Last Sunday, well I guess it was already Monday, Missy woke us up barking, at 4:10 Am. We could see headlights in the driveway. Ed got up and peered out the window and a sheriff's car was in the drive way. He went to the door and the sheriff said there were three horses out on the road and one of them had been hit by a car. We scrambled into some jeans and shoes. I got outside first and asked the sheriff, who was standing on the porch waiting for us if the horse was on its feet, and he pointed to the area of the barn and asked if those were our horses. I hurried toward the barn and the horses were out of their lot, and were standing up near the run-in shed. (They had come back to the barn on their own, just ahead of the sheriff. I grabbed halters and walked up to them and caught Maddie and Katie, and Solomon followed us down to the barn. Katie kept pawing the ground, first with one foot then the other. She was holding her head at an angle, not the normal way. Maddie had a bad scrape all the way down her back leg, from the knee to the ankle, (likely from getting into barbwire fencing that was in the grass, where they had been), where all the hair had been scraped off. Solomon had no injuries at all. I could tell that Katie was in pain, even though I couldn't find anything visible on her. I called the vet, waking them up, I'm sure. I explained the situation to the vet when he called back, telling him there were no broken bones but that Katie wouldn't stop pawing and he said he would come right out. It was almost and hour before he arrived. (They are 30 minutes away). He examined her and the others and gave them all Banamine, a painkiller. He found soreness on her left ribcage and a stiff neck. He was concerned about them colicing, (a bad horsey tummy ache) from both stress and eating all that grass. They haven't been out on grass for 8 years! He suggested I stay home from work and watch them for the day. So I did, checking on them about ever 30 minutes all day. Katie just stood in the corner of the shed, all day, walking very slowly when she came to get a drink. She was eating and drinking, just sore and stiff.
That evening after supper someone knocked on the door. When I answered it, there was a man standing there, and asked how the horse was. I asked him if he is the one that hit her and he said yes. So this is his story...
Said he was going home from work, and he saw what he thought were deer walking down the middle of highway. He slowed down, to about 30 MPH, and said to his buddy that was with him, THOSE ARE HORSES! And just then Katie who was on the other side of the road, jumped out of the ditch right in front of him and he couldn't avoid hitting her. Then he called the sheriff with his work radio as cell phones don't work around here. (This all happened just pass the fire station, that is near our driveway). The impact bent his bumper a little bit, broke a headlight, and cracked the grill on his pickup truck. Katie has a place on her ribs, about 20 inches long where the hair appears cut. She is still improving, as I saw her trot part of the way back up to the shed after coming down for water. She still does a lot of just standing in the corner. She was given a painkiller dose for about 4 days, but now she is off of them.
The next day, when I was leaving for work, I drove up the road a little way and there was horse poop, quite a ways, so they had been out for several hours, most likely. We could see tracks where they had been down the back hayfield.
Thank the Lord that our words are like a shield. This could have been a real tragedy, both for us and for that driver.
This all came about because a gate was accidentally left open. A lesson not to be soon forgotten.
This whole episode still makes me shake to think about.