So last week, due to literally everything happening right at the same time, I wasn’t able to get out to the barn until Sunday. I hadn’t been out for 4 days. I felt bad but hey Scarlet and I aren’t competing or anything so he doesn’t need to be in the best shape possible. He can survive a week or two with less riding.
So I go out and walk up to his stall. I took his fly mask off and turned to shake it out. I let him scratch his face on me while I do that so he scratched away. I turn back to put his halter on and see this:
I felt like the worst person in existence. Horses get hurt, that’s just the way it is. But I hate when I inadvertently hurt my horse. I felt the same way when his blanket rubbed him raw. Right now, he has his fly masks on 24/7 because taking off and putting on masks isn’t something this barn offers. And understandably so. There are about 100 horses, that would take forever to do. But I can’t go out to the barn first thing in the morning and put it on so I have to leave it on all day. And he managed to rub himself raw. Even more than raw, he kinda rubbed a hole in his face.
I wasn’t going to put his halter on with that so I got his bridle, removed the noseband and slipped that one. I took him to the tack room, cleaned and put some gall salve on his nose. I debated whether I should ride or not but the nose band isn’t necessary and it was his nose. He hadn’t flinched when I cleaned it out and was much more interested in getting treats than anything else.
So I rode. I ended up doing a bit of arena work and then going on a trail ride with a lady at the barn. That was nice and Scarlet was pretty good for that. I’m glad I rode but it was (still is) hard to shake the guilt I felt for having caused Scarlet to get hurt. I left off his fly mask and will do so till he heals up. I’m looking for different options of masks. Some of the ones I’ve considered are: Roma Stretch Bug Eyemask, Cashel Crusader. One of my friends also suggested the fringe that hangs over their eyes but I’m not entirely sure about that one. I’m not sure it’s effective and I’m pretty sure Scarlet will not like it. The only problem with the above fly masks is I’m not sure where the pressure point on the nose will sit. It’s not going to do any good if it sits right at the same spot on his nose as I still have to keep the mask on all day. I’m going to take a look at them before buying to see where about they sit.
I did go out Monday and ride again. After the ride, I cleaned his nose and gooped it up. It looked pretty good. The redness around the raw area had gone away and it looked to be scabbing quite nicely. With the rest of the water in the bucket, I sponged down Scarlet. He actually took that quite well, which surprised me. He hates baths and water in general (except to drink, horse hoovers up water) but he was completely fine with a dripping sponge. He only moved when I poured the bucket over him. I’m going to try the sponging off again and if he is still okay with that, I’ll probably do that after more rides as I’d like to clean off sweat more often but I do not like having to fight with him over a bath.
The heat wave is making riding impossible without it being bad for Scarlet and me so I’m going to just go out and check on his nose each day in the evening. I’ll be gone this weekend to go visit the sister-in-law and family so he will have plenty of just lounging around time for his nose to heal.
I do have a couple of questions for y’all. One: any suggestions on fly masks that won’t sit on the raw part of his nose? If you are squeamish, look at the 2nd picture with the goop on it as it is less icky. Two: what are the best wound pastes you’ve found for hot weather? I like the gall salve but it separates when it is this hot out and that makes it difficult to put a paste on that will last longer than 10 minutes on his face.