sometimes things just happen ~ part 2 of 2

For those who missed it: sometimes things just happen ~ part 1 of 2

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.
The x-rays confirmed, Koda had cut into his tendon sheath. No clue how he rode all those hours after the injury. Made me feel 10X worse, even tho he never showed lameness. For anyone who is not familiar, the tendon sheath runs from around the back of the knee to the bulb of the heal and supplies fluid for mobility. The vet was very clear, Koda may never be rideable again...I couldn't believe my ears...allll my dreams, riding with my boy up at our land...once again, I cried all the way home. I am usually not so blubbery, but this was hitting me hard. It goes without saying, but we decided we would do whatever we could to help Koda regardless of cost. If in the end he wasn't rideable, at least we would know we tried everything for our beloved irreplaceable boy.

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.


Linda said...

This was sad to read and that picture of him lying down is heartbreaking, but I have seen horses recover from really bad things. I'm glad you're staying optimistic. He is a strong boy and he has you to support and rehabilitate him. I hope you write a lot about his healing journey! Horses are so vulnerable to injury, but that looks like a very normal water crossing. It was a fluke that he slipped. You didn't do anything wrong by asking him to cross there. Give him a big, big hug from me!! Lots of updates! Hope you heal up fast, too.

TwoChestnuts said...

I am so sorry that this happened! It was in no way your fault, we never expect anything to happen, especially on normal crossings.
I hope I can give you hope with this story... So I work in a program and one of our horses, a very nice AQHA gelding came in one day with a small amount of blood on his left hind. The barn owner called me (it was superbowl Sunday, I will always remember!) so that I was aware and could come clean him up. He didn't think he needed a vet. I went out and my first thought was to have the vet come out, but he wasn't sore, and the cut was tiny so I didn't. I should have followed my first instinct.
The next morning we went in and he was dead lame. Laying down, and when he was up he would put no weight on that leg at all. So the vet was called. He had a puncture into the tendon sheath and had a raging infection. I felt so GUILTY! I had never dealt with anything like it, and had no idea. His was so bad however that the only treatment was to have IV antibiotic for a few days. The vet was very honest about what the worst case could be, and that this was a tough injury to treat due to the high rate of infection. He stayed at the vet for a week on IV, then we brought him home. We had to wrap his leg from the bottom of his hoof to past his hock every single day for 3 weeks. But he was sound after coming home, and with a lot of work he healed up. He was riding sound for another year before he had to be retired from a completely unrelated injury. It was very expensive for us, but so worth it!
I am crossing my fingers for you! I hope your outcome is as good as ours was.

Anonymous said...

Sending best wishes for recovery for both you and Koda.

If you've beat the infection, you're half way home - that's the biggest risk with tendon sheath injuries. Red had a tendon sheath tear (no external wound, just due to torquing his leg) that healed up just fine, although it took quite a while.

Sounds like Koda's getting the best of care, and that's what you can do and you should feel good about that.

Keep us updated on both of you.

Mrs Shoes said...

I like a straight shooting vet - you know what could be the worst case scenario but you are certainly doing everything possible to promote the very best final outcome. I am holding a very strong thought that Koda will come through this and be packing your butt all over hell's half acre again.

I had a similar injury to my shoulder after being run over - they didn't do surgery, but maybe should have. It still bothers me occasionally; I baby it over a couple of days & soldier on.

Mentally - you're beating the hell out of yourself for an accident. I wonder, how would you react if it had been hubby who had the accident & everyone started slinging accusatory shit at him, telling him it was all his fault! Would you blame him too?
I'm guessing you wouldn't let ANYONE say such cruel & useless nonsense to your beloved. If you're following my analogy you know where I'm going with this........ Accidents happen; that's why they're called 'accidents' & not 'planned fuck ups'. For Koda's sake, if not for your own, quit whaling on the person who best loves that horse & has his best interests in mind always. Self-abuse is not productive - Koda needs you back in your practical side, just loving him & nursing him back to full health.
Sending kindness to you (until you remember you deserve that as much as anyone)... 000XX000

Grey Horse Matters said...

You have to remember that it was just an accident like everyone says and blaming yourself is not the right thing to do. Nobody can foresee an accident and "shit happens" all the time. You're doing the best you can for Koda and it might take some time but with the love and care he's getting I think he will be fine. I know it's hard not to worry and think of the worst case scenario all the time but just keep telling yourself and Koda that he will be fine. If on some off chance it doesn't turn out as well as you want it to then deal with that situation when it comes up. You say he's coming around fast and there's no infection so that's all to the good. Dusty had Shockwave Therapy and it did wonders for her so that should help Koda too.

I really hope you're taking care of yourself too. I'm glad you finally saw the doctor and hope the MRI goes well. Keep us updated and good luck to both of you.

Shirley said...

Wow. I sure hope both you and Koda heal up with no lasting effects. It sounds like you have a good vet and for you, a good doctor.
I agree with the others, don't beat yourself up; just try to stay positive.It's hard though when you see your horse not being right. I'll pray for you both.

aurora said...

You guys are the simply best! Taking the time out of your respective busy lives to comment, means a lot to me. Thank you sweet blogger friends!! True, I am "my own worst enemy" it's difficult for me to let things go. What can I say, I am a classic Scorpio (if you believe in astrological signs) then you know it can be hard being me. Since I don't know (nor do I want to) how to be anyone else, I just sort through. Writing, helping care for Koda, talking about it - and simply time, among other things are all good self therapy. Anyways, so far everything is going in the right direction :)

C-ingspots said...

Poor baby! Just look how much heart your horse has. So sorry to hear that the cut went deeper than first thought. But I still think neither he, nor you did anything wrong. It was just an accident, and they can (and do) happen to everyone. Enjoy your time with Koda, caretaking can build SO MUCH trust! Big hugs ((()))

C-ingspots said...

Just went through and read your comments from the others. Yep, good readers! And I want to second what Mrs. Shoes says... :) Tis the truth and you know it. Prayers for Koda's full and sound recovery!!