Now, none of this truly bothers me except that I'm constantly injuring myself whenever I handle either the mare, the colt or Topper. They're just little bumps and scrapes, but nonetheless I'm beginning to resemble the walking wounded. Today, when I took the lead chain off of Topper so he could run loose in the arena, the end of the stud chain swung back around and thwacked me in my bare, bony shin. Of course, I was wearing shorts, so now I'm sporting a bloody lump on the front of my leg. And it's turning a wonderful shade of hematoma purple.
I find some solace in knowing that I'm not the only horsewoman who is covered periodically in bumps, bruises, cuts and scrapes. Believe me, I've heard other tales of maiming.
One of my favorite stories is from several years ago. An acquaintance of mine walked out to her pasture, loaded up with a handful of Rhinopneumonitis vaccines for her band of broodmares. One by one she inoculated her mares, stuffing all of the syringes in the chest pocket of her blouse. She claims the last thing she remembered was trying to give her oldest, most "testy" mare her Rhino shot and then... She came-to on the ground. With one of the Rhino syringes stuck in her chest.
She was fine. The mare was fine. The needle and syringe... Not so fine. Now, whether or not she was inadvertently vaccinated against Rhinopneumonitis, no one officially knows. But there's a lesson there--- someplace. I think the lesson is something about always taking a halter and lead rope with you when you head out to vaccinate a herd of mares. But there are also a few laughs involved, too, and that's what matters right now.
Another one of my gal pals was working around her backyard corrals and did the classic Stepping on the Wrong Part of the Heavy Metal Rake routine, whereby the hefty wooden handle flipped up and whacked her in the cheek. Naturally, she got a doozie of a black eye. And when she tried to explain what happened when she went to work the next day, most of her co-workers sort of went, "Uh-huh. Right." They seemed certain that she'd been on the losing end of a fist fight. No, she'd just lost a round with a rake.
There are countless other stories I can add to the list of Barnyard Bang-Ups. I had a horse's standing martingale break at the most inopportune moment, so that its poll smacked me in the face as I was leaning forward. That was a very special black eye.
I once extricated a struggling horse that was choking itself from being tied incorrectly. It was setting back, pulling against the tie rope snugged to the hitching post, while also strangling itself. My reward for freeing it? Once the pressure was relieved the horse reared up and backwards, slamming into me and knocking out my front teeth. That was an expensive trip to the dentist!
Just about anyone who spends any time around horses ends up battered in some fashion. I guess we can wear our wounds like battle scars. Such is the reward for spending our lives around horses.
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