Berry is my weird horse. She does weird things, things that seem to have no reason, or make no sense. Sometimes I think she does them for her own amusement. This is one of those times. In fact, this was the first time I experienced her weirdness.
I got her in 2011, and after some drama at the boarding barn she was at briefly, she was moved to my parent’s house, along with Evee, another horse I had at the time. I didn’t really do much with her, so she mainly just hung out in her field.
I didn’t live near my parent’s, and I also worked a full time job, so I wasn’t out there everyday. My mom was nice enough to do the majority of the care during the week, which at that point, was just dumping feed once a day. There was plenty of pasture, and so much grass, they didn’t need much else. Life went on peacefully, until she’d been there about a month, in October.
I was at work when I got a call from my mom. Berry was stuck on the fence. This is a very strange call to receive. How is a horse stuck on the fence? Like, her foot got caught? No, Berry was on top of the fence, stuck on it.
Luckily, by the time my mom had called me, Berry was already unstuck from the fence, so we had time to discuss what she meant. She had been at home, doing whatever it is moms do at home, when she got a knock on the door. Being that this is a very rural area, it’s strange to get unexpected visitor, but she didn’t run and hide and hope they left, like I would have, she went and answered the door. It was the closest neighbor, who had been taking his toddler daughter for a walk down the shared road. He informed my mom that her horse was stuck on the fence.
Much like me, she was confused. How does a horse get stuck on the fence? Unfortunately for her, it meant she had to go investigate.
She went down, and sure enough, Berry had her two forelegs on one side of the fence, and her two hind legs on the other, resting right on top of the fence board, with it going right through her gut. She stared on my mom placidly.
When I lived there, I was part of the forced labor group called a family, so I had helped put up this fence. My father had decided that the best way to make a strong fence was to bolt the boards to the fence posts, so that’s what we did. And he was right, those boards were definitely on there securely, and didn’t pop off when a 800lb animal landed on top of them. I guess he didn’t skimp on the materials either, since the board didn’t break.
This actually happened right on the spot of the picture above. But here’s a picture after the incident, for the perspective of seeing Berry next to the fence.
The neighbor stayed with my mom, thankfully, as there was no one else around to help. At first, they tried to remove the bolts to drop the fence board. For whatever reason, the bolt would not come out. They went and got a saw, and began cutting the board. My mom said she felt the worst for Berry then, as the vibrations of the board caused Berry to make little groaning noises.
Eventually, they sawed it enough that the board cracked, and fell out of Berry’s abdomen. She hopped calmly over the remaining boards, and moseyed away into the pasture.
That’s when I got the call, and that’s when I rushed over to see the aftermath, as fast as I could rush from 50 miles away. I called the vet en route, and she met me there. I didn’t know what could be wrong, but I imagined it probably wasn’t good for a horse to spent at least an hour with a board stuck up in its gut.
But other than the abrasions and soreness, there was nothing distinctly wrong with her. It clearly hurt, but all her vitals seemed okay. There was nothing really for the vet to do.
We couldn’t figure out why Berry had placed herself on the fence. We had a few theories, like Evee and Berry were playing by the fence (rearing) and Berry just kind of tipped over. Or Berry was jumping to escape being chased by Evee, although that one seemed unlikely, since the two were like BFFs, and they were in a pretty big field, and the place where she was stuck wasn’t a corner. (Later, Vintage would successfully jump this same fence, probably to rub it in Berry’s face). Life just continued, and Berry kept on relaxing in the field and seemingly, having no worries.
Until she colicked about a few weeks later. Could have been related, or maybe not, but we think it was. It was the first time I ever dealt with a colic. The vet suspected a twisted gut. She gave Berry medicine to shrink her organs, and then I was tasked with driving Berry around in a trailer, bouncing her on gravel roads. I’m not sure if this is an accepted method of dealing with this, but the vet said if it got worse, she’d be going in for surgery, so I was willing to do it. Hilariously, since Evee began panicking when we loaded up Berry, and since we didn’t have a stall to put her in, and Berry’s fence incident was still fresh on our minds, Evee was loaded up too, and got to be bounced around. Hopefully, she enjoyed the ride.
Somehow, it did work, and Berry recovered. She has lived on to continue her legacy as being a big weirdo, and trying every night to poop in her bucket. Oh, my lovable Berry…