A number of days later I was told to take him home where I could continue nursing, though that was easier said than done - it took ages to get him up the horse-box ramp and then when he got up there, he careened into me, crushing my chest and specifically my sternum and rib-cage right up against a thick steel bar. I actually shrieked in pain, though I have no idea where the noise came from, and they guy who was doing the driving went quite white. By the time we'd finished manhandling him into the truck I was sobbing (again) and I couldn't drive home because I was in too much pain. At that moment, I would willingly have sold him for 50p.
Got him home, both of us upset, got him settled, went home. Everyone kept saying I should go to casualty but you know I just couldn't face the 5 hour wait just to be told there was something cracked which they couldn't do anything about; I figured that if it had been anything really catastrophic I wouldn't have been able to breathe, and I WAS still breathing. This was 2 weeks ago and I still have massive bruising and it hurts when I cough or laugh. I had hiccups last night and that wasn't much fun either.
Merlin continues to recover, back to his normal sweet and lovely self, though keeping him quiet and confined was impossible - he has started to go out in his own field - next to the other horses whilst his leg is still in the healing process .
Despite having taken all the precautions I felt I could at the time (I was wearing thick jeans, my steel-toecap boots, my hardhat and my gloves), I still got nailed to the side of the horse-trailer, and that made me realise how often we put ourselves at risk. Merlin is the sweetest horse you could wish for, he can be a bit spirited but never once have I found him mean or nasty.
He was upset, probably in a bit of pain and didn't understand I was taking him home. I should have insisted on his being sedated to minimise the trauma, I know that would have made things easier for him. It has reminded me how much respect I need to have for a large unpredictable animal who weighs more than half a ton (as I well now know) and that I should always, always, expect the unexpected.