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Horse Field Emergency, Part One
I met Lauren Fraser last year at the Mane Event in Red Deer, Alberta. Since then, we’ve kept in touch and I recently learned of this crisis with one of her geldings. She kindly agreed to write about it for NickerNews.
Here is Part One of a three-part series.
For a few Canadian phrases, the American equivalent is in parentheses.
from her home in British Columbia, Canada.
By Lauren Fraser
My husband Dave and I live at the foot of the coastal mountains in Squamish, British Columbia, Canada. We have a ritual morning walk around our property, which we claim is for the benefit of our eldest dog’s health, but we both enjoy it too.
Part of the pleasure is seeing my herd of eight horses grazing the 25 acres. Fall had recently come to the valley, and the horses responded to the cooler weather by putting on a great display of running, bucking, and farting their way around the property. We watched for around five minutes, and as they began to wind down, Dave started wandering back towards the house.
That’s when I noticed the fresh trail of bright red blood droplets, spaced very close together, on the ground. I shouted to Dave, and ran to the front field where the horses had
galloped. I could see the herd circling around, starting to slow, although they were still prepared to run at the slightest sudden movement. I forced myself to walk calmly towards them, visually searching through the bodies and legs for any sign of blood.
Standing slightly off from the other five horses, my “bachelors” – three bonded geldings - stood, breathing hard, muscles tense. One of those bachelors was my new four year old colt, Calcite. I saw with horror the bright red blood pumping from his groin and down his left hind leg with each heartbeat.
I worked for many years as a veterinary assistant in both small animal and mixed practice hospitals, and also have professional training as an occupational first aid attendant. I knew that without immediate pressure to stop the bleeding, Calcite was going to die before me. I’ve assisted in similar horse calls with my veterinarian husband over the years, and I pride myself on my abilities in an emergency situation.
Usually having this knowledge is a blessing, but today it was a curse. Understanding that Cal was bleeding out before my eyes, I temporarily “lost my sh&t”, and I panicked.
I had a hay string (baling twine) in my pocket, and I grabbed for Cal to catch him, which, understandably, pushed him to run away from me. The blood pumped faster, and a large pool formed when he stopped 20 feet away from me. To force myself to calm down, I approached one of his bachelor buddies, and gave him a scratch instead. Then I sidled my way towards Cal. I managed to slip the hay string around his neck, and attempted to stop the flow of blood, which came from high up in his groin, with pressure from my hand.
Cal was panicky, and wheeled around, causing me to almost lose my grip on the string. My husband shouted for me to get him closer to the house, and he ran to get sedative from the medical kit. I started leading Cal up, thinking only of negative outcomes for the situation we found ourselves in. Just a few months prior, I had unexpectedly lost my Horse Number One, and I was still raw over his loss; the thought of tragically losing another horse weighed heavy.
Part II: Trying to Stop the Flow and Getting Help
View Reader Comments:
OMG, don't stop there!!!! You're killing me.
Please, please don't make us wait a week for part 2...the suspense is killing me.
Yah!!! Come on this is torture!!!!
Maddy at Nickernews
Hang in there, readers. It will be worth the wait.
I can just recall finding my Arab Percheron cross gelding with a large stick driven into his groin and knew not to pull it out or he would be like this horse. I really want to hear the rest of the story..learning helps us all.
Thank god you were there when it happened!
Such a tease!! Is this in 2 parts? Tell me it is,:-))
I have to agree with previous posters, rush part 2 pretty please!
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