I feel very sorry for this horse

Ow, not the tail, Not the tail!

Vets from the Hospital Veterinario Sierra de Madrid for horses in Madrid prepare one of their patients for surgery. (AFP/Pedro Armestre)
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13 Responses:

  1. belgand says:

    Damn, all I can think of is that Catherine the Great myth. Perhaps the trick is that the horse shouldn't be on top.

  2. tokkan says:

    Unfortunately, if I remember right, that's the only way a horse can have surgery though. Because horses by nature don't lie down at all (The whole sleeping up thing? Yeah.), and if you need to operate on any organs, they need to be chest up.

    Doesn't change the fact that that vet is using the tail as a way to move the horse around, though...>_>;

    • ambar says:

      Horses can sleep lying down as well as standing up, and they do -- I often see mine lying flat on their sides in the pasture, basking in the sun. However, it's awkward for them to get up, so they only do that when they feel really safe. (A horse who lets you approach him while he's lying down either trusts you quite a bit, or is ill.)

      • tokkan says:

        Ah, my mistake. I guess that just means that the rider I know just doesn't have horses that trust them at all... ^^;

    • unabomber says:

      He isn't pulling the horse by his tail - he's also pulling the overhead winch by its wired control. He's just "steering" with the tail. Sure beats sticking your hand in its ass or something.

      And horses sleep on their side, but if they are opening this guy up from stem to stern or something, they can't do the surgery from the side.

      I remember reading a story about surgery on a blocked horse in alt.tasteless about ten years ago from a horse owner. (Can't find it on google, but I think I have it archived somewhere if you want a copy.) The things that stuck with me are that the floor of the OR looked more like a garage floor with huge drains to hose things out, and that when they stitched everything up, they used wire with really wide spacing.

      Anyway, google on "horse surgery" or "horse colic blockage" if you're not eating at the computer and check it out.

      -J

  3. baconmonkey says:

    Why does this make me think of This sunday?

  4. lanikei says:

    horses can sleep on their sides, but they often can't lay on their stomachs for long. they weigh so much and have (i guess) so little bone structure on their stomachs that they will crush their own organs if they're down for very long. that's why they have slings for sick horses that will keep them standing up by supporting all their weight. imagine a horse hanging the opposite way, with feet to the floor instead.
    but also, you can pull a horse's tail pretty hard before it gives a damn.

    • equiraptor says:

      "you can pull a horse's tail pretty hard before it gives a damn."

      That depends on the horse and whether it's conscious or not. You can pull pretty hard before it actually causes any pain, though. Some horses are just picky. :)

  5. mhagler says:

    Is today your post-pictures-of-hanging-stuff theme day?

  6. hypocrite33 says:

    as long as the animal is properly sedated, it can't feel anything. However, it may still be damaged if they drop it!

  7. Could that be what a "horse rotorvator" is? I was wondering about that...