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Pains for my Passion: Don't Underestimate Their Size...

My husband tells me that I need to write this post. I don't know why but I'll give it my best shot. I have several posts in my draft pile that I just can't seem to finish so this is a start.

To catch you up on how the summer has been:

  • Calving completed in June. We have some beautiful calves!

  • State mandated TB testing in July. Every bovine and goat over 1 year old or not born on the farm had to be tested. We almost had to leave all the goats home from the county fair because of this... thankfully we passed the Friday beforehand.

  • My nieces took lambs and my dairy goats to the county fair the end of July. That's a busy week for our family!

  • August rolled around and I decided the last minute to show some of my dairy goats at the Hudsonville Fair. Took home Reserve Toggenburg doe and Reserve Oberhasli doe. Couldn't complain with those results.

  • Life didn't ever really slow down. I didn't really have an opportunity to catch my breath. Fair season finished up and then I rolled right into prepping for the Missouri Dexter Show which is in October.

Fast forward to the past 2 weeks. My body must have decided I needed a break, or should I say break down. For goodness sakes. In the matter of a few hours I went from feeling completely normal and working out in the pasture to running a high fever and unable to function. That was a fun Labor Day weekend that rolled into most of the week. It all has settled into my chest now. Lots of coughing and hacking. Sweet. Work still needed to happen so we had to press on.

Pressing on ment sorting our yearling heifers from the breeding herd to be worked for the show. This past Saturday we got to work. We ended up keeping Eden, Elegance, Electra, and Cinderella back to be prepped for show. The sorting went easy, sure couldn't complain. Moving them into the barn? Easy. I couldn't wait to start work. Cindy and Electra were easy to catch and into the grooming chute they went with not too much fight. Cindy's fight came when going back to the pen. She's a 3yr old cow. She was halter broke as a calf. She needed some reminders. She fought me so hard that she ended up falling to the floor. Battles of wills tend to be my specialty. After that she was as calm as can be.

Silly me couldn't stop there, Eden needed to be caught. However catching her wasn't the hard part. I caught her and put a rope halter on her first. Simple. We got her tied up in the pen and she fought it a little. Not surprising at all so we continued. I wanted to put a chain halter on her instead of the rope halter. They just work better for training purposes, more control. Eden really started to fight and dance around. She started to swing her body so the natural instinct is to get up on the gate to get out of the way. I would never have guessed what would happen next. Typically, they don’t swing their bodies all the way sideways, but this time she did. She crushed me. She smashed me so hard, and I should have never touched my leg. Nope shouldn’t have done it.

~From that point on the night was very blurry for me. Literally. ~

I was still standing on the gate, felt my leg and things went south. It. Was Huge. My Dad came over to look at it when I started to freak out and I couldn’t look. I told them I needed to breathe and sit down. I knew what was coming and it wasn’t going to be fun. I slowly get off the gate while trying to take big deep breaths, but then as I am gimping over to sit I wake up on the ground. I had passed out in the middle of the barn floor in my dad's arms. He had to shake me awake. It was odd: my vision went white and my hearing went away. I had an odd almost out of body experience and didn’t believe him when he told me that I was out. They quickly moved me to the barn stairway to get me to kind of lay down and get my leg up and looked at.

Mom and Dad are talking to me, looking at my leg, and then I head Dad say we need to call Matt. Well Mom ended up texting him that I was crushed and he quickly calls. Matt was on his way to a birthday party with Felicity and was a good 20mins away. Mom gets ice and I suggested that we use some vet wrap to secure it on there with some pressure to help with the instant swelling.

Matt arrives and gets to the barn and Mom takes Felicity. He unwraps the leg and says we're going to the hospital. Wonderful. I am still pretty out of it. Thankfully the ER is a 10 min car ride. I was afraid for the worst. Still not 100% with it the whole way to the hospital and even in the ER. Signing my name was an exercise in futility... but oh well. I was in all of my barn glory: poop covered shoes and jeans. I'm sure the nurses were excited about that. Then having to deal with the doctor husband, we had a couple of things working against us (haha). Long story short-ish: 4 xrays later, no break. A very large hematoma. Thank goodness.

So moral of the story: do NOT underestimate the Dexter. They may be smaller, but they can still pack a punch. Don't think "oh they are small little 'pets'" because that's a recipe for disaster. This wasn't my first rodeo with heifers and cattle, obviously. In the end even the seasoned veterans can find themselves in harms way and this was a good reminder that there is a small amount of danger in what I do. That said, I'll take that risk because it is what I love to do. It truly is my passion and if I have to be a little stressed and get a few bruises it is worth it. I have been semi mobile for the last week. Stayed home from work because the last thing I needed was hogs hitting that hematoma. It was bad enough if Felicity hit it. My leg is a rainbow of colors. Pictures definitely do not do it justice. I am trying my hardest to let myself heal. but darn it patience is hard.

~Until Next Time

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