Murphy’s Law of Horses

As Lucy from Peanuts used to say, AUGH!

So the VLC and his entourage, myself included, headed all the way to Tulsa for the ABRA (Buckskin) World Show. He was going great, and it was his last year as a junior horse, so why not? At the very least he’d get to see the arena and we’d find out how he dealt with a long trip to a show.

The good news: He traveled great! Not a single problem – eating well, drinking tons. Arrived fresh and happy. Well, a bit too fresh. He hit the air conditioning in the arena coming in from high-90s heat and bucked for the first time in his entire life under saddle. He wasn’t the only one – seems like this is a common reaction! Fortunately, he settled down. He had a near perfect ride in his western pleasure at the pre-show on Tuesday, but spooked once when someone dropped a water bottle in the stands. Of course, all three judges were watching so there went that class. He was pretty good for trail but some of the obstacles were set tight for a big horse and he had some problems navigating those cleanly so it just wasn’t good enough to get in the ribbons. But hey, he was behaving well, and most of all he was happy and enjoying the experience.

The World Show started and while he didn’t have a great go in the Junior Trail (he needed to pee, hadn’t done so and was uptight and a little antsy as a result), he did still get 5th so that was cool. He got worked Wednesday night and looked wonderful. We got a lot of compliments and tucked him in for the night.

Next morning? Dead lame. The physical evidence suggested that he had somehow managed to wedge his hind left somewhere (how he managed it, we don’t know as the stalls truly are pretty safe looking) and gave it a really good yank. He was sore all the way up to his pelvis. My best guess is that he did it stretching out while lying down. The princess absolutely must lie down flat every night – no standing up and sleeping for him! – and he didn’t really fit in the 10 x 10 stalls at the fairgrounds.

After I got done banging my head against the wall, we started cold hosing it and walking him periodically, and just a day later, he was much better. Of course, there went the rest of the show but I am trying to be grateful that I am not one of the two people whose horses died at the show (one from a drug reaction and one from flipping over on the concrete). He seemed to think this was the best thing ever – he did not have to work, and everybody petted him and felt sorry for him.

Oh, and he threw stuff all over the aisle to entertain himself if I dared turn my back for a minute.  He figured out that you can collapse those chairs if you just give them one good yank at the right spot!

Well, Mr. Smarty Pants, there is always next year and you ARE going back!

Seriously. Horses. AUGH!

So what major event/important show has YOUR horse manage to screw up for you? Misery loves company, so please tell me your stories and make me feel better!

Published in: on August 5, 2010 at 11:40 pm  Comments (13)  

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  1. I was taking my 3 Y.O. mare Dolly to our 3-day state show. Loaded up, pulled for 6 hours, unloaded her…all was fine until I went to saddle her…noticed this HUGE jiggly bump on her stifle. Sigh, got the vet out…diagnosis, seroma. He drained it but said, it will likely come back…sure enough did. Double sigh…so, for the first time in 20 years of showing, I had to pull a horse. Oh well, got our money back plus, since I was announcing the show, it wasn’t a total waste. We did show in halter, though…and placed 6th out of 12.

  2. The VLC reminds me of Zorro! He loves to play with stuff, and if he can reach something that isn’t bolted down, he’s going to pick it up and toss it!

    I very rarely tie him up when I groom him, so he’s usually loose in the stall with me, and the grooming kit is on the floor. (This really helped him learn to stand still because I said so, not because he HAS to.)

    Anyway, grooming boxes are his FAVORITE toys because he can take out each individual tool and then toss the box across the stall! The little rascal did this last night while I was fussing with his dewormer and eye-medicine and left him unattended in the stall.

    And it’s hard to get mad because he always has that cute little expression on his face, just like in that photo of VLC!

  3. My very first endurance race and we had been training for months. We got there and when I pulled Knight out of the trailer he had a huge gash above his eye and was bleeding pretty good. Somehow he had managed to get the plastic safety covering off the edge of the partition and had whacked his head on the sharp edge. ARG!!

    Instead of a race, he got 12 stitches instead… and I got a lovely vet bill. I ended up selling that trailer the next weekend and getting something a bit safer.

  4. All I can say is your boy is ADORABLE! I just want to kiss his nose. Sorry about him coming up lame, but he really thought that being lame was more fun than those boring classes 😀

  5. He has somewhat redeemed himself – he came sound and we put him in halter this morning and he was Grand Champion under one judge, Reserve Champion under three more. Pretty good for not-a-halter-type and I’m told there were far chunkier, halter-y horses in the class!

    He’s back to work now so he should hit some more shows in September before it’s vacation time.

    • I can’t wait to hear how he does this fall!

  6. My mare came into season the day we arrived at the show, and peed ona judge as he walked around the back, i almost died.


      Embarrassing but HEY at least that doesn’t mean more vet bills. 🙂

  7. Hi, Fugs! Cyg half of the duo here. Poor VLC. At least he found a way to have fun!

    I noticed that your column wasn’t in the last two issues of the magazine. Is something wrong? I’ll cancel our subscription if they dropped you. They also never responded to my request for those back issues for your first couple columns.

    Good luck with your September shows!


    • No worries – they didn’t drop me! 🙂 They bumped several regular features for September and I admit I missed my deadline for October. It was while I was at the World Show and I honestly just got frazzled, busy and late. My column will be back in November’s issue.

  8. We haven’t been able to access the fuglyblog for a few days now. Is everything okay?


    • I can’t access it either…

  9. Comiserations!
    My mare … nearly … finished her first 80k endurance ride, non arabian and a problem child to boot, I was so proud of her, vetted through with low heart rates ‘fantastically healthy’ the vet commented, took her back to her yard, gave her hay and water and dinner … she spread out her hay and lay down in it :-s refused to eat. Made her get up, raced her back over to the vet who said she had good gut sounds, asked if she’d pooed and wee’d (she hadn’t) advised give her some bute, monitor her. I took her back to her yard again … where she promptly did three poos, did a nice yellow wee, drank half her water and ate her dinner.
    Thanks for the heart attack!!!

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