(S)tumbling Blocks

By Patty Wilber

Horses are big (though I don’t even have big ones).  Sometimes they break stuff.

My horse barn is cinder block–not my favorite barn material, but hey, the barn came with the house. Actually, the house came with TWO barns, but that is a different story.

This wall encloses my saddling area and that wall has been standing just fine until last week, when not one but TWO separate and unrelated hits took it out.

The Wall before the Fall

Incident #1

It was evening, and Lacey and Penny were in the area with the big water tank seen  in the picture above.  Longshot and JD were under the overhang in the background.  Everyone was quiet and seemingly content.

There is a chain that keeps horses out of the saddling area.  It has a baling wire hook on one end so that if a horse hits the chain, the wire breaks, preventing a chain wreck.

The Chain; also note the gate and fence there.

Baling wire break-away.

I came out to feed in the morning and Longshot was hanging with Lacey by the water tank.  JD was alone.

The chain was down, the lower board of the fence by the gate was broken, there was manure in the saddling area and THE TOP ROW of the WALL was GONE!

Well, not literally  gone--it was on the ground next the the water tank.  Guess I should be glad it wasn’t IN the water tank.

Here is my forensic reconstruction:

Lacey plowed trough the chain, and it did its break-away thing. (Longshot would have gone under it…but in Lacey’s defense, she may have help from Penny.)

Penny followed Lacey into the saddling area and an altercation occurred (which we can definitely blame on Penny, Lacey does her best to Avoid Trouble).  This caused breakage of the bottom of the board of the fence, making it effectively a creep-feeder situation.

Creep feeder. The low entry allows smaller or younger animals in and keeps the big ones out.

The entrances are too low to allow a full grown horse to pass, but will let a little-un go under.  Longshot crept out.

Next, perhaps, all three (Longshot, Lacey and Penny) were crammed in there. Penny made a move, Lacey panicked, and the wall was the casualty…

Incident #2.

Buckshot needed new shoes and he needed a farrier that was a reining specialist.  Buckshot is sensitive and the new farrier was expecting No Fuss.  He made Buckshot nervous.

I held Buckshot and things went decently until the first back foot.

Buckshot was supposed to be doing this, and he was...for a while...

Buckshot pulled his hoof, surprising the farrier,  who jumped. This startled Buckshot and he knocked over the hoof stand. This scared Buckshot more so he  swung his butt into the farrier’s tool box.

 Everything went everywhere.

Buckshot swung back,  hit the stand again and then mooshed into the wall, which sagged outward (dammit!) but did not fall. (The internal rebar held it up.)

The wall is cracked and leaning from Incident #2...top row partially gone from Incident#1!

Leaning outward!

I hate it when horses go all dramatic.  There is little to do but keep talking, try to keep from getting smushed, and wait until the horse’s brain clears.

After a long pause to clean up and regroup, the rest of the shoeing went well.  The shoes are truly marvelous (which I guess they should be for 150.00 plus a wall)!

The wall has been repaired!  Let’s hope it stays that way!


where'd the wall go?

Out with the old!

Almost there!


About BlogPatty

Here's the skinny: I have a thing for horses. They make sense to me. I have a small horse training business (it's a "boutique" training business, not because it's super fancy, but because the horses get a lot of personal attention). I also go by Dr. Wilber, and teach biology full-time at a Central New Mexico Community college.
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2 Responses to (S)tumbling Blocks

  1. Barb McGuire says:

    Love the forensic work. Going dramatic is such a horse thing and even the best behaved ones will go there if given the right circumstances. Hence the saying “There are two kinds of horses, ones that have hurt someone and ones that are gonna!”. Always good to remember that they are beautiful and smart (mostly) but driven by instinct at times like this. Much credit to Buckshot that he took out the wall instead of the people!

  2. Patty says:

    Hi Barb–it surely always pays to be cautious around horses that’s for sure, and it sure easy to get complacent–which was not the case here, thank-goodness!

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