A Day in the Life of a Horseperson

Now, I work with horses for a living so of course with some regularity I’ve been kicked, bitten, knocked over, drooled on and generally hassled by the little monsters, er, darlings. But today was the first time I met the full force of a hoof in what vets call “the kill zone” – when you’re at just the right distance (about 1-2 feet away) that the horse connects with the full force of its massive hindquarter muscles.

I wasn’t standing behind him. He sppoked at nothing, jumped sideways and connected with an audible thump.
He nailed me right in the side of the quad.
I heard it in my teeth.
I saw stars.
My first thought was “thank god that wasn’t my knee.”
I iced it for an hour, and took 500mg of Naproxen.
I walked it off, but didn’t rub any dirt in it. :slight_smile:
I’m hoping for a hoof-shaped bruise to show off to my students.

In related news, I let the vet use my oral thermomter to take a horse’s temperature rectally this afternoon. She lost hers this morning and the barn’s was inexplicably missing. Nothing a little bleach won’t cure. LOL.

Tomorrow’s my day off. Thank Og and all his minions!

My xgf worked with horses, and regarded them as the stupidest animal on God’s green earthm

What do you think?

(Glad you’re ok, btw.)

This is a joke, right? :dubious:

Shod, or unshod? My dad carries around a nice scar on his thigh from a sharp-shod mule.

My prediction: You’re gonna have a hard time walking tomorrow. :slight_smile:

Oh, re: the thermometer thing – you need a vacation. Your brain isn’t wired right. I prescribe alcohol and sunshine.

I worked with a championship dressage rider who referred to her preened, pampered, extremely expensive hobbyhorses as “twelve hundred pounds of stupid.”

I’ve sported a horseshoe-shaped bruise on my quad too, and I was mounted when I got it. A deer spooked through our pack string, and there were horses and tourists everywhere. Good times.

I have met some horses that seemed bright and others not so bright, but none that I would call stupid.

If I make the statement that “kids are stupid” does that say something about kids or does it say something more about me?

Hello Again, do you have some Arnica to use for a soak?

Seeing your daughter go flying off a horse who has just refused a jump is quite a treat. She’s been riding for 10 years, jumping for 8, and hasn’t broken anything yet, which is a miracle. She did get bitten in camp one year, right on the chest, and has the scar yet.

Glad you’re okay. I never stand behind the big bastards myself.

I used to help break horses for a friend who owned a stable. Once they were “green broke” it was my job to ride them around to get them completely comfortable with having a rider.

I met quite a few stubborn horses, but never one which I’d truly classify as “stupid.” By nature, I’d say they’re a relatively intelligent animal, at least as smart as a dog. Some, of course, are brighter than others. (Who can forget Clever Hans?) I found them to be easily trainable, and saw them do some pretty bright problem-solving. (One gelding figured out how to open the latch on his stall, and another one started doing a trick because she quickly discovered that the humans laughed and gave her pieces of apple when she did a certain behavior.)

This is exactly the sort of thread that makes me feel better about being a craven hippophobe.

Dang! I plumb forgot about Clever Hans.

Of course I haven’t heard mention of him for… oh, I’d say it’s been… gosh, how many years now?..

looks anxiously at Lissa

I was hunched down next to my Irish removing bell boots one afternoon and he reached forward with his hindleg and kicked me right in the temple. I was bowled over and somersaulted backward. Normally I remove my helmet even while I was still up on him, or as soon as I jumped down, but I was anxious to get his boots off because he’d been in the mud and I didn’t want them to rub, so it possibly saved my life.


My trainer was helping her husband who’s a farrier by holding the horse that he was shoeing. How exactly this happened, I’m not sure, but somehow the horse spooked and spun around 180 degrees. He then kicked out with both back feet and nailed her dead-on in the knees. Being a poor riding instructor, she had no health insurance. So, she hobbled around with massively swollen knees for weeks. Eventually the swelling went down and she was back to normal. No permanent damage. :slight_smile:

One of the worst…OK, the worst, kick related injury was back in the mid-80’s, my cousin and I were havng our horses’ shoes reset. Her horse was a nervous 3 year old Appaloosa filly, and the farrier had just gotten the shoe nailed on her hind foot and had not yet clenched the nails off. She kicked him in the upper thigh, a glancing blow, but the nail ripped him wide open.

So what did he do?

Stripped out of his jeans, right there (Did I mention he was GORGEOUS?? :smiley: ), broke out his own personal first aid kit, and stitched it up himself. :eek:

I gained a new respect for that man that day.

Wow. That is one manly man!

My dad used to manage the insurance program for the vets who belonged to the AVMA. One rule they had when working with horses was never to let the owner be right there. The vet should be in complete control during probings, etc. Anyway, one owner insisted on being there during the examination, and the vet allowed it.

Sure enough, something pissed off the horse and he kicked the owner in the head and either killed, or vegg’d him out permanently. Of course, the family of the owner sued.

Kill Zone is very real. Glad you’re not seriously hurt!

I’m also glad you’re not hurt.

Here I was thinking you were going to tell us about Manbearpig.

Nope. It went something like this:

*****The Thermometer Story: a Drama in One Act *****

Vet: So, [client horsie] is off his feed? And he got vaccinations this morning?
Me & barn owner: yep
Vet: do you have a thermometer?
Barn Owner: Let me go look (leaves)
Me: What happened to yours?
Vet: I misplaced it this morning. I was hoping I wouldn’t need it today.
Me: (thinks to self: How Herriot of you.)
Barn Owner: I can’t find it. It’s not in the box (shows us empty box as proof)
Vet: (to me) have you got a thermometer?
Me: well. yes. But its for people!
Vet: that’s okay.
Me: But it’s an oral thermometer!
Vet: that’s okay.
Me: But its mercury!
Vet: that’s ok.
Me: errr… alright (me, still holding icepack to quad) can I get a ride up to my house?
Barn owner: sure (we jump in golf cart and go up to my house, returning with my oral, mercury, people thermometer)
Me: don’t lose it now!
Vet: (sticks my oral, mercury, people thermometer in the horse’s butt) Hmmm… 102.6. (Hands thermoeter back to Barn owner).
Barn owner: (goes to put my oral, mercury, people thermomter back in its comparatively sterile case)
Vet: Hey don’t do that!
Barn owner: huh?
Vet: That’s non-ass contaiminated!
Me: (laughs, drops ice pack) Ow.

** Fin**

Oh, I forgot to answer your questions:

Unshod (thank og)

Horses, intelligence thereof: fairly smart, on average, but their intelligence is of the prey, not predator variety. They excell in learning routines and sequences. Most are about as smart as the average dog, with slightly less problem-solving ability. I’ve known a few dim bulbs in my day, and a few who were too smart for my own good.

Health insurance, coverage of as relates to self: Although I’m a poor riding instructor, I DO have health insurance. I’m poor but not stupid. :slight_smile: Luckily in my state individual insurance for a single, childless 30 year old woman is quite reasonable. I even have the accident rider that waives the emergency room deductible for accidents.

Status this morning: Stiff! It helps if I walk (slowly) to loosen it up. Bruise just starting to form, shape not yet evident. (

In the two years I have been working here, I have yet to be kicked. Stepped on, thrown, head-butted, yes, and I had an incident with a spooked horse on the end of a lead rope that resulted in four stitches on my ring finger, but never kicked. I have been kicked in the past, and I feel your pain.

But “a day in the life of a horseperson” has to include my day last weekend, where I spent the day cleaning sheaths only to have a horse go down with impact colic, resulting in my being nearly shoulder-deep in a horse’s ass at 11:30pm. And they aren’t even MY horses.

Glad your leg wasn’t broken!

Personally, I’d rather go play in the street than work with horses all day. Somehow the danger seems more predictable …

Here in Wisconsin we had a nasty hail storm come through about 2 weeks ago. I was watching the radar and the news to see exactly where this golf ball-tennis ball sized hail is going to go. Of course at the last second it moves a smidge north and is headed right for us. The timeline says we have 10 mins until it hits.

My horses are kept on pasture 24/7, but we do have a small stall barn. The shelter they have is open on the side the storm is coming from.

So I run and put my boots on, run outside and start trying to catch the damn horses. My gelding does fine I walk right up to him walk him into the dark barn, put him in the stall and go to catch Mr. Clueless, A.K.A Pete, my fiancé’s horse. First off Pete doesn’t like to be caught. His view of us in the pasture at 10 at night while its raining and lightening was that we really must only want to catch him so we could use him for animal sacrifice. So I got to chase him around until I cornered him and got his halter on. Then I have to get him into the barn, where the only light is from a flashlight. A dark barn resembles a cave of doom to horses and even with the other geldings nickers telling Pete it was OK to come in, he wasn’t buying it. At this point the hail has yet to arrive and I am standing in the barn playing tug-of-war with the idiot, whose half in the barn with his ass sticking out. This barn has an aluminum roof and all of a sudden it sounds like there are 16 sugar buzzed 8 year olds running across it. The hail showed up, right on time. Well The noise is even more scary to Pete and he starts fighting me with a vengeance. He does not want to come in to the Cave of Doom and Loud Noises!

Then something fateful happened, it really changed his way of thinking. You see the hail that was coming down was large and moving pretty quick. Not to mention it’s hail, there for, it’s pretty hard. Pete changed him mind awfully quickly about the CoDaLN when a piece of hail hit him squarely in his ass. So quick in fact that in his haste to get in the barn he ran me over.

I have bruises.

Here ends the reading.