Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Chaos brings Chaos

The week of Christmas was definitely trying. For 2017 I'm trying to look on the bright side of everything so I'm going to try and not be as negative as I have been.


So here's the facts of what happened starting just before Christmas. I see a growing trend.


This fall I noticed the automatic waterer was overflowing and sent Mike out to fix it. Apparently the insulation had fallen on the float and the float got stuck. Hence the overflowing water trough. It's an old Ritchie waterer. We've been here 11 years and have used it constantly and the previous owners had cattle and were here for another 10 years so its' at least 20 years old but I'm guessing much older.


But because it was old and rusty, the top lock to keep the lid on was rusted shut so Mike couldn't get the lid off. He was able to pry the insulation out and make the float unstuck but that was as far as he'd gotten and needed to regroup to figure out how to make the latch unstuck.


Fast forward to the week before Christmas when it's supposed to be 30 below, not to mention the wind chill of 40 below. Red Flag!! We need insulation in the automatic waterer. If that waterer freezes and it's broken for the rest of the winter, how do I keep a 100 gallon tank full without the horses drinking it all and then mauling the water heater. Because, face it, Maverick will do anything to entertain himself, including pull out the tank heater and break it. I've gone through I don't know how many tank heaters over the past three years. So I tried to wrap up the waterer best I could and the next day, when it was stinky cold, Mike went out to work on it. He was able to pry the lid off and add insulation but the latch was broken. He placed the lid on and thought that was good enough.


I can't remember what day that was. But we had our family Christmas Thursday into Friday. We came home Friday, super late and I headed out to do chores. Of course it was 9pm when I started. I noticed we had no water pressure and KNEW we had a leak. I figured it would be about time that the pipes from the house to the barn would break. It happened from the barn to the automatic waterer. Unfortunately, it was a HUGE leak and I couldn't ignore it even after coming in for the night. You could hear the water running out. So I went out to fill a 100 gallon tank and reassess the situation in the morning, only to discover that it was the automatic waterer. Maverick had popped the top off, messed with the float, and had broken the float and arm off. Water was everywhere. I have no idea how long it had been broken and flowing. We'll find out with the water bill next month. .


So we had to shut the water off to the automatic waterer, tarp it up so the horses wouldn't drink it up and burn up the heating element, and fill the 100 gallon tank. Because I knew it had to be either Maverick or Chaos, I stalled both of them. BUT, Maverick had taken to pulling the siding off the barn and put a hole in the barn as well. I'd put a corral panel over where he'd been pulling the siding (including the door I sometimes use). But I knew if I put him in that stall, that he'd just tear up the rest of the barn. And the barn would either have a gapping hole, or cave in. So I opted to put Chaos in the broken stall and Maverick in the other.


I let them out the next day, which was Christmas Eve and got to doing other Christmas prep work. Actually, we went to look at a horse in the afternoon to see if he would work as a drill team horse. Chaos was out because he's just not cut out for it.


When I got home Saturday, Christmas Eve, we got the kids to bed and I  headed out to do chores...in the dark. I was just wrapping up the last of my chores when I went out to check on the herd and discovered Chaos standing weird. He was standing like Dude does when his hips are bothering him. I knew something was wrong so I took a peek. Sure enough. The one thing every horse owner dreads...a nail.


I know my vet had said, Don't Pull a Nail! But it was 7pm on Christmas Eve. I figured he'd either be gone already and it would be that Chaos would have to wait for an additional 1 to 2 hours for the vet, or the vet would recommend a different vet...and that would be Montrose and I refuse to use Montrose or Dakota Large Vet Clinic. As good as they are, I haven't had much luck with them and are overly expensive.


So I did the opposite of what my vet told me to do and I pulled the nail. Then I put him into the barn with a stall full of straw, soaked his foot in warm water, dumped iodine on it, repeated with cold water because he put his foot down, dumped iodine on it again, then wrapped it with gauze and vet wrap and for safe measures added a knock off version of the easy boot.


On Christmas day, we had friends come out to help repair the automatic waterer and bring uniprim because I couldn't find my jar of it. I waited until later in the day and then called the vet. I wasn't expecting to get anyone but sure enough, I did. But I was told that because I'd pulled the nail without doing x-rays, it was mostly a wait and see game now. I could bring him in on Tuesday if I wanted to do x-rays.


I'd stalled Chaos right away and kept that boot on. I think with the placement of the nail, it didn't hit anything. By Monday, I pulled him out of his stall and watched him walk. I figured he'd be three legged lame but he wasn't. He was putting weight on it although stumbling with the clunky boot. I took him to the vet on Tuesday and he handled the ride just fine.


The vet said that if the nail had hit a joint, bone, or nerve, that he would be three legged lame. Because he's putting weight on it, it's a good sign that there isn't too much damage. We did x-rays and they came back clean. You couldn't see anything.


He rewrapped the hoof and said soaking is old school and to keep up with the uniprim for 14 days. I could take the wrap off and redo it in a couple of days. I'm behind in redoing the vet wrap and have to improvise because I doubt he'll let me handle it much. But I think we are on the upswing.


He still seems off on it but that could be because he needs a new bandage and I haven't been around to take care of him. Feeling like a bad horse owner at this point.


But everything should be good to go now. I am hoping that with a few more days, Chaos will be felling better. He's on uniprim until Friday but I need to get more before then. I think I have enough to get me through until tomorrow.


There's a cold front coming through and dropping the temps. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be the worst. I'm hoping that the cold is short lived so I can do some rearranging. Having horses in extra pens makes for extra work and longer time outside when I need to be in getting other stuff done. I'm sort of stretched passed my max right now and trying to keep it together.


So that's the chaos that I've been dealing with...along with my work system crashing...again and having a mouse in the house. Now I have everything out of the drawers waiting for the mouse to die so I can put everything back. So much for the goal of getting organized for 2017. I kissed that idea out the window long before 2017 rolled in.

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