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Diatribe: Death By Falling Llama.

09/30/2012

Several years ago we bought a quarter horse mare.  She was overweight but beautiful nonetheless with a good temperament and a shiny sorrel coat.  We were confident that we could adjust her diet and exercise routine to get her in top shape.  But, after several weeks under our close care, she didn’t lose any weight.  In fact, she gained weight.  And that’s when our vet informed us that she would be giving us a foal.

We were nervous and excited as we studied everything we could find about caring for newborn horses, as well as the birthing and weaning processes.  On the day that the little baby arrived, we felt completely prepared.  That baby horse was a joy.  She let us put a halter on her head, brush her and pick up her feet on her very first day.

She grew and learned and was weaned with no problems.  She’d walk with the older horses from the barn to the pasture and back as if she’d been doing it for years.  One day, after being cooped up in the barn for several days because of bad weather, she was very excited to be going outside to run and play and she pulled her lead from my hand just as she excitedly lunged forward.

And she kicked me in the jaw.

Hard.

I spun around and fell to the ground, seeing stars like a cartoon character might see if an anvil fell on his head.  My jaw grew swollen and my face, throat and chest soon became horribly bruised.  To this day, I’m not certain that I didn’t have a concussion.  But I lived.

The same cannot be said for Florence Lenehan who was struck by her excited pet llama and consequently died.  The Delaware, Ohio County Sheriff’s Office indicated that former coroner Lenahan apparently had a heart attack as she was being taken to a hospital.  The 74-year-old woman called for help last Tuesday after her llama, named Baby Doll, slipped on wet grass while running to greet her, knocked her down, and caused her to hit her head on concrete.

Like the little filly that kicked me in the head, Lenahan’s llama did not appear to be acting maliciously but was simply excited to see her when the accident occurred.

In hindsight it appears that my injuries could have been much worse.

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6 Comments
  1. Not to be flippant, but “What a way to go!”

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  2. Animals can still be wild… even when domesticated. A good lesson.

    And you probably were touching the horse inappropriately, and so deserved the kick. 🙂

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  3. Reminding myself that any death is always tragic, while still marveling at what an eye grabber of a title you’ve got here with “Death By Falling Llama.” I wonder if life insurance companies have the odds on that happening in their actuarial tables?

    I guess that getting kicked in the head by any horse – even a just little filly, is just no fun at all, as well as very dangerous. When I was a kid, I had a horse standing next to me, shift his leg and stand on my big toe, even though I don’t think he even knew he did it. But I sure did, cause it hurt like hell, and I had a hard time getting that horse to get off my foot, when he wouldn’t move! He wasn’t wearing a bridle and I had to lean hard into his side, until he finally moved his hoof off my foot. The horse was black and the next day, so was the toenail on my big toe. Ouch!

    But it was still nowhere as bad as you getting kicked in the head! I think that if I’m going to have fun with large animals, I’ll continue to play with large dogs instead of horses, and I’ll stay away from those llamas too!

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  4. Rick permalink

    I once fell from a horse & put my leg in the EXACT SPOT in which he wanted to step. Wasn’t supposed to be riding so my brother & our friends kept it VERY QUIET & told no one. I did have a beautiful exact replica of the horse’s hoof print on my leg.

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  5. Wow, I guess i shouldn’t feel so bad about dislocating my shoulder when I tripped over my dog’s toy a years ago!

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