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June 17, 2019: Hrimmi’s Injury

The unforeseen happened last night. Hrimmi is now laid up, at least for a day. In the middle of the night she got her rear leg tangled in her lead rope, which was connected to the highline. A highline is like a clothesline, tied to two trees. The ropes that the horses are tethered to are tied to it.

We’ve been judicious about getting up and checking on the horses every two hours or so. Either Pete or I would do this. But sometime during our collective watch, the main line sagged and Hrimmi got her rear leg snagged in her now loose lead line. And somehow, Tyra’s quick release gave, so she was free. I woke up when I heard stomping sounds directly outside the tent. I opened the tent fly and there she was, looking right at me. It was as if she was saying something was amiss.

Packing it up
Packing it up

I said to Pete that something was wrong, and turned on my headlight. Sure enough, Hrimmi was standing with the rope wrapped around her rear ankle. I told Pete that Hrimmi was tangled, put on my boots and scrambled out of the tent. Pete was right behind me.

I held Tyra while Pete freed Hrimmi. He examined her wound and said it wasn’t that bad. We retied the horses, climbed back in the tent, and went back to sleep. At first light I was up. I went over to Hrimmi and examined her rear pastern. She had a nasty abrasion. The now hairless area was an angry red in color.

We immediately treated the wound, by applying cold water and applying silver sulfadiazine. I then walked her while Pete made breakfast. She wasn’t limping.

Over breakfast we talked about the day’s plans. We were to embark on our first pack trip, but instead we decided to spend the day preparing for it. I admitted that although I was eager to get going, this decision was for the best. As I told Pete, a day off would give her time to heal. And I added, if she wasn’t better, we’d give her another day off.

My reasoning was fortuitous because as we soon discovered that packing up took far more time than we initially thought it would. Rather than take down the highline, we let the horses graze for a bit and then Pete restrung it, this time making it tighter.

We did a more careful job preparing for our first long adventure than we would have done otherwise, taking the time to sort though and determine where our food, gear, and the horses’ gear might go. It began raining shortly after we set to this task—we later agreed that for this reason, it would not have been the best day to travel.

We worked in the rear of the trailer, where the night before I’d stashed most of our stuff. It was nice, having this dry workspace. This in contrast to the truck bed and trailer tack room, which are more closed in.

The Encampment River, across the way, provided us with ample water and made cleanup a far easier task than it would have been otherwise. We finished our respective chores around 4 p.m. We had tuna and pasta for dinner.

Next: 167. 6/18/19: Day One of Encampment Pack Trip

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