Jimmy Dean: An accident with benefits

Jimmy Dean was standing calmly at the hitching post on the morning of August 29, waiting for his feed while farrier Jim Keip was trimming Cody and the usual Saturday morning bustle was going on at ‘Oak Mountain’, when something scared him awfully. He pulled back at his halter, panicked, tried to rear and got his front feet caught on the hitching post while his hind feet slipped from under him. He landed on his right hind. After the worst scary moment was over, he seemed OK, in spite of lightly swollen and bruised hocks. The next few days he had a grapefruit sized hematoma on his right hind which was closely monitored and cold hosed. [A hematoma, from Dorland’s Illustrated Medical Dictionary, is defined as “a tumor containing effused blood” (tumor meaning a benign swelling or mass). Hematomas usually result from bleeding within the body which, as the blood clots, the swelling or hematoma results. Most hematomas are just an indicator of prior hemorrhage and do not need treatment. However, there are other types that indicate severe hemorrhage…(TheHorse.com)]

Jimmy Dean's hematoma
Jimmy Dean's hematoma

One week later Jimmy Dean’s hematoma had swollen to watermelon size. It was a scary situation and Jimmy – now confined alone in the barn – started wondering why these things always seemed to happen to him. Why can’t things for once go smoothly and uneventful, Jimmy Dean thought. All the other horses were outside frolicking in the pasture and even his best friend Yankee now had a new playmate, a mare named Athena.

Coldhosing the Hematoma
Coldhosing the Hematoma

Doctor Ketover recommended continued confinement and cold-hosing for 30-45 days. Jimmy Dean couldn’t believe his ears. This would be really, really boring. Stefanie came out every day and cold hosed his hematoma. This felt pretty good and the swelling went down a bit, but she kept calling him ‘Mr. Bumpy Butt’, he didn’t really care for that. Stefanie bought Jimmy Dean a toy, a light blue horse ball, which disappeared mysteriously within only 24 hours. Jimmy Dean thought it was a rather silly looking thing, like a big pacifier. All I want is out of here!!!

Yesterday, after over a month of cold hosing, confinement and controlled walking the ‘bump’ finally seemed to have shrunk very noticeably. There was even talk of maybe being able to go back into the pasture soon. Yeah!

Now that it’s almost over, this time of confinement and boredom, Jimmy Dean is starting to think about it a little differently. Actually, it wasn’t all that bad. Everyone was so concerned about him. People stopped in the barn to pet him and say kind words to him, give him hay or water or carrots.

Stefanie brought him out every day and tied him next to Yankee, his best buddy. Even Yankee seemed real concerned and nuzzled him a lot, displaying his affection and empathy. Yankee helped keep Jimmy Dean steady when at first he did not want to stand still for the

Hematoma, 3 weeks later
Hematoma, 3 weeks later

cold hosing and was there every time Stefanie got Jimmy Dean out. A real friend in need. Lots of different people kept looking at his hind end, which was a little bit embarrassing. And Stefanie used the time to practice being nice and patient about volunteering the feet when picking hooves, learning to tolerate the scary feeling of being tied up and possibly getting a rope caught over your poll.

Jimmy Dean really bonded with Yank and Stefanie during that time, several people learned a lot about hematomas and Jimmy Dean learned that it’s not that scary to be tied. So in the end it was an accident with benefits. But still, Jimmy Dean will be glad when it’s over and he can jump about the pasture with Yankee again.

Yankee keeping JD company
Yankee keeping JD company
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