Sunday, June 02, 2013

From Good to Bad in a Blink of an Eye - this is how it happens

I saw this article mentioned on LinkedIn today: From Good to Bad in a Blink of an Eye

This caught my eye because it brings back so many memories of the considerable number of people that I saw get injured over the years of working with horses. There are so, so many. It is important to make sure young people who want to do any job with horses knows the considerable risks so they are properly trained and always aware.

For instance, at an arabian breeding farm I saw the manager pinned against the wall by a stallion that had her back in his teeth. I saw a co-worker hit in the head by a yearling thoroughbred colt that reared up in the stall and came down on him with a hoof. That man had to have a part of his skull removed due to a fracture. My husband was run over by a stable pony at Gulfstream Park while he was standing on the rail during training hours, hit in the head with a hoof and rolled on - he was not seriously injured. So many exercise riders slammed into walls by horses walking under tack in the shedrow, and exercise riders fallen on, rolled on. I don't want to think about the all the jockeys. Oh yeah and many hotwalkers and grooms dragged down to the pavement by horses running off while on a lead shank as their handler bravely tried to hang on - this happened to me once or twice when I was green and just starting as a groom.

Farriers are not only skilled at taking care of hooves but they also have to be incredibly skilled at avoiding injury. I remember the incredible Sam Jorris who trimmed all the yearlings while they were turned out in a big pasture. I was there just to keep the other horses off him and try to keep the horse he was working on fairly stationary. I marveled every month that we got that job done without mishap.

We talk so much about the horse injuries that can happen in and out of competition but it's important to remember the risks that all the people involved take because they want the honor of working with horses.

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