Things started peaceful yesterday but the peace didn't last long. Gary, a hay man, opened the lower gate to leave and Patience, an almost one year old filly, made a run for the driveway. She really wants to see the world! She managed to get past Gary but he managed to close the gate so Sweetie, our 33 year old Granny horse who is devoted to Patience, stayed behind. Sweetie whinnied as patience ran from Gary again and again. She is a real 'patient-tryer' if there is such a word. She's a stinker for sure.
The driveway is gravel with ditches and very uneven. Sweetie could trip and fall, she has lost her balance out there before. That's why the gate is closed. If Sweetie does fall, it takes people, a tractor and a sling to get her up again. her old body isn't working the way it used to but she gets around great, she just doesn't get up.
As Gary coaxed Patience back down toward the gate, I stood at the gate waiting to open it to let Patience in and not let Sweetie out. Patience came running in and Sweetie turned and ran up the hill toward the house. I headed to open the gate and drive away in the van I borrowed. I turned to see Sweetie running fast to keep up with Patience. Just then, she stumbled, landed on her face then fell over on the side of her face and neck. She was going so fast, her back end flew over her head. It is hard to describe but she couldn't move at all. It was a horrible position. She couldn't breath because her body was crushing her head. I have only seen a horse in that position in a rodeo video. It was a broken neck. I was afraid she would not be able to walk again. Would this be Sweetie's last day?
I was running up the hill towards her screaming as loud as I could. I had to get the weight off of her head. Gary was at the top of the driveway but he heard the screaming. He said it was blood curdling. He turned around and came back to help. Roger the volunteer who stayed at the farm while I was gone, was in back of the house near his trailer. I kept on screaming even after I reached Sweetie. I had her back legs in my arms trying to push her body off of her neck. I pushed and pushed to get the weight off of her head. Roger came running as I was still screaming. We finally got her lying down. I was so afraid she broke her neck. I moved her legs and didn't get much resistance. I think she was in shock. God knows I was! Roger ran to the barn and got a tent. We needed to keep Sweetie out of the sun. It was so hot and humid. Sweetie has Anhydrosis. She doesn't sweat. She was already panting pretty hard. I wet her neck and face but I didn't want to wet the Georgia clay too much. I thought about the tractor slipping down the hill. We needed no more mishaps. There is a balance of decisions to be made at a time like this.
Roger called 911. The Fire Dept has a large animal rescue unit with a sling! We have gotten her up many times with a sling but I wasn't sure she'd be able to stand or walk this time. I don't know what damage was done. I can only imagine. I called 3 vets, they were all busy and it would take a few hours to get here. We decided to try and get her up when the firemen arrive. It was a miracle but she got up and walked within minutes. So far she seems to be doing well. Damage can show up days later. So far, so good. Every day is a blessing.
Now I am ready to leave, again, and return the van. Lucky my rescue friend who let me borrow it is patient. On my way there, I saw a chicken that fell from a chicken truck. I turned around and couldn't find her. I just saw her, I know she's there. I was near my sister's farm. I picked her up and we drove back and found the poor chicken. She was over heated and panting hard. We put her in the air conditioning hoping to stabilize her but she died about 2 hours later.
Yes, I am back.