Crikey, what a hectic weekend! Mucking out four horses a day this week seems like a rest by comparison.
Firstly the disappointment of shopping in Matlock. To be fair, it was pouring with rain, but the shops were very boring. Bakewell is much nicer.
Mr O went for a long hack, even though it was throwing it down. I went to get Barnaby in and washed his legs off. I stood up to look at him and realised he had a long, wide gash right next to his eye.
I brought him into his stable, tied him up and washed all around the eye with hibiscrub. It was obvious he wanted sympathy. He tried his, 'Now look what you've made me do!' expression, which didn't work. The gash turned out to be quite wide, and I knew it needed to be stitched. It was either that or stand there all night, holding it between my finger and thumb.
The good thing was that I remained really calm. I felt I let the side down a bit with the 'stuck over the stable door' incident and decided to make up for it now. I gently chatted to him and assured him that I was going to get it sorted out. He took this at face value (horses - no imagination!)
Eventually Mr O returned and I calmly pointed the wound out to him and he knew we had to call the vet. They said, as it was so close to his eye (no more than 1mm away from the outer edge of his eye) that we needed to bring him in. We were a bit concerned about this as it was pretty windy, but there was nothing for it. I slapped on the travel boots and away we went. Barnaby wasn't keen at first but soon settled down on the way. I think he knew we were doing our best for him.
We arrived at the vet hospital and unloaded him. He was confused as to why he was travelling in the dark but walked willingly into a stable that had been prepared for him. He was quite happy to introduce himself to the mare next door, but she was having none of it and kept squealing at him. Barnaby kept returning to me in confusion. (Mares - no sense of humour!)
The vet came out (the same one who dealt with Zak when he had choke) and injected a pain killer, antibiotics and a sedative. Then she looked into his eye and confirmed that there was no damage to the eye itself. Barnaby wasn't on speaking terms with her by then, but it was too late as the sedative had kicked in. His head gradually got lower and his legs spread out to support himelf - a good job as holding up 438kg of inert horse is no easy task.
Then the vet came out with a small curved threaded needle. I held Barnaby still while she put the stitches in. Fortunately he was very calm. I just kept talking to him and he was fine. We were given his paperwork. It just said 'Stitch Up'. By the time we got the bill (we won't go there) I wasn't sure exactly who this applied to!
Eventually the sedative began to wear off, and then something very interesting happened. Every time the vet reappeared, Barnaby flung his head up and gave a deep warning whinny, as if to say, "Don't let that woman come near me ever again!" It was so strange. Horses aren't stupid, are they?
He came round a bit more, then we had the fun task of loading a woozy horse into a lorry in the pitch dark. After a few false starts he eventually walked up the ramp and we fastened him in and put the back up.
Half an hour later we were back home (the wind had dropped by then, thankfully) and walked him slowly into his stable. Zak was very concerned about why his friend had left him. I took Barnaby's travel boots and rug off and put his pj's on. He didn't even want a bedtime story, poor boy. Zak was full of questions, but Barnaby just slept, relieved it was all over and glad to be back in his own bed.
I asked the vet if he needed to be kept in the next day. She said no and that it was very likely he'd rub the stitches out and could do that just as easily in the stable as in the field, so on Sunday we put him out as usual. He immediately began to drink from puddles in the field and when I mucked him out I realised he'd drunk his bucket dry. He must have woken up in the morning with a terrible hangover.
So thankfully he is fairly unharmed, the silly Hoof. And to think, when I sold Max I thought I'd hardly have anything to write about on here, as Max always had something up his sleeve. Life with Barnaby was going to be so simple!
Loads more to tell you but it will have to wait until my next post.
Hope everything is well with all of you (and not so expensive!)
Mag's respirpatory issues continue
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