So Friday night was a really late night. I didn’t get home until just 4 hours before I was suppose to leave for my roping in Tulsa. So I got in, got some sleep, put in a couple hours of work and then came home and got myself gone to the roping by 8 am.
Just another normal weekend for a calf roper, Right?? NO, Not at all. I arrived Saturday at the roping and was asked to mount a friend that was there. That has never been a big deal before and I have actually taken Coop to the finals just to mount people. This time things did go as planned though.
The Cowboy I mounted backed in the box, went out to do his thing and ended up missing the calf. As he rode back up the arena and dismounted things went wrong. Coop, the horse, started bleeding profusely for her right front leg. I jumped under her and got my hands over it but it wasn’t stopping. At this point I had no idea what had happened or why. All I knew was that my horse was bleeding and I needed to get it stopped.
People around me started to take notice something was going on and some stepped up to try and help. At first all I had was my hands and I had enough pressure to slow the bleeding. But honestly it took both hands and I was stuck there just holding my horse and praying. Some others stepped up and came over to Coop and started with ideas. First, every roper carries baby powder. Nowadays that powder is mostly cornstarch. Cornstarch is a thickening agent so it made sense to us to try and pack her wound with it and then wrap it with Vet wrap. That way her and I could move and we could get her to a vet.
Two guys were already in the process of making calls to find an open vet that would take us but sadly at this point our baby powder plan didn’t work. So one of the old timers said pack it with dirt. Then we put a paper bag over it and then Vet wrapped it again. The Vet wrap just couldn’t hold enough pressure on the wound to do any good so we had some electrical tape and we used that to get it wrapped real good. However, that just slowed the bleeding. We needed some kind of tourniquet or she was going to lose to much blood, so I grabbed a neck rope and tied it off just above the cut.
At this point we had her movable so the guys that were on the phone finding a vet got us loaded and headed that way with directions on my phone. I have to admit my hands looked as though I had red gloves on and I knew Coop had lost a lot of blood and was in trouble. My heart was pounding and I know she knew it. She is so programmed to take care of her team that she never once took a lame step or second guessed anything I was doing to her. Not even when others were under her working with me. So many things could have gone wrong but everything went right starting with her taking care of me. She was calm and just let us do what we had to do.
We got her loaded and to the vet. The Vet then put on a real tourniquet and started by taking off the neck rope one we had made. Then she slowly unwrapped the wound. Wouldn’t you know that us cowboys had done such a great job that the vet had trouble finding the cut. It turned out to be no more then about a half inch long but it was in a very important spot. According to the vet if it had hit her anywhere else we may never have known it even happened.
Once the Vet got the wound cleaned and dressed with a compression bandage she took the time to let me know that what we had done was what needed to happen. In other words us cowboys done good! We loaded her back up and headed back to the arena. The contractor understood what had happened and since I had paid my fees he said if I got back before the round was over he would hold my calf for me. I got back before the round ended so I got to take part and not just pay my fees for nothing.
However, Coop couldn’t compete so I needed a horse to ride. A great guy stepped up and lent me his horse to rope on. So with Coop watching from behind the chutes I ran my calf and made it to the short go. I did a 9.4 to make it to the short go round and a 9.2 in the short round but sadly I didn’t win a dime. I was one out of the round and one out of the average. I got Coop loaded and home about 1:30 am that morning.
Lucky for me Mom had taken the time to clean … and I mean really clean … the barn for Coop. She will be stalled for the next week or so. Two days she will have the bandage on and then another 2 or 3 to make sure the wound doesn’t open back up or bleed internally. After that I will have me Coop back but we will have to take it slow as to make sure she isn’t sore or tight in anyway.