was swollen (how did I miss that?) and said we had to take him to the vet. I was worried because we hadn't been working on loading long and I didn't think he was ready.

So while my husband got the truck ready I went to load Chrome onto the trailer. I didn't want to hook up the truck or pull it out of the pasture because I was afraid he'd get too amped to load. Chrome walked right onto the trailer and my friend (who was visiting) lifted the ramp. Chrome raised his head and stepped back with one foot, but I asked him to step forward and he did. Once the ramp was secured I took the rope from his halter because I'm not comfortable tying in a trailer. He immediately turned around to face the rear. I was shocked he could still turn around in it. I thought he was too big now.

He was putting his chest against the ramp so I immediately closed the upper doors in case he decided to bail out. We hooked the truck up to the trailer and pulled it out into the yard to check the air in the tires. Chrome started spinning fast circles in the trailer so I yelled at my husband to stop and opened the front door to calm him down. After that he seemed calmer. I think he panicked because the cedar trees by the gate rub against the roof of the trailer. I'm going to have someone help me cut them down.

When we put air in the tires Chrome jumped at the sound it makes when you take the chuck away from the valve stem. He didn't panic though. I stayed with him the whole time with the front door open and gave him treats.

Once the tires were aired up we hit the road with our friend following in his car because the attachment for the lights on the trailer was broken (I wish we'd fixed that sooner) and we didn't want someone to rear end the trailer. Halfway to the vet clinic the truck died in the middle of a road at a traffic light. I'm not good with trucks, but it had something to do with the alternator draining the battery or something. We haven't had the money to fix it because of my husband's injury, but now that our tax money is here we will definitely be getting that fixed! My friend jumped the car and we pulled into a nearby park and then he and my husband went to get a new battery since we didn't have time to recharge the old one. That was expensive, but while they were there they grabbed the stuff to fix the lights too. :) While I was waiting with Chrome he stood perfectly still and wouldn't move. I think he was terrified.

So anyway we got to the vet clinic an hour late for our appointment. The receptionist said we would have to leave him there because of lunch breaks. I was freaking out because I had to be at work in an hour and a half and I didn't want to leave him there with strangers. What if something happened while he was there? She said he would be there for at least two hours. I reluctantly agreed, on the verge of tears and went back outside to Chrome.

I was shocked when the vet showed up to look at him. I guess the receptionist told him I was upset. I was so relieved I wouldn't have to leave Chrome there. The thought of leaving him had me on the verge of a panic attack. I guess I'm a little overprotective. :) The vet started looking at the wound and I told him he doesn't normally kick but since he was hurt and scared that I wasn't promising anything. He looked at it for a minute and then asked me to put him in the stocks. Chrome was a little nervous about going in, but he didn't put up a fight. When the vet latched the butt bar Chrome started yoyoing between me and the bar. I managed to get him still and calm quickly and then put up the front bar.

Oh and did I mention there was a mare and her two week old foal (so cute!) in the pen about five feet behind him? :) He neighed at her when we first got there, but calmed down quickly. I'm glad his hormones didn't kick in or anything. Once in the stocks the vet cleaned the wound and decided to shave his hock to see if there were any other punctures. Chrome didn't even bat an eyelash at the clippers even though he's never seen any. I was so proud. Thankfully the vet didn't find any other wounds.

The vet said that since he wasn't favoring the leg that it's unlikely that he punctured the joint capsule. He told me to keep an eye on it and if he comes up lame to immediately bring him back in because an infection in the joint is very serious. He gave me antibiotics and bute for the swelling. He also gave Chrome a tetanus shot because I'm not sure if he ever got one. We also had blood drawn for his coggins since we were there and he was due. Might as well save an office visit. :) Chrome didn't react to the first shot in the right side of his neck, flinched at the one in the left side and raised his head, but didn't react to having his blood drawn even though the vet had to dig for a vein because of new needles they'd just gotten that he wasn't fond of (he went and got an old one after a half minute of trying). What a good boy.

We let Chrome out of the stocks and showed off his smile and then went back to the trailer. He hesitated and the vet pushed on his haunches which made him more resistant, but he did go on quickly. I was so proud of him! I was expecting a fight since he knew what was in store. I love clicker training! He was nervous, but he knew it would be okay.

When we got home I unloaded him and turned him out in the pasture. He immediately set out for the lease land where he started stuffing his face with green grass. I don't blame him considering how much he pooped in the trailer (a sign of nervousness and stress). I'm so proud of my boy for being so brave and cooperative. He made a bad situation bearable when it could have been so much worse. Unfortunately this set back means I probably won't get him gelded this spring. :( At least that gives us a lot of time to work on hauling as soon as we replace the stupid alternator in the truck. So everyone please think healthy, uninfected thoughts for Chrome and if you're willing send him some get well prayers. I'm praying that it doesn't get infected. This was a blow to the checkbook, although it wasn't as horrible as I was expecting. Anyway below are the pictures.

Looks painful huh? He's not favoring the leg though and although he picked his foot up when the vet was mashing on it he didn't kick, dance away or act like it was horribly painful. I think he has a high pain tolerance though. Anyway keep him in your thoughts.


  1. Stressful for everybody. Sounds like Chrome did very well under the circumstances. Sending good thoughts that it clears up fast and he is back to his normal self.

    Mango Momma

  2. Poor baby! I'm sure he'll be okay. He was so good for you too.

  3. What a harrowing adventure for both of you. At the point where the truck broke down I was wondering how many other things could go wrong. It seemed like you reached your quota for the day. Gabbrielle has a couple of gashes on her hock. I cleaned them myself, because there was no swelling, but she just keeps re-injuring the same spots so they are taking a long time to heal. She has officially made herself the most expensive horse on earth with all the vet bills she has acquired over the years. My vet says that since she is a curious, high energy horse, the key is to keep her quiet. Don't let her have the run of the paddock. Yet the majority of her injuries happened overnight when she was locked up in her stall.

  4. Poor guy, congrats on the trailer loading though. Hoping all is well for you guys

  5. I'm impressed with the results of your trailer loading training! Goes to show you, you have to be ready for anything. Glad it wasn't more serious.

  6. Good thing you had been working on loading! I am so glad that right now, it doesn't appear serious. It could have been really bad. I am anxious to see how he acts next time you try to load him. Will he take it in stride, or will he be worried you will take him somewhere?

  7. oMD, that looks aweful. for me, the worst part would be not knowing how it happened! ugh. damn horses and dogs and cats and pets... giving us heart attacks every chance they can...

    hope he feels better soon. and so cool on the clicker training stuff!


I appreciate all comments, advice and questions! Your comments are what makes blogging so worth it. I love to hear from my followers, so thanks for taking the time to share your comments. :)