Our son-in-law, Todd, has a new horse named Harley. You know, the breed with two wheels and a motor. Nothing would do but that I had to take a ride on it. I tried to tell him I was the original motorcycle mama. Translation: I rode behind a friend once on a small motorcycle when I was 12 years old.
Todd’s first mistake was giving me a helmet that allowed me to talk to him and inform him how to drive as we went down the road. Our driveway starts off downhill, so it was essential to me that he knew how to work the brakes.
Then I made sure to alert him to every vehicle that was coming toward us. A couple of times he took one hand off the handlebars to gesture to me and I immediately told him it took both hands to steer. Once, he even looked back toward me and I had to tell him we were not going in reverse so he needed to look straight ahead where we were going.
When he was going 45 mph in a 40 mph zone, I reminded him that was called speeding. Like so many of us, he has these things on the side of his waist called “love handles.” The rider in the back doesn’t have a steering wheel, so the love handles were the only thing to hold on to for dear life and try to steer. He said his belly button still isn’t in the right place.
In these times of high gas prices, it has crossed my mind to get some kind of motor scooter, but I’ve thought better of it as I would probably end up killing myself or someone would do it for me. Needless to say, Todd has probably demonstrated the prowess of his cycle enough to me.
You know how when you waste time worrying about something happening, it usually doesn’t? And, when you have not a worry in the world, it will slap you in the back of the head. That’s happened to me twice now.
First time, I was out at Beaver Creek on one of our beautiful, warm fall days. I was trail riding with a group of girls, thoroughly enjoying the day. We started down over a hill and Navajo kicked his back legs out, but I didn’t know why.
The girl riding behind me told me he had blood running down his leg. I didn’t think too much of it because horses are always getting nicked and people are fond of saying “it’s a long way from his heart.”
In this case, when I got off to check the damage, it may have been a long way from Navajo’s heart, but the blood wasn’t just dripping, it was running down his leg. According to the girl behind me, he had stepped on a branch, bringing it up underneath him, and when his back leg came down, the branch came up between his sheath and groin, puncturing the skin.
I tried applying pressure with my hand and the blood continued to roll between my fingers. About this time, I started to panic, but fortunately Brenda Mills, who was with us, had the fortitude to know what had to be done.
She tried using her shirt to stop the blood, but the blood just soaked right into the shirt. There was no way to apply pressure to the spot where the wound was located. She got tissues from the other girls and started packing them in the wound, which stopped the majority of the blood flow.
To shorten what seemed like a nightmarish long time, we managed to pony Navajo to a nearby stable where vets were called, but none were available at the time. One of the girls with me went back to the horsemen’s camp and got her trailer and we hauled Navajo to the Lisbon Vet Clinic where a vet was waiting.
The vet cleaned and flushed the wound, gave Navajo some shots and antibiotics and told me how to take care of the deep hole. The hole was left open to drain so it could heal from the inside out. During all of this episode and the subsequent doctoring, Navajo was just the best patient. He had to be in pain, but he never once tried resisting. His sheath swelled up and he looked like a stallion with his private parts in the wrong place. It has been about four weeks now, the swelling is down and the hole is finally starting to close.
So on to the next unexpected, a result of being careless. Bruce and I put water in the horses stalls at night from the spigot outside one of the stall doors. I closed the stall door, but neglected to latch it. The next day, Rounder found the unlocked door and pushed his way into the barn, where upon he went into the grain stall, which also had not had the gate closed.
He proceeded to eat three-fourths of a 5-gallon bucket of ear corn. Bruce found him shortly after he had done his bad deed, so we called the Lisbon Vet Clinic again.
The vet was there within an hour and proceeded to tube Rounder with warm water and oil. He said it was the best to doctor him right away with the hope that we could prevent him from getting sick.
The next three days were worrisome and watchful to see if Rounder was going to get sick from the fermented corn in his belly. Fortunately his feet never got warm and he never seemed to suffer any consequences from his eating binge.
Rounder was not at all happy that he couldn’t have any grain during those three days, but if only he knew how lucky we were that we didn’t get one very sick horse from the incident.