Tuesday, May 12, 2009

We'll miss you Chase

Saturday evening Chase evidently took a terrible and tragic fall in the pasture. Matt had come to the farm with me to do some fishing that night. Since I rode Less, I didn't get the horses turned out until about 6:45pm. I walked Chase, Bobby, and Andy all up to the pasture and turned them loose. They did the usual "where is my carrot" routine and each one got one. They all just mosied away from the gate. About 10 minutes later I was in the barn giving Limo a bath (she was filthy from "helping" Matt fish) and Matt came in and said Chase had hurt his leg and I needed to go check on him. He said that he saw them running around and making a commotion and then saw Chase not looking right, though he didn't see him go down. He went and got a closer look and immediately knew it wasn't good and that's when he ran to the barn to get me. He was calm and collected- I could learn a lot from him.
I walked out of the barn enough to see Chase through the trees heading for the back gate of the big pasture, completely 3 legging it. I ran back in the barn and grabbed an extra halter and lead rope because his was at the other gate on the other side of the driveway- this would be faster. I grabbed it and also grabbed my cell phone as I knew I would need it. I ran to the gate where Chase was heading and told him I was coming to Ho and be still, he whinnied and kept coming. I got the halter on him and blood was coming from his right nostril, his right leg was just there and dangling. I called Laura and got her voicemail. I called one of the vet's cell number and got a voice mail. I called a friend and got her voicemail- all within span of 2 minutes and it sent me into a panic. With my new blackberry I didn't have the vet's office number, and at first forgot how to even dial a number-but Laura works for the vet's office so I knew if I could get a hold of her she could get a hold of one of the vets. Course while I was calling the other numbers in that 2 minutes, Laura had already called me back and left me a voicemail. I tried Laura again and got her on the phone. I'm embarrassed to say I didn't hold it together very well and told Laura I thought Chase had a broken leg. We hung up and she called the vet. I just petted and talked to Chase and told him help was on the way, he kept trying to move his right leg forward, but it just swung. I thought he was going to go down several times, but he stayed up. Matt had gone and gotten me a wet towel to from the barn that I swatted off flies with as they landed on him and wiped away the blood that was coming from his nose that was tickling his leg or seemed to be.
Laura got there about 10 minutes ahead of the vet. Chase had a "dropped elbow" which meant he either had a fracture somewhere or nerve paralysis. The vet couldn't get much of a pain response out of him, non at all really. After the examination it was decided to give him a couple of days to see if he would regain the use of that leg... so began the journey to the barn. He could move forward by lurching himself with his hind end. It took us over an hour to go 100-150 yards. We used carrots and a bucket of grain which he eagerly followed. We would let him rest every 3-5 steps and get a handful of the grain as a reward. Even though the other horses were out for the night we brought them in to keep Chase company.
Xrays the next morning (Sunday) didn't show any fractures, but he still didn't have much use of that leg. He could throw it forward, but he still wouldn't put any weight on it. The apparent fall in the pasture became more evident now because his eye and right side of his head was now swollen too. By 4pm that afternoon Chase was dunking his head into his water bucket up to his eyes and no longer on his food as he would eat a few bites and then go dunk his head again.
That night he just got worse and worse and more distraught according to Laura:-( At 1AM after talking to the vet they gave him some ACE to calm him and he laid down and relaxed some, occasionally munching hay. When the vet arrived later that morning and they got him up he detected a pocket of (I don't know if it was air or fluid?) on his right side which is an indication of a lung injury, phenothorax? Poor Chase was dealing with more than a leg injury and it was decided then to have him put down.
Chase and Lester were the first horses on the farm. People who were new to the farm always got mixed up and called them Chester and Lace... They were good buddies and pasture mates for a long time. Chase was the horse that could be turned out with anyone, he was a great pasture babysitter as he wasn't too attached to anyone, but got along with everyone. Chase was the horse that anyone could ride, no matter your skill level. He had a trot that would send you to the moon, he was so bouncy, but that suspension made him a lovely mover. Chase was a thoroughbred, but was always mistaken for a warmblood as he was so big barreled and tall. Haltering him could often times be a challenge as he would bite the nose band as you tried pulling it over his head. And once you got a lead rope on him you didn't want to let it go as he would toss his head in his eagerness to go out and often times whack you with it:-)
Chase is the first horse we have lost at the farm:-( it has effected us all. He is buried in the big pasture where he can forever run now.

23 comments:

Mrs Mom said...

I am so sorry to read about the loss of Chase, Denise. Please know our thoughts will be with everyone there at the farm.

(Maybe it was a pnuemothorax? Thats the word that popped to mind when reading ...)

SunnySD said...

So sad to read about Chase. They are such delicate creatures, even though they look so huge and solid. As Mrs. Mom said, our thought our with you all.

allhorsestuff said...

Oh...I am so glad that you were there to rescue him from this tragic freak of an accident.
I am so sorry D and will be prayinf for his owner and you all!
Kac

Grey Horse Matters said...

That's such a shame. They really are so delicate. How awful to have such a freak accident cause his life to end. I'm so glad you were there for him when he hurt himself. I'm sure he appreciated all the care and love from you and everyone. I'm sure he will be missed terribly by all that knew him.

cdncowgirl said...

Ah heck... I'm so sorry D. Even though he wasn't "your" horse I know it still hurts.
Pass my condolences on to everyone at the barn, especially his owner.

IHateToast said...

oh, that broke my heart. i'm sorry for you and his owner. he'll obviously be missed.

Kate said...

My deepest sympathies to you and your family. I have been where you are now - I lost a wonderful mare in 2001 to a fractured leg in turnout - I was there when it happened, as well. It's a terrible thing to have to go through. He seems to have been a wonderful horse - I am sorry I never met him.

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

I'm glad you and Matt were there when it happened. He had a good life especially with the Parkers. I remember when John bought him and riding him a few times probably 10 years ago. I do remember that bouncy trot. Loved the Chester and Lace refernce :-).
Rest in peace, Chase.

Jen

Laura said...

Oh no, how sad for poor Chase and his owner. Good thing you guys were there to get the phone calls out.

It still amazes me how delicate these large animals can be and how quickly a freak accident can change everything. Wow.

Flying Lily said...

Oh I am so sorry; what an awful story and how anxious you all must have been. Chase sounds like a really lovely character and I know you will all miss him. Thank goodness it didn't drag out for a long time. That's the only bright side I can think of.

Promise said...

So sorry to hear that. RIP Chase.

Stephanie said...

Damn...that sucks.

I am so sorry Denise - please pass my condolences on for me...

Goodbye Chase.

Melanie said...

I am so sorry. What a terrible thing to happen to Chase (or any horse for that matter).
Please pass my condolences on.

The Equus Ink said...

I'm so sorry Denise. Thank goodness you were there. My deepest sympathies, my thoughts with his owner, you and those who loved him. RIP Chase.

Maria Peters said...

Denise,

That whole experience had to be gut wrenching. I felt like I was there with you through your words, and you are brave. Big hug to you and all who are left on this earth to feel such a great loss.
xo.

oregonsunshine said...

I am so sorry, Denise. My heart goes out to all of you who's lives were touched by Chase.

((HUGS))

Mielikki's Hunt said...

I'm so sorry. . I read about chase on your sister's blog, and I am so sorry. . There's two different thing chylothorax and pneumothorax, both which can be deadly, friend has a $5000 dog who had one of them, and knowing what he went thru, ya'll did the right thing

{{}}

manker said...

wow so heartbreaking and heartfelt. horses... you gotta love em and they'll break your heart.

blessings
gp

Callie said...

OMG! Denise, I'm so sorry to read this. So sorry for the loss of Chase. This makes me so sad. My thoughts are with you.

Stephanie said...

I hope everyone is doing okay? As good as can be expected anyways...please don't blame yourself. Horses are screwy when they play it was just dumb luck that you turned him out that day - or looking back on it maybe it was good luck - you guys spotted the injury right away. He didn't have to wonder around out there all scare and in pain alone.

Sending you a hug. ((((Hug))))

Post something soon k?

WesternWoodburner said...

My sympathies for your lost. It is hard to lose a dear animal friend.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Awwww.....so sad. I'm so sorry about Chase. What a horrible way for him to spend the last couple days of his life. He obviously knew you would take care of him well after his injury and in those last days. What a sweet boy and what a terrible, tragic loss.


(((HUGS)))
~Lisa

thebellagreyhound said...

I am so sorry to read about the loss of Chase. I know that he will be missed by all.