Friday, December 21, 2007

Graphic (somewhat) Photo

Firecracker's halter dangles from her face.

It's ugly, but at least it's off.

I picked up some ace this morning from the vet and gave it to her. Waited about 5-10 minutes, then went in to see what I could do. Nothing. I couldn't really notice a big difference, to be honest, although after 20 minutes or so she did seem to come up a bit and fought off my advances a little stronger. I decided to go the chute route with her. Put up a couple of panels close together. The front was butted up against the wood rails of the paddock and wide enough to hang a manger. Of course, I have nothing to block backing up, so ended up with it being a very long V shape with two panels on each side. Did I mention very long? Well, she's just wide enough at the hip to have made it impossible to squeeze the backs of the first pair of panels together, so two it was.

This was about 1 this afternoon. I had her in that squeeze chute for a good 40 minutes, adding grain and scratching and rubbing. She likes to be rubbed back on the hip and under her belly. She does NOT like to be rubbed up by her face. Actually, I think she may enjoy it in the future, but when rubbing against the halter I figured it was putting pressure on the wound, too.

Anyway, round one saw too much backing up...all the way to the end of my chute, which with two panels on each side turned out to be nearly 20 feet. So I let her go (after taking off the lead rope) and came back at dinner time to try again. This time I pushed and cajoled and managed to work those panels as tight as I could, not giving her any room to back up. And that worked. She wasn't happy about it, but decided it was too much work to fight it. Plus, there was hay in front of her that required her attention. The buckle came undone after a minute of work, but the halter stuck to her face. It fell off her nose, but when I left, it was still hanging from the wound.

I grabbed the camera to take a couple of pics of the halter hanging, figuring I'd be able to see the crusty stuff on her face, never dreaming I'd see the actual wound. Oh, my! It's right down to the flesh.
Just above the halter, you can see the red of her flesh.

I left the halter hanging. I could have grabbed it and she'd have pulled it off when pulling away from me, but I didn't want her to associate the sting or pain with me. I'm sure it'll fall off tonight. I hope it'll fall off tonight! If not, I'm going to have to pull. I'm also going to have to utilize that squeeze chute again tomorrow and try to get some salve onto the wound to help prevent infection.

I just can't tell you, though, how impressed I am with her willingness to let me handle her while she was in the chute. In a tight space, your first thought is that a wild horse, or one under distress, would fight, either rearing or kicking. But she didn't. Aside from backing away when she had the opportunity, she let me touch her all over, under her belly and back behind her tail.

Even after all I'd done to her today, once loose and back in her stall she let me walk up and rub on her side without protest. This little firecracker is settling down to sparkler status, and I think she's going to be a suitable replacement for Quiet Storm after all.


Kathy C said...

I hope if falls off tonight! Poor thing. I think you made the right decision to just let it dangle. Your chute sounds like a good idea in a pinch. Good Job.

Molly said...

Wonderful that you were able to get it that far off. I hope you post some good news about halter tomorrow.

Tracey said...

Thanks, ladies, and yes, the halter did fall off.

Shuffling those heavy panels around sure was a workout! I took a nice, hot bubble bath at the end of the day. But the achy muscles were worth it.

Rising Rainbow said...

I'm glad to hear that the halter fell off on it's own.

Rising Rainbow said...

I hope you have a great holiday!