If they can find a way to hurt themselves, they will. Billy got himself into trouble again. Went out to the pasture to bring him in for a little fun workout yesterday, and noticed he was favoring his right front leg. Couldn’t see what it was till we got in the barn, since I was leading him on the left side. Turns out his right elbow is about the size of a tennis ball, most likely from a pasturemate’s kick. Observation and some gentle probing suggest that nothing’s broken, just a really major bruise. He was walking, trotting, and rolling without paying too much attention to it, just favoring it a bit.
I have my own theory as to what happened. And if you could persuade horses to stop acting like horses (hah!) this kind of nonsense could be avoided. What I am referring to is the herd mentality. There is an automatic waterer at the end of the pasture near the barn. Hardly ever does a single horse break away from the herd to come for a drink just because he’s thirsty. Nope. They wait for the leader to decide that he’s thirsty, then all 20 of them follow him to the waterer. When they get there, they fight over it. Billy, being on the low end of the herd totem pole, probably got himself whacked for cutting in line. So he’s spending some time with just one other horse in a little corral just outside the barn door until he looks like he’s improved enough to at least duck away from oncoming hoofs. If he remembers, that is. Which may be asking too much.