June 2010

I wanted to let you know about a recent event with my horse and some of the wonderful horse people in Maryland that pulled together to help my horse and me. On May 7, Magnum (my 16-year-old Percheron gelding) was found “down” by a neighbor in a far back wooded part of the pasture. I left work and raced to be by my baby’s side and on the way called several friends to share my grief. Without even having to ask for help, several neighbors of the farm where I board Magnum and numerous friends were there to assist. Things did not look good for Magnum; he was unable to get up on his own and could not move his left hind leg.

Hours went by and it became pitch black in the woods. Finally we were able to help him up and climb the steep hill out of the woods with him to the barn. It was rough and we really didn’t think he would make it. He received round the clock care at the barn for a week. I wanted to thank everyone that helped save my horse’s life and support me in my time of need. I am forever grateful.
Christine A. Thomas (Rockville)

While trailering my horse Fly Me Home (Fritz) to the MCTA Horse Trials, my truck and trailer lurched forward and back a few times. I thought it was a truck power issue and decided to continue the short distance to the event grounds where there would be help available if needed. After parking, I opened the side door to check on Fritz and found him on his belly cast sideways under the hay bags and in front of the chest bars, against the dressing room. How a 17-hand horse got under the chest bars and turned sideways was very frightening to consider.

Thankfully, there was this instant flood of volunteers, including Ray Wheeler, who quickly dismantled the trailer. Just as the center post was being removed, Fritz struggled to get up and pushed his front leg under the closed side door and got it jammed. People continued to spring into action, freeing his leg. Eventually, Fritz got up and staggered out of the trailer. I am so thankful to all these supportive strangers who came to my horse’s rescue, especially Ray. He was so calm and reassuring and seemed to know exactly what to do.

The event secretary immediately rounded up the vet on the grounds and she, Dr. Klebe, immediately got to work on Fritz. In minutes, she made the distressing experience seem simple and surmountable. In addition, the local eventing community was very supportive and ready to jump in, providing trailering and other assistance. Once Dr. Klebe was finished, Fritz only needed a few stitches to one leg; a friend and I walked Fritz back to my trailer with the purpose of putting it back together for the drive home. Amazingly, Ray had beaten us to it! He had diligently found all the trailer parts that had been tossed in the tall grass and re-assembled it as if nothing had happened. The Easton family then followed me home in case anything else should go wrong en route.

Two weeks later, Fritz recovered from his injuries and is looking forward to his next event!
Janice Gill (Olney)