Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Babe in the Mud


This is what I found the morning after our return from Colorado. While McD was working out 3 of the horses came up, we have 4. Ruby was whinnying for Babe and looking up at the hill. So McD headed that way looking for her. He came into the house and told me what was going on (6:45 am). He had to get ready for work. I got around, headed out the door got on the 4-wheeler and started the search.

At around 8:30 I found her. Our lovely Percheron (draft horse) Babe had to have been trying to eat some grass growing around the dry pond. That would have been fine but the top is the only thing dry. The silt underneath is still not. We don't know exactly when she got stuck. By the trail she left behind and the shape she was in, we figured she probably got stuck sometime the night before. Thank goodness it wasn't the day before. The temps had been in the hundreds and she would have died. We are very fortunate.


Poor Babe was having a hard time breathing so here you can see where McD had been digging the mud out away from her sides. That helped quite a bit. Most of the time I was stationed up by her head trying to calm her down. She had thrown her head around while trying to move and had scraped it up a bit. She would rest her head (which weighs a ton) on my foot. But when McD got down there I just had to get the camera out. Now would you have believed this story without photos?


Here is the trail she left behind. She only had 18 feet left to go and she would have made it to the bank.


McD and Slick are using a piece of bent rebar that one of our neighbors fixed up for us. He welded a loop at one end so we could tie a tow rope to it. Then they threaded the ropes up and under Babe. Then the ropes were connected to the chains. The chains were hooked onto the tractor. (Reminds me of that song - the ankle bone's connected to the knee bone, and so on.)

We have some really good friends and neighbors. We don't have a big tractor but our neighbor does. We had chain, but not enough. They went and got more of theirs. Slick works with McD. They were in a staff meeting when I called and said, "You have to get out here now." (I think that is what I said. That part is all a blur now.) McD said that Slick heard him telling me to stay with her and try to keep her calm. As he was walking out telling them all that he had to leave, Slick was already up and headed out with him. Offered to take his pick-up and get the heck out of dodge. It felt like it took forever for them to get there. But I know they were flying. (Driving like Pioneer Woman's family.) I was on the phone with my Mom because I had to have some moral support.



You can see how the ropes are around her. Chuck was driving the tractor. Slick's wife took this photo. I was running to get something, who knows what at this point. Kim was trying to keep me calm I think. That is Slick there in the white t-shirt. He was a life saver that day, literally!


Here is Babe. She is out of the pond/mud/silt. She laid there for about 15 minutes. She tried to get up but she was too weak. I ran and got the halter from the barn. McD got it on her and the next time she tried to get up, she did it. She was kind of wobbly. But she was up and probably in shock.


She walked up the bank, slowly but surely. Kim took her some more water. And then Babe started eating grass. This horse lives to eat. McD walked her to the barn where she got in the shade and got a shower (one of many).

Babe is doing great!!! We still have her up at the barn and will let her out to roam the pastures again probably tomorrow. Ruby is up here with her. We are fortunate that she didn't get colic. That she didn't break a leg. And that we didn't snap her two left legs when we pulled her out. She is onery as ever. Splashing around in the water tank. Even nipping (or lipping) you when you aren't showing her enough attention.

I think Slick's son who is 4 said it best. She was saved by all of our prayers. We certainly couldn't have gone through the day without a little help from above.

8 Comments:

Blogger SongBird said...

Thank goodness Babe is okay!!!! What a scary situation to come home to. You know, I see dried up ponds over here in Arkansas, too, (it is so hot and dry ) and I never thought about them having sticky mud underneath. Scary!!

7/18/2006 12:18 PM  
Blogger M J said...

Oh. My. Wow!

What a story! No, I wouldn't have believed without the photo's!!

That's amazing... I am SO glad there was a happy ending.

7/18/2006 12:42 PM  
Blogger Mrs. Ca said...

So glad you were able to get her out! That's quite an ordeal.

7/18/2006 1:21 PM  
Blogger willowtree said...

Holy Crap!!

I've seen that on TV in the past but obviously had no vested interest. Its different when its a first hand account.

Funny that you should mention you were glad you didn't snap her legs off pulling her out, that's EXACTLY what I was thinking when I saw the 5th photo.

Glad she's out safe and sound.

7/18/2006 8:20 PM  
Blogger Pioneer Woman said...

Oh, this breaks my heart! Poor Babe. I'm so glad she's okay. Talk about lucky. I almost died being outside for five minutes today. If I'd had to lay out there for any length of time you'd be singin' In the Garden at my funeral tomorrow.

7/18/2006 8:40 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

You know - I think I have found a new way to lose weight! Babe is looked fit and trim now. Just bury me to my waist and let me try to get out for hours, dig me out and let me see if it worked. :)

Babe is doing wonderful!! I turned her out with the other horses on Wednesday. I could tell she was sore but she was happy to be out.

7/21/2006 8:55 AM  
Blogger Belinda said...

OMG, this sounds just like something that would happen around here. Life is never dull with horses around, is it? Bless you all for getting Babe out safe and sound. I would fence that pond!!

7/22/2006 8:20 PM  
Anonymous Sue said...

I'm jumping around your blog...what a story...I would have been totally panicked! I am glad she is doing well now (this is years later LOL)
I can't believe how far she went into the mud..poor thing must have been exhausted beyond belief.

9/25/2009 12:06 AM  

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