Friday, September 21, 2012

Padre update: An ordeal begins

Hi, I would like to share this June 2, 2012 email that I received from Patti Gruber, the owner of Padre (the dressage mustang). It is a heartbreaker, but I think we should all read it.  Since this day on May 29 she has been through quite an ordeal. It could have happened to any of us, but it happened to her. And to Padre.

Patti writes...

Padre at the hospital

On May 30th at 2 PM, Padre was turned out in his pasture located outside of the back of my house. I was sitting in my living room and looked up to see Padre' running frantically.  I immediately got up, put my shoes on and went outside to see what was going on only to find a man in a tree within 5 feet of Padre's back pasture which is about 50 feet wide and 200 feet long.  The man was wielding a chainsaw and had just started cutting down a tree.  The man must have seen me and stopped as I was yelling to him.  I asked if he could not see the horse running around below him as Padre' was in a panic to say the least. 

As a horse person my whole life, I have never before seen a horse in such a panic showing the whites of his eyes, snorting and frantically running  trying to get away and having no where to go being contained in a 6 foot fence.  I asked the name of the company he worked for and he would not respond.  I asked again and received a less than pleased response as I put Padre's halter and lead on. I then asked the man to give me a couple minutes to bring Padre' and four horses in an adjoining paddock into the barn before he resumes his work.   As I walked Padre' about twenty feet from the paddock, the man in the tree turned the chainsaw back on and also the tree shredder started.  Padre' reared up and spun in circles again in a complete panic for about 100 yards.  As he pranced and spooked the rest of the way back to his stall, I had hoped he would be ok.  Due to my concern for the horses, it had not even occurred to me that the man in the tree was actually trespassing onto the farms property. 
Within an hour, Padre' began to swell in his back legs from his fetlocks and through his hocks and the muscles in his rump and lower back were extremely sensitive.  I called my vet for an emergency visit and he was given an IV Anti-Inflammatory and IV Muscle Relaxants as well as an Adequan.  I rotated cold hosing and hand walking Padre' for 6 hours and spent the night in the barn outside his stall to keep an eye on him overnight.  At 5 am I started the process of cold hosing and hand walking again until the vet arrived at 9:30.  He did a quick exam, gave him a Legend injection and told me to drive Padre' to the University of Wisconsin Veterinary Hospital to be seen by their team. 
At the hospital they did a variety of tests including flexions, x-rays, ultrasound and bloodwork.  Padre's lameness is mainly in his left hock with significant effusion on the outside of his hock with blood spurting into the effusion. He also has effusion on the right hock and overall muscle soreness as well as a raised stress level shown in his blood work.  Padre' would be on complete stall rest for ten days and will be wrapped as shown in the photo followed by hand walking and a return to the hospital in two weeks for a follow up ultrasound and x rays and then again in July. 
Through all of the tests, Padre' charmed the Doctors and teaching students as well as other horse owners at the hospital gaining even more fans with his incredible temperament and good looks.  He was such a good boy they did not need to sedate him for x-rays or the ultrasound. The prognosis for a return to work is August 1 at the earliest. Outside of his trips to the hospital for the Ultrasound he is also not to be trailered anywhere due to the stress it puts on the joint.  Padre' and I are so fortunate that this injury could have been so much worse than what it is. 
With a large variety of events and shows planned over the months of June and July, we unfortunately have to put everything on hold that Padre' was to attend until the Hospital Veterinarian clears him for travel for starters possibly in July and riding hopefully in August.  As you can imagine this is devastating for Padre' and I.  I will update everyone as to Padre's progress after we return from the hospital in two weeks.  I have to send a huge thank you to Dr. Koehler for responding to my first emergency call as well as Dr. Brounts and Dr. Weimer at the UW Madison Hospital as well as their students.  Thank you all for your support of Padre' and I as we face this challenge.

I will write more in another post...


  1. I have been following Padre for a while now, and was very upset to hear that not only did he get hurt, but that the company responsible is being so difficult to deal with. Padre represents (to many of us horsey-types)the proof that no matter the breed, any horse can do Dressage and be quite successful at it. He gives folks like me, owners of non-traditional Dressage mounts, the confidence and courage to keep doing what we love, and even test the show-waters now and then. I have a QH and a POA, neither of which are built for Dressage. But, they both LOVE the challenge of learning something new, and I love teaching them how to use their bodies better. I'm sure that with the excellent care Patti gives Padre, and his team of professionals by his side, he'll make a great recovery and be back out there doing what he's so good (and BEAUTIFUL) at!

  2. That story is unfortunate. As a landscape business owner, I can honestly say, if I had seen someone's animal reacting so negatively to our "noise," I would definitely have stopped my employees to ameliorate the issue first before continuing work. It's just common sense ... something so few people seem to possess these days. And, don't even get me started on trespassing!! It is one of my BIGGEST pet peeves ... expecially on farms where large animals roam and people/animals can get hurt.

    I went through a 2 year spell during which I had to desensitize my Friesian x to gunshots because some losers used to shoot metal close enough to the horse fields that sometimes the shrapnel would fly into the fields and hit the horses. Yeah. Imagine trying to ride a puffed up Friesian on full flight mode ... not fun AT ALL. I could barely ride him during hunting season without earplugs for two years. He is just now getting over that time in his life. Thank goodness.

  3. I am truly horrified. What a "bleep" idiot! He should loose his job.

  4. Wow. I can honestly say I have been lucky with my pony. I have been driving him for just over a year now. Last fall as we were preparing for a CDE and I was getting him in tip-top shape, as we came home through the neighborhood...

    Yeah, one of my neighbors came out of a building as we passed his property, chainsaw in hand. He had been trimming the tree by the fence just off the road. We were even with him when he not only fired it up, but started cutting branches down again. My pony was a little startled, not being able to really see because of the blinders, but handled it really well- scooted a few steps and continued walking.

    Padre sounds like a sensitive horse. I hope he is ok after everything is over and done. Shame on the guy in the tree for not having some common sense.

  5. I have been following this story since it started on facebook and I am very curious about the vets findings. Patti has also gone above and beyond any "normal" owners would do for care-Ozone therapy-$1500 an hour for a week, rounds and rounds of x rays, fluid tapping, accupuncture, chiropractor, feeding strange things like mango, hours of reiki, massage, infared light and pychic's...I bet his bill is close to a million bucks! The vets have no idea what his injury is? No strain, break, tear... just swelling, lameness with toe dragging, scratches and sores all by a freak out from chainsaw sounds?! All sounds a little fishy if you ask me. Poor horse, looks like stall rest and more selling of his breyer models for him.

  6. Oh, my. One more example of how ignorant non-horsemen are to horse behavior.

    Wishing Padre well. He certainly is getting the best of care. Poor boy.

  7. this is heartbreaking BUT the doctors sound hopeful and I have my fingers crossed that beautiful Padre will be "fit and fiddle" in no time. He is a good boy and from the sounds of things, he's going to do everything he can to get well, too.

    As for people who don't THINK when they are doing their job, I have the same feeling about DRIVERS who aren't aware that livestock (which horses are, according to the DMV) have the right of way. Many of these "motor morons" believe that if you can't control your horse on the road, you shouldn't BE on the road, and so they drive fast, honk, and otherwise behave like the part of the horse we have to clean up after. Ahem.

    Do keep us up to date about Padre. As I said at the beginning, this is heartbreaking.

  8. Freaking out the horse to point of injury even after being informed of this and asked politely to refrain until the horses could be moved AND trespassing? Not to mention theft -- cutting a tree without the landowner's permission is theft of property that, depending upon the size, age and species, could be worth tens of thousands of dollars. That's a recipe for a lawsuit if I ever heard one! Hope she sticks it to them. Even more so, hope that poor horse makes a full recovery.


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