I decided to follow-up first thing Sunday morning with the Feather loading into the trailer issue. Thought I would read this great article in Practical Horseman, go apply the knowledge to my horse and all would be great.
I can confirm that Feather did not read the article and it did not go well. It is the hot of murderous crime sprees, it is the hot of people dying, it is the hot of deepTexas summers. It was over 100 degrees yesterday without a cloud in sight. That did nothing to help our trailer issues.
Honestly, I think she loaded twice yesterday but I may be delusional from the heat or the 500 attempts we made. In the early morning, I took Kid over. I tied him on the trailer. I thought his presence would give Feather confidence. She didn’t care. I put poor Kid in the trailer so she would have company when she loaded. I think she loaded one time then. I backed her out. She did not go back in. The article said to load her and take her out and let her re-load immediately. Feather didn’t want to do the re-load immediately part.
Ally came down with Jordyn. We saddled up Kid (he was getting picked for everything on this hot Sunday). Jordyn showed her mother and skeptical Aunt Lauren that she could, in fact, mount the horse herself. I made Ally take the picture with Jo with baby Kendyll hanging in between. I am sure she will appreciate this picture in a year when she is back to old self.
Jordyn was hanging in the tackroom. Ally had gone in to get out of the heat. Lauren and I thought we would quickly load Feather, get Jo and get inside. I explained the article (walk them up, back them off , walk them up, load them up) and Lauren took Feather toward the trailer. I was behind Feather urging her forward. Feather got to the door of the trailer and suddenly and with great power backed off. Number one rule I learned as a child watching a wrangler work with a young horse was NEVER wrap the leadrope around your fingers or wrist. I watched his wrist snap in a horrible break. Lauren knows that but got caught off guard. Feather backed off, the rope tightened, her hand got slammed into the metal and the most God-awful peal of agony came from deep in her throat. The neighbor’s heads came up. They may have even, for a short period of time, thought of actually stepping on my property to see if they could make the sound stop. Ally heard it in the house. It was not pretty. I immediately knew what she had done, I just didn’t know how bad it was.
The article clearly says wear gloves. Lauren didn’t have gloves on either, compounding the injury. After she quit wailing and was merely doing that jagged crying thing, I looked at the damage. Three fingers were immediately bruised and swollen. The ring finger had a funny look to it (you can tell I spent years in the medical profession). I tried to take Feather quietly up to the trailer and I held her while she stood. Then I released Kid and her to pasture to work with later.
In the cool of the house, we debated emergency room strategy. While our local clinic has good doctors, is owned by Memorial Hermann and where I used to work, the reputation of the local hospital is not stellar. When I broke my pelvis they told me to go home and take Advil. That didn’t work out well. We decided to wrap it and wait until the clinic would be open today.
Before dinner when we thought hunger might be a motivating factor, we decided to try Feather again. I had wrapped Lauren’s fingers and placed them in an oven mitt. It was a green holiday one. Figured it was like wearing gloves. All I am going to say about this segment of the Feather trailer loading was it didn’t work. It was well over 100 degrees. Lauren was hurt. I was tired and achy. Feather was determined not to go in the trailer. I need a horse that will load easily and if I traumatize her now, it will never be forgotten. I swear this is Leo’s fault from riding with her to Caroline’s and acting nuts.
This morning while I was at work, Lauren got to the clinic, got X-Rayed and had dislocated fingers. Wow, I bet that is why they hurt so much. I felt really guilty for not taking her to the hospital. The doctor just slammed them back in place and sent her home.
As a special greeting, our most hated cat Harry Potter (a Tom who terrorizes all living things and we cannot touch) was chasing a snake across the back yard. Lauren quickly assessed her snake facts, “red and yellow kill a fellow”, and went for her shot gun. She blew the snake in half using one hand. Apparently, Harry Potter had been bit by snake as he was lying on the front porch with a hugely swollen leg. I suggested to Lauren that she shoot him as well but her hand, her conscience and spirit couldn’t take anymore.
I think it is highly likely Harry Potter is now under my house rotting in the Texas heat.