I stumbled upon this story and felt I had to pass it onward. If Blair were here right now, I think she’d say, “CHECK YOUR TRAILER TWICE A YEAR!”
Blair is described as a “very pretty, copper penny chestnut mare”. That’s all they really knew about her because she came into RVHR (Roanoke Valley Horse Rescue) as an unknown horse who needed immediate and extreme care.
You see… she had been riding in a trailer when the rear floor boards gave way. Blair’s back legs fell through the trailer floor and were dragged for god knows how long.
Luckily, a wise Trooper stopped the truck and trailer. And, if you can believe this, Blair actually broke free of the trailer herself!
I think you can imagine the pain and panic inside that mare…
The smart Trooper calmed Blair and held her steady while he made the call to the vet, Dr. Tanya Hatchett of Clover Creek Animal Health.
I can’t even imagine the raw emotion and controlled anger of the Trooper and the vet when they accessed the damage. I know I would have wanted to ring that driver’s neck – or more.
Luckily for Blair, the vet saw a spark in the mare’s eyes. Dr. Hatchett couldn’t believe that the mare was standing and waiting for help. It was as if she had a huge will to survive. So, instead of euthanizing the mare on site, they transported her (don’t ask me how they got that mare into another trailer…) to RVHR.
At RVHR, the attendants washed the wounds and started Blair on anti-biotics. Clearly one leg was far worse than the other. While her right ankle was only scraped, her left hind however, was not so lucky. The front of her pastern had been dragged along the surface of the road. This dragging abraded away the front of her pastern joint – quite literally “burning” away the lowest end of her cannon bone, and the highest end of her long pastern bone. This abrasion left Blair with a “hole” in the front of her joint about the size of a tennis ball, with no stability left in the joint itself.
Makes me sick just thinking about it – and the pain. Oy.
This was July 7, 2003.
It took 7 months to heal enough where Blair had a healthy XRay. Of course, that doesn’t mean she was perfect, just happy and able to motor on her own which included bucking and kicking.
Along the way, Blair endured twice daily cleaning, abrading and wrapping. She had a cast as well as splints. Imagine the dedication and care it took to help this mare…
The staffers say that she never complained. They say that Blair acted as if she knew the techs were helping her. This kind of injury had to inflict excruciating pain – but the mare took it. Every day. And, she seemed grateful.
Blair always wanted to eat and always greeted the staff with nickers.
(Here is a link to the very graphic images of her stages of healing. Again, only click if you have a tough stomach.)
And, oh yeah, by the way, THIS MARE WAS PREGNANT! Not only did they have to heal her leg, but they had to make her sound enough to deliver a baby who was estimated to appear in April.
Yikes! No wonder this mare wanted to live!
For obvious reasons (medications and stresses), the vets who were caring for Blair assumed that the foal would be born compromised or with deformities. After all, the mare had been pumped with antibiotics, pain-killers and sedatives during the initial stages of her injury. Since Blair was foreign to all the doctors and helpers, no one knew she was pregnant.
And, Blair arrived about 300lbs underweight. There was no baby belly or any indication that she had been bred. Besides, if you do the math, Blair was just barely settled when she arrived at HVHR. I’m sure no one suspected while they were crazy busy trying to save her life.
Consequently, after her pregnancy was revealed, everyone held their breath. Obviously the baby was growing and still alive during the gestation, but no one was very optimistic.
However, there was an approved good Samaritan who said they’d love to adopt the baby, should it survive. Nice.
You might be wondering why the Good Samaritan wasn’t offering to adopt them both. I was… Well, the answer is that Blair’s caregivers felt that the birthing process would be very difficult for Blair due to her leg injuries (they didn’t say why and I’m not sure myself). So, they didn’t want anyone to ever breed her again. The only way to insure that Blair will never be bred again is to never let her be adopted away from HVHR.
So, Blair is a forever resident of HVHR, it was decided.
The fateful day came on April 19th, 2004.
Me being a supersleuth with no real information – have decided that Blair was probably being brought home from being bred when the accident happened. Now, this is all conjecture since she could have been coming home from a show or a visit to the vet. Who knows, really. But, the math worked out so I am kinda deciding that she was being brought home from live cover.
Anyway, the foaling time was 12:45 am, like most foaling times.
Everyone was there and waiting. Lo and Behold, a flashy colt arrived, full of spunk and vinegar! They named him Ripley but nicknamed him HURRICANE HUGH for reasons we can surmise. Little Riley was perfectly healthy. Imagine that.
Blair and Ripley went to live with the adoptive family until Ripley was weaned. Then Blair came back to HVHR (again, how they transported this mare in a trailer is testament to how horses recover…) where she is living her life quite happily.
Here is a video from January 2010. As you can see, the girl is alright!
MORAL OF THIS STORY…
Have your trailer checked and make sure that anyone who is transporting your horse has maintenance records. ‘Nuff said.
HORSE AND MAN is a blog in growth… if you like this, please pass it around!
March Drop in the Bucket Fund: THE JUNKYARD 4.
These 4 sad horses were found in miserable condition, 2 pregnant, all starved – yet owned by a hay broker! To learn all about the Bucket Fund and to donate towards the care of The Junkyard 4, please click on the photo (photo credit, Trish Lowe)