Around 2pm on Saturday, I was heading out to the pasture to get Jewel and JC to ride them when I noticed a horse blanket in the round bale feeder. Then I noticed a leg sticking up out of it! *GASP* It was Tara, or “granny” as I call her — the 36 year old Arab mare. As I looked closer, I could see three of her legs sticking up out of the feeder. It looked as though she had finally passed and just happened to fall into the round bale holder when she did. Poor girl. Her pasture buddy Count, he happens to be the alpha horse in the herd, guarded her body and licked her face. I ran over to the house to see if anyone was home who could help me get her out of the feeder. There wasn’t. I ran back to the paddock and called the barn owner, who was in Tennessee to let her know that granny had died. As soon as I said the word “granny” out loud, Tara picked up her head and looked at me. She wasn’t dead after all. Now I had to figure out how to get her out of the feeder. Upon closer inspection, I could see she was laying on her right side with her right front leg wedged up against the inside wall of the feeder. All three of her other legs were up over the side of the feeder and she was laying on a huge pile of hay. I don’t know how she got herself in there, but she was smart enough to know not to struggle.
I’m not too familiar with round bale feeders, so I don’t know if they’re all like this, but this particular feeder was in three sections. It was held together with rebar. Pull the rebar out and the three sections came apart. Unfortunately, the feeder was partially burried in the ground. I don’t know where the strength came from, but I was able to get the rebar out and pull each section out of the ground on my own. I only had to move two of the sections to get Granny free. I didn’t know how long she had been laying there, but she looked a little shocky to me. However, within a minute of being free of the feeder, she stood up. She favored her right hind and held it in the air, but would walk on it gingerly to move about.
During this entire time, I had been on the phone with the barn owner’s daughter, who was coordinating help to move the feeder, as well as talking with the vet. After she finally got up, I spoke with the vet and told him that there were no cuts or broken bones that I could see. He said to give her 2 grams of bute and let her rest in her stall for the next day or so. He also said to keep in touch if her condition worsened.
Thankfully, my dear friend Nicki, who is a certified equine massage therapist was visiting and got there later Saturday afternoon. She also does energy work and was happy to do work on Granny’s hip. She worked on her for probably 1/2 an hour Saturday afternoon and I believe made a significant difference. Granny looked much improved Sunday and as well today and doesn’t seem any worse for the wear.