Tuesday, January 18, 2011

1 AM

It's raining, Hooray!  Hopefully all this snow will melt.  We're supposed to reach a balmy 38 F today.  I may have to put short sleeves on!

Last night it was freezing rain.  At around 1 am the baby woke up, which woke me up.  His room is on the south side of the house, facing the pastures.  From his window I could see Vinny standing out in the pasture by himself.  That in itself wasn't unusual.  My horses aren't really that attached to each other, they're more room mates than herd mates.  But still, something didn't seem quite right.  As my eyes adjusted, I realized his blanket was twisted up around his neck and he was trapped.  Poor Vinny!

I've been having all kinds of trouble keeping a blanket on Vinny this year.  Because of his stringhalt, he gets his hind legs stuck in the blanket frequently.  I can't use the regular straps that come on the blanket, as they don't break easily and he becomes stuck.  I finally ended up replacing all the regular straps on his blanket with baling twine.  That way, when he inevitably gets his legs stuck, the twine breaks and he can get free.  He ends up removing the blanket a lot, but at least he doesn't hurt himself. 

Last night, he somehow broke all the twine and then got the blanket wrapped around his neck (probably rolling).  Then he managed to step on the trailing end of the blanket, quite effectively trapping himself.  Being a sensible old man, he stayed right where he was and waited for someone to come rescue him.  His pasture mates had abandoned him and headed back to the barn (nice to know who your friends are!), leaving poor Vinny to stand in the freezing rain alone.  It was a lucky thing I woke up when I did.

I put on my coveralls and headed out to rescue him.  It was a simple matter, I just needed to unbuckle the chest strap and the blanket came off easily.  Silly, I should have thought to put twine on the front buckles so they would break away, too.  I took the blanket back to the barn to survey the damage. Not too bad, the twine did its job.... it broke before the blanket did.  There's yet another small tear in the lining and the tail flap was half torn off, but the blanket is still serviceable.  The lining wasn't too wet, either.  It was dry enough to put back on, better a slightly damp blanket than none at all in the freezing rain.  I loaded up my pockets with more baling twine and grabbed a towel to dry off Vinny, then headed out to tie his blanket back on.  That done, I threw them some more hay and headed back to bed. 

Sometimes I miss boarding out.  I'm pretty sure my horses don't, though.

8 comments:

  1. Chances are, if Vinny had been boarded out, he would have gotten tangled and no one would have found him until morning feed.

    I suspect the baby and your own psychic connection with Vinny worked together to rescue him. Baby sensed Vinny's distress and cried and Vinny got you to look outside.

    Glad you rescued the poor boy.

    Rain here too, but ice as well, and apparently, there is more snow threatening for later in the week. It's a mess here.

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  2. I gave you an award on my blog at www.justagirlandherhorse.blogspot.com

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  3. Poor Vinny, glad you got up for the baby and rescued him from a tough situation. Boarding's not the answer as Jean said they wouldn't have found him until the morning. When I boarded one of my horses was put out with the wrong halter, as I pulled up I noticed something wrong out in the field. He had put his hoof through the bottom and was stuck there. If I hadn't come he would have stayed like that until they brought them in. Good idea with the twine.

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  4. Glad you rescued him! What if you were to do your own sew-on custom straps that run from the blanket, around one leg on the inside and back to the blanket - on all four legs - no belly straps to get caught in. With a tail strap across the back, that might keep it on without him being able to get his legs caught.

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  5. Poor Vinny! It's tough being the old man.

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  6. I didn't know you had a baby. Wow - you're a very busy person! Now I see his picture - so cute!
    Glad you found your boy and were able to fix the blanket. Savanah did a similar thing with a cooler in her stall the other day when I was at the barn :(
    Thanks for very good points and ideas you left me. I'm motivated not to give up my position!
    Also, I love the comment you left for Amy at Slow and Steady Wins the Race. Good for you. What a sad post she wrote.

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  7. Good man for standing and waiting for help. Rose would have ended up in a complete mess if it had been her! Btw, you have an award on my blog! Check it out.

    -DS
    Adventures In Colt Starting

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  8. I do not want to sound to airy fairy but I am with jean. Baby felt something. i am glad you found him in time. :)
    boarding has its advantages ...

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