Bad Hair Days

Flipo's Mum

Heavy owner of a Heavy
Aug 17, 2009
Perthshire, Scotland
August 2015 - December 2015 PART TWO OF TWO
Who goes there?!
A month or so later, it was business as usual with September bringing our annual disagreement of when to take down the electric fence and give them the whole field. I resisted, Flipo being an exceptional good doer (like his owner), but with the Arab’s recent drama and having done so in previous years, my mate would pop him over into the longer grass in the morning and I’d bring him back at night.

I got soft and was giving Flipo a couple of fence posts worth of extra green each day, but the Arab was enjoying the good life. I noticed him lying down a bit more and wondered if he was ok, but when I mentioned it to my mate she brushed it off. He’d probably just gorged himself and was a tad drunk, ‘totally fine’.

Until he wasn’t.

Laminitis - Get him off the grass, pad his feet, soak his hay.

Except the Arab has never coped well with incarceration. At a young age he was on boxrest for lameness, attempted to jump the gate, impaled himself between his hind legs with a metal spike and since then, has lived out 24/7/365.

I wasn’t overly keen on stabling either. I had tried muzzling Flipo for our weight issues in the past and when that didn’t work everyone said I should bring him in at night. Not having immediate access to those kind of facilities (we’re set apart from the main yard), I chose to make a pen in the field and would pop him in there later on and my mate would let him out in the morning. Now, instead of Flipo stood forlornly staring at the Arab stuffing his face, he was the one roaming freely while the Arab occupied his pen. We piled in some sand for him to stand comfortably, and while I hadn’t had to electrify it for Flipo, the Arab was most definitely not impressed at the newly imposed restrictions and required a strong current applied to his perimeter.

Usually, I’d be right there along side my mate, helping as much as possible. Unfortunately however, I was now three weeks away from final exams and working full time on top of the study. While I fed what she left out for him, poo picked and checked him at night, I felt awkward not being able to lend a more substantial hand. But if I was uncomfortable with not doing any of the heavy lifting at that point, things were about to get ten times worse.

A couple of weeks later, my dad was rushed to A & E with suspected kidney failure. I had no choice but to leave my mate to tend both horses, I’m just glad Flipo behaved himself and caused no trouble. Around day four of my dad’s hospital stay, I had to nip back to my flat, pick up some clothes and decided to quickly poo pick the field and check the boys. Basically, do what I could to help before disappearing back up to Aberdeen for visiting hours.

I drove down to the field and noticed the Arab was out, grazing quietly beside Flipo at the top of the field….now thinking about it, this was the last time they did so, side by side. I hadn’t spoken to my mate in a couple of days, but I doubted she’d be letting him out of his pen so soon. Something caught my eye and at that point I ran, vaulted the gate and almost gagged. The Arab had done what I later learned, was a degloving of his lower leg. The skin had slipped, I’m sure I could see bone, and within the makeshift padded boots he was wearing, flesh and blood swirled gruesomely.
Sorry for sharing!
Called the vet. On her way. Called my mate. No answer. Stress levels already maxed out with ill dad and impending exams, I’m still impressed at how unseasonably calm I remained.

The vet sedated and stitched, but now he really was going to need boxrest. I had to leave to get to the hospital but calling later, I was advised that he’d been trailered along to the main yard and was now convalescing in a stable.

We’re still not sure how he did it, but we knew he’d been inside the pen and lying down just half an hour or so prior to my arrival (fieldmate’s cousin had driven past on her way to feed her own horses). All we can think is that he rolled to get up, got caught in the charged fence and panicked.

Colic, laminitis, degloving and finally, once discussed with the vet, tested and diagnosed with Cushings. It still begs belief to look back at the catalogue of tragedy that befell that poor horse from August until October. He now required limited movement so that the injury could knit together and meanwhile Flipo, neglected in his field, reluctantly made friends with a loopy mare next door by the name of Pixie, but every now and then we would hack past the stables and the Arab would shout for him. It was heartbreaking.

Glimpsing his stabled pal
In the darkest of December, following countless vet visits to clean and dress the wound, the Arab’s injury looked like it was finally starting to heal. But sadly, her best efforts to manage multiple bouts of laminitis while only on soaked hay and Prascend, resulted in the most difficult decision a horse owner can ever face. We have often talked since and can't help but think it could have been better if he had passed that day back in August, saving him the pain of the following few months, but who could have predicted it. We always have to hope.

On the day he left us, the Arab whinnied from the yard and Flipo answered. I have always regretted not having let Flip see his buddy one last time, but at the end of the day I still had my boy, and my heart went out to my mate for the loss of hers.

Rest in peace Shujaa. You were a good un.

Last edited:


Well-Known Member
Nov 11, 2018
How truly awful. So sorry you, your friend and her poor horse had to go through that. Just heart breaking. Our only comfort, which I keep telling myself since I let Ramsey go, is that there's no more pain, and they leave us with our love. On a happier note, Flipo is gorgeous.


Well-Known Member
Apr 25, 2003
so so sad, you start a treatment hopefully and then it ends like this. I remember the months of nursing Sasa all for nothing and how brave she was.
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