Thursday, January 19, 2017

On My Toes

(Note: potentially gory photos in lower portion of this post.  Don't read if you are squeamish.)

Working with horses keeps me on my toes.  Since they are, by nature, prey animals, and prone to startling due to that nature, I need to be aware of my surroundings when I am around horses.  Not just what is there in terms of sights, sounds, and smells, but also what might occur that would cause a horse to jump and/or run in fear.

There are times, however, when working with horses keeps me off my toes.  As in literally not able to put weight on my toes; hobbling around.

Yesterday was one such time.  After having a pretty good ride on The Quarter Horse, with fairly decent leg yields at walk and some of the best canter departs to the left he's ever done, I was untacking him and brushing him out before throwing his sheet back on him and returning him to his pasture buddies for the rest of the afternoon.

One split second of in-coordination on my part, and the body brush I'd just been using on his neck slipped from my fingers and landed on the mat of the grooming stall near his left front foot.  Which caused him to puff all up in fright ("ooh, scary thing hurtling itself toward my leg, gonna trip me up and eat me!!") and proceed to jump onto the two smallest toes of my left foot.  Ouch.

Ouch is actually an understatement. He got me good in that one quick leap. Don't know how many of his 1100 pounds actually made it onto the side of my boot, but my toes hurt a lot.

But, what you gonna do?  Calmly push the horse sideways off your foot, and carry on.  I finished brushing him with the killer brush, buckled his turnout sheet back into place, and released him to his pasture mates. Then I put away my tack, swept the grooming stall, picked up the poop he'd so graciously (yeah, right) deposited in the riding arena, and drove myself home.

Home, where I hobbled into the house, hung up my coat, and took off my riding boots.  To find that yes, I wasn't imagining things during my drive home when I'd thought my left sock felt a little wet.  Evidence that made me literally say "Shit, this isn't going to be good."

this is gonna hurt to remove

I'd been here before, although it's been a few decades since the last time I'd had a horse jump onto my foot, then drive myself home and remove my boot to find a bloody sock.  That time it had been the big toe of my right foot.  I'd ended up in Urgent Care having the separated toe nail clipped off the small spot where still clung to the nail bed, and then having my toe cleaned and bandaged.  I'd been 16 then, and my mom had freaked out a little (hence ending up in Urgent Care for treatment).

This time, it's the little toe of my left foot.  I cleaned and bandaged it myself, no doctor bill needed.  The nail is still on the toe, for now, although by the coloration of it, I'm pretty sure it is separated from the nail bed and I'm going to end up losing it in the next few days.  I have that toe buddy taped to the next one for support (just in case the toe is broken, but I think all the damage is confined to the end of the toe/the toe nail).  600 mg of Motrin allows me to wear my boots and carry on with my daily chores.  Pain meds should be unnecessary in a few days.  And, if I remember right, in about six months I should have a fully regrown toe nail.  Although, judging from how much smaller the little toe nail is than the one on the big toe, maybe it will only take three or four months.  We shall see.

under the sock, I find this

doesn't look quite right

clean and protected

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