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.