I really didn't need a scare like that

If my Thoroughbred gelding, Ben, weren’t so calm, sensible, and trusting, this could have been a horrible wreck.

My mischievous little (!!) boy likes to play with things. When he’s finished drinking, he likes to pick up his almost-empty water tub by the handle and fling it around. Likes to grab the edge and tip it over. Likes to paw at it. Likes to stick a hoof in and whack it around inside. This is all great fun. The poor innocent green tub cowers by the fence when he hasn’t pulled it over and dragged it away. Which he likes to do. Because it’s great fun.

This is also why I keep finding great long cracks in his plastic water tubs. As I did last evening when I came to the barn to turn him out for the night. The tub was now useless and I couldn’t find another to replace it. Finally I dug up an oblong plastic tub, about 18 inches deep by 18 by 24 inches. It had a crack in the side of one end but by propping that end up with a board I was able to fill it with enough water to hold him till I could get a replacement in the morning.

I got to the barn pretty late this morning, after everyone else had finished their chores and gone. I stopped at the house on my way in to talk to Annette, the barn owner, who told me Ben was playing with the tub again. We discussed replacements and I drove around the shedrow to park near my guy’s paddock. I pulled up…

And saw Ben standing a little way back from the fence, his right front leg trapped almost to the knee through a break in the upside-down tub’s bottom.

Just standing there calmly. Looking at me quietly, with happy trust in his eyes. Of course I’d come to rescue him! No, I didn’t stop to take a picture – hell no! I got out of the car and headed for the Benster, expecting any moment to see him start panicking and thrashing. (Although now that everything’s okay, I wish I had – in retrospect it was hilarious.)

I kept up a calm facade and a relaxed chatter as I went to him, although inside I was shrieking “OHMIGAWD DON’T MOVE OHMIGAWD!” He just stood there, waiting. He must have been pawing at the upside-down tub, and was trapped through a long crack, not a hole, that he’d plunged his hoof through and that had snapped shut on his leg, so it was a struggle to get the thing off – at one point I had to let go of his leg, put the mess down, and try to break the crack wider. Now and then he’d nuzzle my back as I bent over his leg. Finally I was able to pull it off him. He put his hoof down, nuzzled me again, and wandered off in search of hay. Not a scratch on him.

Man! When I think of how badly he could have hurt himself if he’d panicked and tried to run, or flailed his leg about, I still shake. I’d planned to put a metal garbage can in the paddock and fill it for a water tub – let him try to break THAT! – but decided instead to put a Rubbermaid wheelbarrow outside the fence, fill it with water, and let him stick his head through the rails to drink.

So far, so good – he’s drinking and hasn’t (yet) figured out how to wreck it. I left him there in his paddock this evening, happily munching away, the unmolested wheelbarrow almost full. I wonder what I’ll find in the morning.

I mean, besides this face waiting for me.

Wow, that is lucky, ETF! Does he get a carrot for being a good boy?

Yeh, he gets a treat.

After I finish beating him to death for frightening me like that. :smiley:

Hey, they make these thick black sort of rubbery tubs for food/drink that are really rugged. Sorry I don’t know who makes them, or even if they still make them.

Yeah, they can do that to you. Lucky he’s not a spazz, like some thoroughbreds. Whack him beteen the ears once for me.

I’m so glad he was Ok. It’s amazing what kind of terror horses put us through. And then they look at us with those big eyes and well, you just have to forgive and forget!

Oh, what a beautiful horse!

They do tend to get into trouble, don’t they? The horse I normally ride, as well as a couple of the other horses, have to have a special extra lock on her stall, because she figured out how to open the door.

She also thinks I’m a napkin. And a towel (it was fun giving her a shower earlier!) And something to rub her head on when she gets itchy- I stepped into her stall today to put on her halter, and just pulled the door closed- I was in the stall, so I knew she wouldn’t pull an escape act. Instead, however, she decided to do the head rubbing thing, and almost made me fall backwards out the door.

Yay! Horsey pictures! He’s gorgeous! I love thoroughbreds, and I really miss my crazy old mare.
Once, back when I was taking riding lessons, one of the horses got stuck between some trees. It was pretty scary at the time, but thinking back on it always cracks me up. He was an old Tennessee Walker gelding named Michael. He was kinda chubby, and nobody knew how he got between the trees. They were pretty small, and one of them had to be cut down to get him out. He was uninjured, just mad that he was late for breakfast.

I am so glad to hear that Ben is OK ! That had to be frightening as hell , seeing him like that ! He nust be WAY calmer than most Thoroughbreds I know , 99% of them would have FREAKED .

Damn , I miss horses .


I had an instructor once who used to say that horses were born committing suicide. The longer I own them, the more I believe it.

Ben’s a very laidback kinda guy. I think part of that is he was bred for disposition as well as ahtletic ability, in fact he was bred specifically to become a sport horse, not for the track. So he never got his brain fried the way so many TBs do by the racing life.

He’s also had kind and responsible care and treatment all his life, and plenty of affection, so he likes and trusts humans.

ETF - What a great boy! It’s sort of like when you were a kid and your parents didn’t know whether to smack you or hug you. Could you bury a water container? Then he couldn’t do too much to it.

I remember when my TB boy was just a yearling he laid down in his stall and got two legs stuck under the sliding barn door. He just laid there while I manipulated his legs and rolled him over away from the door.


Do you mean the Rubbermaid ones? We use those for our calves (radically different from a horse, I know, but they’re mischievous) and we bolt them to the fence so they can’t tip them over and create a swamp. They’re substantially more expensive than a simple tub, but they’ve held up well for the past couple of years and the water heater doesn’t melt them in the winter. Worth the investment, if you can swing it.

ETF, so glad your sweet boy didn’t get himself into serious trouble.

Not Rubbermaid…they are more like the ones in this link. The ones I remember were even thicker than that. We used them for the cows, because they would stomp them.

So you ended up flogging a dead horse?

I think this was punishment enough.

Well, heck, he LIKES going to the beach! So we made a deal – I always wear my helmet when I go riding, and he always wears his water wings when he goes swimming.

StGermain – In the winter it’s not a problem once the snow arrives because the tub does sit in a hollow that can be anywhere from a couple of inches to almost a foot deep. In the summer? It would have to be flush with the ground and with no handles to grab, or he’d get it out. Not very easy to keep clean, and likely to get dirt kicked into it all the time.

The two-wheeler solution was working fine today.

One day, long ago, I was leaving for a party (you can tell it was long ago, because I had a social life sulk). I opened the door and called the cat who, would in fact, usually come when I called. Sure enough, she comes running up, but limping. And worse than limping – she only has three legs! I go into panic mode and get ready to call the vet and freak out. Meanwhile, the cat blissfully lopes into the house and heads for the food bowl.

“My,” I think, “She’s taking this very calmly.” So I look closer and her right front leg is still attached, but completely caught in her collar. This doesn’t appear to bother her at all. So I did take a picture (sadly, not digital) before I undid the collar.

Cat – totally fine. Me – complete wreck.