The Blanket Incident…

So let me start this post off with saying that I hate stuff around my neck. I don’t like turtlenecks and stock ties make me crazy. I have transferred this odd issue of mine on to my horses. Because I don’t like things around my neck I hate hoods for horses. They make me a little nutty. In addition I also HATE blankets that slide over a horses head. Blankets with a closed front just really bother me. And of course I found out shortly after starting to lease Phoenix that his medium weight had no front straps. Which annoyed me greatly, and especially because Phoenix was never a big fan of the over the head approach to blanketing in the super cold weather. He has cold ear issues.

When his Owner brought the crappy medium weight out for the first time this year she was already giving me a hard time about it. It is well known throughout the barn how much I hate over the head blankets. The first time I put it on him this year, Phoenix was totally fine. I thought maybe we out grew the cold ear issue. I mean, I can grab and pull at his ears now, something I would have not been able to do last year. Well Tuesday night something happened that made sure I would no longer have to worry about the over the head blanket…

I had finished riding and grooming Phoenix and was about ready to put him away when I unclipped the cross ties and went to get the over the head blanket. I put the blanket over his head and it was hanging around his neck, along with his lead rope, while I got a better grip to toss it over. I was mid throw when it happened. It being Phoenix loosing his brain. Phoenix tried to take off as I tried in vain to get the blanket over his back. I was not expecting him to go flying out of the barn, so held on to his blanket trying to stop him. As you all know, horses don’t like to feel pressure trapping them.

As soon as Phoenix hit the resistance he tried to rear. He didn’t get very far, or very high, but it was enough to make me lose my grip on the already slippery blanket. As soon as I let go the blanket went dangling under his neck and through his legs. At this point I was having a heart attack thinking that Phoenix was going to break all of his legs and kill himself. So I scream his name in my “I am not joking you better knock it off right now” voice, but it is too late. Phoenix is already starting to panic and tripping.

He is kicking out with his hind legs trying to not step on the blanket, but because of the force that he has going he is not only stepping on the blanket and one point he steps through the blanket. At this point I am in a full blown panic and calling for help. It only took one more stride for Phoenix to really get stuck. The pressure of the blanket being caught on the right hind was enough so that when he put his left hind leg down it easily slipped through the blanket totally catching him. It was at this point, when he was fully trapped, that he finally stopped. Lucky for me Phoenix did not try to rear to get out of the situation. He knew he was stuck so he waited for me to come and rescue him.

He had only gone the short distance from the barn to the mini barn where his stall was so I was able to get to him in about 5 strides. It was then I saw the look in my fat spotted ponies eyes. He was in a panic. Poor pony. I called for help again and was about to walk to free his hind legs when I saw something that made me start to laugh. At some point in his shenanigans Phoenix managed to get his left front leg through the neck hole! The neck hole was stretched to the max and Phoenix had managed to really get himself stuck. Me being the kind person I am started to laugh. How da hell did Phoenix managed to get that stuck in about 5 strides?!?!?!?

Phoenix was so traumatized that getting him to lift his back legs was hard on my own. As soon as help arrived I was able to free his hind end. Looking at the front through I was totally stuck. My only thought was to cut it off him. The Nice Local Trainer was on her way inside when she got my panicked call. The woman who feeds and I were still trying to calm Phoenix down when she walked over. She too started to laugh at the rediculousness of the situation, especially seeing how scared Phoenix was. She had the brilliant idea of giving Phoenix treats to get his head down, and if his head went far enough down we could slip the blanket off instead of cutting it. Lucky for us it worked! It took all 3 of us to do it though.

I was still upset thinking about all the bad things that could have happened, so I didn’t take any pictures. Let me tell you though I have never seen anything like Phoenix hog tieing himself! I was so scared. I learned my lesson though and if I ever do have to do anything with no front closures again Phoenix he is going back on the cross ties. I am not trusting him with just the lead tossed over ever again. It was so scary. So since it was my fault that Phoenix killed this medium weight I went home to buy a replacement. And look what I found!!!!

So this jazzy number is on sale right now at Stateline tack. It is a really toasty medium weight and it was (drum roll please) only $39.99. I have never heard of this brand before so I don’t have high expectations, but if it waterproof and doesn’t get trashed within the first day I will be a happy camper. I had the option of the manly blue camo, but purple just really fits Phoenix’s personality so much better.

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6 thoughts on “The Blanket Incident…

  1. Arrg! I KNEW there was a reason why I hate over-the-head blankets and you just described it! At least you get a blanket YOU like out of it!
    I think I have one of those Tough-one’s- it has lasted pretty well. And Axe loves her mud!

  2. I second Mary – I always thought over the head blankets were a stupid invention. It’s just way too hard to put on safely, and horses are often protective about their heads.

    So glad Phoenix came through ok and didn’t get any worse than a bad scare. And the new blanket is adorable! Be sure to take some pictures of Phoenix modeling it before he has a chance to roll in it and get it dirty.

  3. Thirding the dislike for closed-front blankets. I think some of them don’t fit as well BUT the biggest reason is for safety, as Phoenix so readily demonstrated.

    You’ll be happy to know that after reading your post early this morning I made sure everyone’s blankets went on and off the proper way, haha.

    I have seen that brand of blanket and considered it because they come in such fun colors… No experience with it though.

    We DO need pictures of the spotty pony in all his pink camo glory!

  4. Wow, that was a scary story that could have been even scarier!! I’m glad he pulled through okay and even gets a jazzy new blanket out of the deal. I know I’m in the minority, but my TB & I LOVE over the head blankets! The boy loves wearing his blankie and it cutes me out every time when I bunch it all up and hold the neck hole open, and he pokes his ginormous head through it! It’s one of the only things I like about winter though! Our Paint & my husband are in your ranks & dislike the over the head blankets, but in general, Mr. Opinionated Low-Maintenance, Don’t Need No Blanket Paint would prefer to stay naked all winter despite the below zero temps, so he does!

  5. Yikes! I would have been freaking out big time! Our horse HATES his over the head full body show sleazy. He starts backing up and pinning his ears when he sees it coming. But the funny thing is he has an over the head shoulder sleazy that he wears under his winter blanket to help protect from rubs and he LOVES that one! Go figure. Maybe its the color? The show one is blue an the shoulder only one is red?

    Glad it all turned out okay and you got to order a new blanket. I’m not familiar with the brand (I’m a Schneiders disciple) but it’s cute!

  6. Griffin had a closed front blanket for awhile shortly after I got him. I got it used at a good price and it was in good shape. Grif wore a closed front blanket at the track, so I felt ok about using one with him. He would put his head down and walk into the hole when you held it open for him. It was actually cute. Grif hasn’t worn a blanket for the past few years, but I’ve been thinking about getting him another one since he is getting older and I worry there will come a time when he will have trouble staying warm. I never gave much thought to the closed front blankets, but hearing your story, I will probably seek out an open front blanket. I think if I had been in your shoes, I would have panicked myself. I am glad to hear you got Phoenix out of his blanket safely. …Whew! The purple blanket looks cool and I think it will look nice on Phoenix 🙂

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