Sunday, December 22, 2013

Contingency Plans

I'm going to blog about what happens for that big ol "in case of."  A very good friend of mine took an innocent looking tumble off her horse and hit like a brick.  Everyone's gonna hit the ground at some point when we ride animals who think plastic bags are out to get them but I think she's good for the next 20 years.  One 911 call later and she's in the hospital with a long recovery.  I'm sure the doctor thinks that old ladies don't recover very fast but they've probably never met an old lady who rides two horses a day and cares for 19 of them so I predict a speedy recovery and back to riding sooner than anticipated.  I'm also sure that the first doctor who calls her old or tells her to find a different hobby is going to get twitched and backed out of her room.

As horse people we're lying on the ground with the paramedics inserting an IV so they can move us without too much screaming while we're explaining exactly how to undo a pair of spurs or that YES these boots have zippers and NO you are not going to cut them off.  YES the last 12 times we were in the hospital was because we were flung off/kicked/bitten/trampled or something else involving a horse.  NO it wasn't all the horse's fault (not entirely at least).  Yes I did just ask when I can get back on a horse as the ambulance doors are closing.

What happens when you get injured and you have an entire farm of responsibilities and hungry mouths?   If you're a horse person one person makes a call and before you know it dozens of people (many of whom are friends of a friend of a friend of a cousin) are putting themselves on the list for care of your horses.  People you've never met before are driving out to do hard labor.   Us horse people know how to stick together and we know how hard it is to care for our horses when we're injured and none of us could imagine our horse's suffering just because we're in the hospital with a broken femur.  Nobody got time for that. 

We're just in the beginning stages here but I thought I'd make up a list of recent observations.

  • Barn set up is key when having a bunch of strangers coming in, we may be horse people, but everyone does something different.  The trick stall door, or that dang mare who knows how to open gates is going to trip someone up.

  • How complicated and mysterious is your feed program?  Do you have 30 horses on entirely different types of grain and is their amount a mystery to everyone but you?  Having a feed chart labeled and most of your horses on the same grain can be helpful.

  • What's your turnout situation like?  Do you have a different pasture for every horse and are they all bay mares?  How can you make it easier on people who don't know that Indy has a snip and Porky has a stripe?

  • As a boarder are you willing to pitch in and water some horses or clean a couple stalls?

  • As a boarder does your horse really need to get his 23 different smartpaks if somebody's cousin from ponyclub is feeding?

  • Horse people can deal with 2 loose horses, a colicing horse, a cast horse, a river running down the barn aisle, a gate off the hinges all while being soaking wet AND covered in hay and come back the next morning at 7am because you need the help even though you never asked for it.  Because horse people are good people.

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