This was not the morning I had planned

I did not plan to find myself driving from the barn where I board my horse Ben to the hospital with a wad of paper napkins stanching the bleeding from my ankle. But let me start at the beginning:

I’d watched the morning forecast, which was ominous for a nasty storm front rapidly approaching. I got the cats fed and cleaned up after, skipped breakfast, and headed right out to the barn to get Ben into shelter before the riproaring got going.

When I arrived the rain was already beginning to pitter-patter down from a lowering, storm-clouded sky. Ben was way out in the large turnout with Baxter and Apollo. As I led Ben in, Apollo followed – “Hey! Don’t take my good buddy away! Imma come too!” And he would not be shooed away.

We got to the gateway between the field and the ring. I swung Ben through it with one hand; flapped my other hand at Apollo to discourage him; tried to pull/slide shut a gate-closing board with my third hand….

Oh, wait. Yeh. That did not go well. That went so badly, in fact, that the plank – ten feet long, an inch and a half thick – fell out of my hand and scythed down the outside of my right ankle.


I tossed the lead rope over Ben’s neck and let him go; managed to get a barrier across the gate opening, frustrating Apollo; looked down at my ankle and saw blood. Quite a bit of blood. And it HURT. I pulled my sock out a bit and could see that the scything slide of the plank had taken some of my skin and flesh with it, down into a neat roll at the bottom of the wound, which was about four inches high and three inches wide at the bottom.

CRAP. Meanwhile, Ben was calmly grazing, while a car pulled in and another boarder arrived – who could have held Apollo for me if only…. Oh, well. I could walk on that side more or less okay, so I collected Ben, got him into his stall, grabbed a wad of paper napkins from the grain room, stuffed them inside my sock to try to stanch the bleeding – that HURT – got in my car, and drove the 20 minutes or so to Beverly Hospital, a smallish but excellent community hospital. Driving HURT.

I lucked into a spot in the ground level of the parking garage, hobbled over to the ER entrance, and sought aid. There was waiting, of course, with more intermittent pain, but not too bad (wait and pain both), and everyone was sympathetic and helpful within their roles. I finally had a veteran physician’s assistant do the cleaning of the wound and the repair – dammit, the preliminary injections of anesthetic HURT, but then the pain, oh joy oh bliss, went away – and wound up with 14 stitches and some Steri-Strips at the top, where the layer of skin dislodged was the thinnest and less likely to hold more stitches. She told me I was lucky; no nerves, large blood vessels, bone, tendons, or muscles had been damaged.

So I was released, sometime after 1:00, and emerged from the hospital – into clouds and sunshine. The storm front had passed, minus any riproaring, and Ben hadn’t needed to come in after all.


Sorry, no criticism intended, but tl;dr.

However, I did get as far as the first paragraph, and I want to share my kudos for correct use and spelling of “stanching.”

Ouch! I am now feeling sympathy pain.

Glad the hospital portion went well. I hate when a thing that you didn’t really need to do ends up causing so many problems; and that’s just when the pain is figurative!

OUCH! Discourse doesn’t think that’s a sentence.

At least I was able to get the bloodstains out of the leg of my pants. My pale gray, lightweight sweatpants. My new pants. Shout and cold water gentle wash.

Anyone needs to get rid of bloodstains? That’s how.

I agree about the bloodstains.

Two things I thought besides OUCH reading your story:

  1. Yesterday it was pouring buckets and my horses spent the day grazing in their sopping fly masks and their grazing muzzles. They didn’t even raise their heads when it thundered. My horses will be driven to shelter when the rain is below 40 degrees and there’s wind with it and they have already shed their winter coats, but not 60 degree rain. They take a lot more weather than we do. (the goats are a different story)

  2. Carry a training flag with you when you go out to catch your horse, and snap it at any horse that wants to come with you. So many accidents happen to us small, slow, fragile humans when amongst loose horses. Be careful out there!

Sorry you got so damaged.

Heh, my gf’s mare Gracie has to wear a grazing muzzle. We had guests over and one of them asked what was on the horse’s face. I told her it was a muzzle. She said, “oh wow, that horse bites?!”

Very good advice, Ulfreida! I’ll have to hunt around for something to chase Apollo off with.

Normally I wouldn’t worry about leaving a horse out in summer rain, although when lightning’s potentially involved I’m more worried. Thing is, Ben is 29 years old, and I tend to be ultra-protective of him. While he’s not shod, his buddy Apollo is, so there’s the metal, plus they’re out in a wide-open huge paddock/modest field, so potential lightning rods.

I leave bloodstains be, as a sort of red badge of courage thing. :cowboy_hat_face:

Yeah, as I was typing I thought, but what if Ben is really old? That would change everything. And then I forgot that thought.

Well, he is in really good shape for his age, but even so…

dammit I can’t get the photo to upload straight from my computer

Okay! Was able to upload from Facebook. This is from a couple of months ago, during mud season.

Here’s a photo from a few days ago. The chestnut is Apollo; the middle bay is Baxter, a 27-year-old Morgan (doomed to grazing muzzle now for the rest of the summer, poor old boy) and Ben’s on the right.

Good looking boys.

Dang that scrape sounds painful. Horses are handsome, what’s the soccer shinguard setup for on the far left guy?

Never knew horses could over graze, always thought that was a blinder of sort for new boarders. But whatI know about horses could fit in a thimble aka Stay out of their way and never feed them straw. Lol.

Chela who was once cornered by an angry donkey and never went back to the stables again.

I remember the time my Irish dislocated my pinky finger trying to dance at the end of the reins. PAIN! But of course I had to catch him again, untack him and turn him out before I could drive myself to the ER and get the finger put back.

Irish was 23 this January. I think. I’ll have to dig out his jockey club registration.


The boots and leg wraps on Apollo are to keep him from damaging his legs if he happens to ding himself somehow. Baxter’s muzzle is to keep him from eating himself into a giant beach ball and foundering.

EddyTeddyFreddy - Don’t forget to explain fly masks.


Thank you :upside_down_face: I was too embarrassed to ask, but I really wanted to know.