Sunday night, at the end of the competitive trail ride, we simply gathered up and tossed our gear into our pickup truck, with the intention of dealing with it all on Monday morning. Monday turned out to be yet another wet, chilly, overcast day. We spent the morning unpacking. The horse blankets are now draped over the rafters of the new hayshed, and the tents and sleeping bags are hanging on the clotheslines in the upper quadrant. And the horse gear is back in the tack shed.
I read my email Monday morning, only to learn that some did not fare as well this weekend as others. Mariann Stoffel had sent me an email saying that her husband Dick was in a riding accident on Friday afternoon. Dick had just gotten up on Mariah, a horse they raised, when she gave three successive bucks, this before falling over onto him. Mariann came running, and rushed Dick to the hospital. He was said to have broken five ribs. They had to re-inflate one of lungs in the emergency room.
Pete and I went to see Dick mid-morning. He was on painkillers, and somewhat talkative. He gave us accident particulars, and after, I asked him what was to come of Mariah. He said that Mariann was in the process of taking the horse to the veterinarian’s clinic, this in an attempt to determine if there was a physical reason for her behavior.
I later talked to Mariann, who said that the veterinarian speculated that Mariah had numerous bug bites. This plus a lump on her chest (perhaps due to an allergic reaction) were why she acted so out of sorts. This seems to me to be a good call. The veterinarian did her job. But in such instances the horse owner has to take a step backwards and then start unpacking. Behavioral problems can have several sources. For example, in such instances, one should take a close look at tack. Something as simple as a bur under a saddle blanket can ruin a horse person’s whole day.
This is an incredibly difficult preposition when a horse owner is well. It’s even more difficult when a horse owner is laid up. In this instance, Dick has to first focus on recovering. The horse baggage can be more closely examined when he’s feeling better.