Sometimes, no matter how careful you are… they still hurt themselves. Bodhi’s mishap today.

I let Bodhi out of his pasture to mow our lawns and entertain himself every other day…

Bodhi has a very nice pasture, but I think he needs the time to exercise his mind and change his view.  And, he uses it well.  He eats, he visits and if I leave him out too long, he will get into trouble.

I know this.

Usually, he flips over all the Rubbermaid trash bins.  Or, he’ll topple the wood pile.  Nothing serious – just messy stuff and work for me.

So, he gets 4-5 hours, tops.

Well, last night, I was really tired and feeling like I was getting the flu – and I forgot about him.  He was out from 4pm until this morning when I fed.

Although I was surprised to see him out this morning… I wasn’t worried.  Aladdin had 24/7 free roam for years.

I thought nothing of it.

I haltered him and we walked back to his pasture.

As I unhooked his halter, so he could munch his breakfast in peace, I walked around his far side to close the gate.

That’s when I saw it.


It wasn’t a puncture and none of his organs were showing, but it was a mean slice…

I ran inside, called the vet and counted my blessings.  I knew it was going to be a big bill, but at least it was survivable for the both of us.


Ugh.  It looked to me like a wire fence cut – but the only wire we have is right here, between Bodhi and the ponies.  And it was fine.  No poking wires, no hair, no blood.  Since he was out of his pasture all night, it had to be something else.

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I have no idea how he did this. I cannot find the offending thing.


My regular vet sent out the new vet in his practice.

I was a bit peeved since the old vet is really, really good at suturing up wounds – he did a great job with Wrigley both times.

But, OK…

And she did fine.

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The wound had some scabbing so she thought he had done in early in the evening last night. The wound was a clean cut. Nothing else was in there. Note the secondary cut on top. That makes me think it was a wire fence – but we have very little wire here and I couldn’t find any broken pieces.

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Her headlamp was very bright.

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She put in a drain so that the wound wouldn’t swell and break his internal or external stitches.

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Sewing the middle layer.

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Prepped to put in the final row of outer stitches.

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A lucky, sleepy boy.  Tess will have a roomie tonight.


Although Bodhi was out last night, the only wire is in his pasture.  Hubby and I have scoured Bodhi’s fenceline and we have no idea where he did this.

There was no foreign anything in the wound.  So, I’m thinking it was a clean, sharp thing.

But, nothing around here has hair or any signs of a blood tussle.

It makes me a little crazy…

But, as they say, no matter how careful you may be, it can still happen.

I remembered this photo from a Phoblog - it seemed perfect for how I feel right now.

I remembered this photo from a Phoblog – it seemed perfect for how I feel right now.


Previously, I wrote about Wrigley and his open wound mishaps (2 puncture wounds- several months apart) that happened in his large pasture.

When I wrote about Wrigley, I had hoped readers might learn something from what I went through and maybe relate.

And, most of you did…

However, I did get several emails telling me that my place wasn’t safe and that I am a lousy horsekeeper.

All I can say is that I have 12 horses here, and other than Tess, most of my horses have never had any meet-n-greets with the vet other than routine work or dentals.  In fact, my local vets hardly know anything about me because so much time passes between visits.

Anyone is welcomed to my place at anytime – within reason…  ;).

I do my best to take excellent care of them all.  However, sometimes, stuff happens…

…even when you do your best.


Let's help her.

Let’s help her.

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16 comments have been posted...

  1. Robin Bidwell

    We had a similar incident with our mare only more towards the shoulder which made the stitches about as effective as bandaids, maybe less. It was down into the muscle and hard to even look at. We used Underwood Medicine which is sprayed on then coated with baking powder. We thought it would never heal and within days was better within months was unrecognizable. Good stuff!


    Hmmm, darn horses! I’m glad Bodhi is basically OK. Have you checked the trees for any broken branches? The cuts look evenly spaced, started at about the same place…course, I’m hoping it really was an accident and not some crazy..

  3. dawndi Post author

    Both. He was given a sedative and he was given a local – lots of both because he is so big…

  4. Mac Hayes

    How did the vet sedate Bodhi enough to tolerate the stitching? Local anesthetic, or just a tranquilizer?

  5. Nancy V.

    Dawn , I emailed you photos of almost the same injury on my horse. Check gate hangers & bolts.
    He should heal up just fine. Good luck with his recovery.

  6. May

    Oh my goodness!!! Knowing Bodhi as I do, it doesn’t surprise me you were able to calmly halter him and lead him to his breakfast — all while he had a humungous gash like that…. He’s a stoic (and always HUNGRY) big lug! Hugs to you and to him.

  7. mindy

    oh sigh. it does seem like it doesn’t matter just how careful we are, they will find a way! i cringe when i look around my place. we rent and so are at the mercy of the home owner. and in montana the fencing of choice is barbed wire. i have to cover my eyes a lot. we do the best we can with what we have!

    i had a friend that brought a weanling horse home. he hadn’t been prepared by being weaned before we got there, though she had specifically asked that he be so… grrrr. we drove nearly 8 hours one way to pick him up and then brought him home in the same day. we were all exhausted.

    when we got him home she put him in the safest pen she had, all wooden fencing. within an hour of him being in there he found a loosened board and jumped out, catching his side on the nail that was just barely sticking out, the one that had been holding the board up. it ripped his side open very similarly to your horse. only his was in a V. the bright side to this was that because we had to doctor him daily he became very friendly and easy to catch. i know that some go the opposite way, but i think our doctoring made him feel better and we spent a lot of time scratching all around the injury and just being with him.

    it’s amazing to me how some horses just find that one little thing that they can hurt themselves on!

  8. Paul Lewis

    I’ve owned many horses in my 48 years of riding. But, just like Children…. horses are going to and will hurt themselves. If you walk around your own pastures and place your own hand, head, foot and arms in certain places, you too will get hurt. Horses unlike children get hurt. If yours hasn’t, be careful what you say, cause it WILL HAPPEN. START PRAYING NOW.

  9. Casey O'Connor

    O yeah, horses are like giant kids. If they can get in trouble, they will! Even if you’re right there, you can’t always prevent it. And I agree Dawn, my place IS a mess, and horses have access to hilly brushy areas, and yet with 44 horses, my vet visits are minimal – so I know they do the damage on purpose! :-D It was a full moon last night…

  10. KarenTX

    LOL That’s not NEAR enough bubble wrap to keep them from getting into trouble! It happens, no matter how diligent you are. Glad it wasn’t any worse and now you know two vets who are good at sewing up animals! Hope MT enjoyed the company.

  11. Jenn

    I’ll hazard a guess and say anyone who criticized you for having a critter that mysteriously injured themselves has never been the staff of a domesticated critter. My horse used to come in with mystery injuries due to his intelligence and inquisitive nature. It happens. I’m super glad Bhodi will be ok, the vet did a really great stitch job!

  12. Marge Mullen

    Did you check for footprints outside the pasture?

    These cuts look like they came from something other than a fence post or wire.

    With all the sicko’s running around??

  13. Jane Holdren

    As one of our friends used to say – a renowned trainer, breeder and judge of Peruvian Pasos – “Horses can hurt themselves in a padded room. And will!”

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