A horse who stood on a three-inch nail while out hacking has made a full recovery.

Lucy Higgins and her mare Indiana were 59 miles off the finish line during their #Hack1000Miles challenge when the mare suddenly went horribly lame.

Lucy with Indiana and Billy. Photo credit: Lucy Higgins

“I suddenly felt her movement change as we were trotting,” said Lucy.

“When I dismounted, I saw that she wasn’t fully weight-bearing on her left hind. When I picked up that hoof, I was horrified to see that she had a three-inch nail stuck in her foot.”

Veterinary advice for finding a nail or foreign object embedded in the hoof is to call for veterinary assistance first, rather than pulling it out — if safe to do so. This means the vet can see exactly where the wound entry is and determine the depth of the wound.

However, in Indiana’s case, she was away from home and needed to walk back to the yard, so leaving the nail in situ was not an option.

“Luckily my mum was with me and we were able to pull the nail out with pliers,” said Lucy. “We were expecting something small — not three inches long!”

Lucy’s vet visited and prescribed pain relief, while regular poulticing of the hoof helped Indiana make a full recovery.

“It was traumatic seeing her in pain, as I’ve owned her since she was weaned, but fortunately after treatment she was sound and very happy to go back out in her field,” said Lucy.

‘Something to focus on’

Lucy went on to complete her #Hack1000Miles journey with her other horse, Billy.

“Between Indiana and Billy I spent over 300 hours in the saddle and we did 85 rides,” said Lucy.

“Indiana covered over 540 miles and Billy did over 460.

“We finished the challenge in 57 weeks on a total of 1,001 miles.

“Hack 1000 Miles really gave me something to focus on, especially during lockdown, and has got me riding more than I’ve done in a long time.”

Lucy raised more than £900 for Strathcarron Hospice in the process.

“My Papa passed away in the hospice 13 years ago after battling cancer,” she said. “I felt very emotional as I finished the challenge with him in my thoughts.”

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