We've all heard the term "flight or fight" with regards to horses. Yesterday we had "something" in our corral cause this reaction with two of the horses: my daughter's mare and my Mustang mare. This is extremely unusual for anything to make my mare bolt. I didn't know anything had happened until I went out to feed the evening meal and saw what I thought was mud on my daughter's horse. On closer inspection, I discovered it was dried blood. She looked like she had been bitten by something in several places, but not horse bites. My first suspicion was the neighbor's dogs, who like to fight in our corral. Deciding I should look further before accusing the dogs, I noticed a torn up area on the ground - from their hooves. It soon became obvious the two horses had been standing nearly side by side when "something" caused them to whirl and charge. Unfortunately, they were quite close to a drop-off (maybe 10-12 ft. steep bank to the lower portion and stream bed). They realized their mistake and put on the brakes, only to slide down the hill. It was Estes' misfortune to slide right over some broken aspen stumps, of course, leaving some hide behind. She now has a horse's version of road rash in three spots along her right side: the top of her knee, behind her elbow (right in the cinch area) and a major abrasion in her right flank. I washed her down with povodine/iodine and nothing seemed too swollen.
I suspect she is a lot more sore than hurt. Those muscle bruisers always hurt worse. I spent some of today collecting stuff to make her feel better so she has now been treated with penicillin to fight any infection, bute for the pain of the sore muscles, and scarlet oil as a topical on the wounds for pain and to keep flies away, plus she is current on her tetinus shot. She does like the extra treats she gets for standing still for all this; she's been a great patient - but don't you dare look like you are thinking of touching the flank wound. Hopefully she will get more rest tonight.