We moved to a new place a while back. I was waiting on the old place to close before I built my new shop. I crammed as much as I could into the existing three-stall barn. Since I own every tool known to man, it looked like 30 pounds of manure in a 10-pound sack. Then the rains came. And came. I have been running around like a head with my chicken cut off trying to get organized enough to function. So, when the nice, hysterical lady called with a horse down, hung up in the wire fence and bleeding, it was a welcome break. It was also an opportunity I badly needed. I’ll get to that later.
By God’s grace, I had the horse first aid kit good to go and one of the oldest tools I own right there – a wire tool, 48 years old. You’ve seen them. It looks kinda like pliers with side cutters. Not the ones with the hammerhead; those are useless in my opinion.
Anyway, I was rolling within two minutes, got close and called her to get talked in. It saved time and gave her a place to put her mind besides a bleeding horse. After I got a look, she had every reason to be hysterical. Bad wrecks are hard to digest all at once. All four legs in the wire. Bloody mess. Arterial blood pumping every which way. Slippery black mud ankle deep. All too easy to get dragged into the wreck yourself.
The first responsibility in wrecks is to not become part of the wreck. If you get hurt, the horse becomes secondary. Took a minute to make a plan. Not much of one either. Stay out of the kill zone and cut wire. Two snips and he twisted off. Fortunately, those were the “blue” wires, like they tell you in the movies to cut on the time bomb. He came loose. Got some Rompun in him and a pressure wrap on. Got the bleeding stopped and started looking for a mobile vet to come stitch him up. Too muddy to get a trailer out, so we could not transport. Anyway, it took a while, but immediate threat to life was covered. If you are a Facebooker, there is a video on my page with a very good talk by Dr. Buck Neil on the stages of wound recovery. In short words. Very interesting. Once things were in hand, I went back to trying to overfill that sack of manure.
I’m getting a little random, but that is me. It was a bloody mess. We all got sprayed; arterial bleeding does that. Yet, I cannot watch even 10 seconds of fake gore in movies, TV or Halloween. Instantly nauseous. Have been hands-on with many situations like this in my life, both animals and people. Have never become nauseous. Even cut the cord on all seven of my kids. The human mind at its finest.
Finally, to get to the point, I said it was an opportunity I badly needed. I have had a blessed life. I am far better off than I deserve. We all are. I owe people debts I can never repay. Some have gone on. Some I don’t even know who they are. Some will just never have the need. The only thing I can do is give away what was so freely given to me. This was a chance to do that.
Now here is the shame of it. People who are too “proud” to ask for help. People are hurting, surrounded by people who want to help but get turned away. “Call me if you need anything,” is really a genuine offer. Do them a favor. Call them. Give a debtor
a break. This stuff is good for everybody. It makes people feel good about themselves. Never a bad thing. If you will lay this over our sport, it is us. We have this built in. The herd belongs to everybody. Our “help,” herd settlers, directors and officers are all volunteers. We have a community. If you don’t contribute to this community, you just aren’t a cutter.
In my mind, these are tests. All tests aren’t big, difficult or easily recognized. Not all opportunities are tests. The best thing to do is treat every opportunity like it is, to make sure you don’t pass up the important ones. Our sport is great because of this etiquette of helping each other.
Cornbread Thinks: You never know when it is a test.