The long trip back to the barn brought out all the emotions I had been holding in during the remainder of the ride, including tears. I felt so damn guilty, embarrassed for being kinda wimpy after the fall, and for bumming the ride out. I was just plain sad.
The "if's" started ruminating...if only Koda hadn't gotten hurt, just think what a magical ride that could have been...if I had hit my head...if I had my chinks on, pretty sure I would have stuck that jump...if only I hadn't worn those jeans. I knew they were slickery, the thought even crossed my mind that morning. Why don't I listen to myself? They are thin, and it was hot so I wore them anyways. Big mistake. Every thought circled back to Koda. I knew he was hurt the moment I saw him standing on top of that ledge, and it was all my fault. I put him in that precarious position. He willingly did what I asked, and look what happened.
|the group waiting to cross|
host is in the water getting ready to step down
off the "waterfall" ledge on her appy, where Koda slipped
|riding together, after the accident|
(L-R) Koda, a 2 year old mare,
her brother Prince who is 3, the hosts two horses,
and an 8 year old riding her mare Dixie
We arrived to the barn in the evening, hoping our trainer was home. As always, she was there for us. Her 30 plus years of horse knowledge, was comforting advice. I so appreciate her! She loves our horses too, and if they can't live with us there is no one we would rather they live with. It's the only way we've made it through these in-between years of not having our horses live with us.
We had wrapped Koda's right front to trailer him home. He became instantly lame from the pressure. When we unwrapped him, and took a closer look we could see a puncture wound on his front right in the pastern area. Our trainer was concerned about the angle of the wound. His back leg injury was minor, a surface scrape on the front of his foot. We agreed to give him a low dose of penicillin, and call the vet in the morning. We tucked the horses into their stalls, and headed back to our house. Once again, tears of sadness rolled down my face. My hubby tried to get me to see the bright side, all the good things that happened. But that's hard, when you are broken in more ways then one. I couldn't lift my arm, but my heart was much heavier.
First thing Monday morning our vet took my call, even tho it was his day off. He advised Koda be seen asap because of where the injury is located. One of the vets that works for him came out to evaluate Koda, and we agreed on a care plan. They probed the injury & took x-rays, started him on a series of antibiotics (and bute for pain) that including three days of leg infusions, and a lot of pokes. My poor boy was such a trooper!
|This is how I found Koda on Monday morning.|
Just about broke my heart, it's so not him.
I could barely get him up.
It has been a long week of daily vet visits, non-stop worry, and painful sleep deprived nights. I finally went in Friday to get my arm looked at. My sweet doctor was so worried about me. I wouldn't come in earlier because the only appointments they could offer meant missing a vet appointment. That wasn't happening. If I had hit my head, or was bleeding I would have gone in right away. I had more important things to take care of, my horse. Xrays showed I didn't break anything, so I have an MRI scheduled next week. Likely rotator cuff, or ligament tear. Hopefully I don't have to have surgery!!
Much of Koda's riding outcome will depend on how the treatments take, and how quickly he returns to mobility. I am relieved to report, he has come around amazingly fast! So far any infection has been cleared, and five days later they are done poking him. He is on oral antibiotics now for 10 days, continuous leg wraps, and of course stall rest with daily hand walking. Sigh. Stall rest makes Koda crazy! Here we go again...at least this time the projection is 8 weeks (vs the last 10 month ordeal) and will include some Shockwave Therapy. I was forewarned as the wound closes he will become lame again. If things stay on course we can begin a mobility plan back to riding, after he passes his vet check in 10 days. Last time I did the riding rehab myself. Brad doesn't think I'll be able to, because of my damn shoulder. Grrr! I don't make a very good injured person. We will see...regardless, I am so very thankful!! For so many things! My wonderful horse network (includes you guys) and especially my husband. No clue how he puts up with me, but I'm sure glad he does.
We've talked about what happened to Koda many times, and the only logical explanation anyone can come up with (including two vets) based on injuries etc is he either stepped down off the ledge, slipped, cut his leg & then jumped -or- cut his leg while stepping down & jumped. I think it was the first scenario. It doesn't really matter. What really matters, is it appears we are both going to eventually be okay.