Danger with mane knots

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vickie gee

Well-Known Member
May 29, 2008
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Just wanted to get this posted because I would hate for any mini or mini owner to go through what happened here recently. Little shorty Elvis got a front hoof tangled up in Memphis' mane. The three rowdy boys stay in my neighbor's pasture which is one drive way down with another pasture (cows) separating our properties. The neighbor was headed to work and saw Elvis lying down at Memphis' feet with buddy Newt standing there as well. She knew it was odd as Elvis and Newt stick together like peanut butter and jelly while Memphis is more the loner. She walked out there and saw that it was baaaaaaaaad and stopped in to alert me. I threw on clothes and grabbed my small sharp German made kitchen knife and ran. She said Memphis was stomping Elvis. I got them calm and was able to cut through the mess of hair quickly. Both were physically exhausted and Newt stressed as well. Elvis stayed on the ground a few minutes. I thought he would die any second. He managed to get up and hobble around on three legs. He went over to a corner of the pasture and layed down. He was shivering badly. I ran home and got a sleeping bag to cover him up with and called my husband to come home from work and hook up the trailer and bring it over. Meanwhile Elvis drank water while lying there. I layed down beside him and loved on him. I felt so bad. He stood a few times but kept going back down. I gave him liquid banamine although part of it drooled out. All I could do was cry, pray, apologize, and comfort him. Getting him in the trailer was a struggle. We were not sure had badly the leg was injured or how much his body was injured by being dragged and stomped. The ground showed obvious signs of the struggle and we don't know if they were entangled for minutes or hours. We finally got him into the trailer with a lift the neighbor uses to pick up her lawnmower! Love her. It was the little guy's first time in a trailer, bless him. The vet had said to stall him there since he was out on calls. Elvis was already putting some weight on the leg when we unloaded him. Yay! Then he became curious and started munching grass on the walk to the penned up area. Yay again. Doc called that evening and said he could not find a thing wrong with him. Hallelujah. We let him stay the night there and picked him up the next afternoon. I have been keeping him in a corral here just in case of soreness although he is showing no sign of it.

We got lucky. It could have been tragic. Memphis has a very thick and long mane. He has been impossible to catch due to the freedom he has over there. He will follow me and let me pet him but forget haltering him. I think he associates it with wormers. He will fight tooth and nail to avoid them. So I had not been able to work on that mess of a mane. I knew it was dangerous that he might get it caught in a fence. Now I know it presented another danger. There is no pen over there to corral him in so he is able to avoid the halter now by pretending to be the gingerbread man. And run run he can! Yesterday I took the trailer back over and finally got him in by putting a dish with apple slices in there. My little trailer has a chute upfront that I closed him up in. Besides the chopped out area in the mane he still had yet another bad knot. Got him untangled and shortened it. He actually liked the brushing and attention that he got in his beauty shop session.

Newt is so ready for his bubby to come back. I just wanted to pass this on because I don't want anyone else to go through this. Reprimands I deserve. I deserve it as I should have never allowed Memphis' mane to be in the mess it was.​
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Don't be too hard on yourself. Horses (all sizes) can find some of the darndest ways to get them selves in trouble and we just cant forsee every eventuality no matter how hard we try. I'm glad to hear everyone is going to okay in spite of this stressful event.
Don't be hard on yourself at all, horses will be horses. It must have been so scary for you though. I am glad he is doing okay
Glad to hear they are all ok, as others mentioned, horses will be horses. If there is any trouble around , they will be able to find it

Dont be hard on yourself after such a worrying event.

Keep us posted on his recovery progress
Glad he is recovering and doing well.

As long as you brought this up... Now is a good time to mention, don't forget to get the wind knots out of mares' manes before foaling, it can trap a foal's leg with their antics and they sometimes don't have as good of an outcome as Elvis did.
The reminder is always a good one and thank you.

I'm thankful that everything is OK and that he is healing!!
I am so glad everyone is ok. I have never had one get caught up in a knot...but I did have one foal get caught in his dam's mane after a student left a running braid in. I feel your pain, as it was a terrifying moment. Do not be too hard on yourself about it, as it could happen to anyone and it is very difficult to groom ponies who do not like to be caught.
I had a mare last summer put her hind hoof through a wind knot and get stuck! I found her standing way back in the field and called her in for dinner, but she didn't come, but whinnied to me. I went out to see and found her stuck. She must have been there a while, she was shaking and very sore. I put her in a stall and she just wanted to lie down. By morning she was fine, though.

I hogged her mane right down. And she'll stay short forever now....

He should be fine. :D
Thank you all for the kind words. My big bottle of Cowboy Magic will surely be used more often in the future.
I found that a cap full of Avon Skin So Soft original bath oil mixed with the fly spray bottle helped immensely with reducing mane and tail knots in my pasture horses. Some of my horses do not get groomed every day, and they often sport some crazy hairdos. I found this to help inbetween groomings.
OMG how scary! I'm so glad the poor guy was found in time. Whew!

I find that the horses with long silky manes do that the worst. Ugh. I find that if I cut the mane along the bottoms in a blunt cut, they don't whip up and knot so badly.

Scary stuff! Thanks for the warning & reminder!
This is the same for braids. Any time I see a horse loose in the pasture or paddock with braids in its mane I want to shake the owner. Ever see a horse that has lost a chunk of skin because the braid has gotten caught and the horse jerked to get free? Isn't pretty. Or getting a hind food caught in it while scratching.
Or a foal getting caught in it's dam's halter and being dragged to death. Or leaving halters on horses ANY time! Many deaths caused by that.

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