Trip planning time! We are headed to Spirit Horse Escape just outside Custer, SD in a couple of weeks, so that means health certificate and coggins for the horses. Timing worked out nicely since I needed to have Estes’ and Washoe’s teeth floated before turning them out for the winter. Doc showed up this afternoon during one of our “sunshine and snow” spells to do all the dirty deeds. I had all four horses tied to the rail and groomed.
Who’s first? Estes was the absolute must-do, so we started with her. She stood like trooper to get her teeth done – OK, she was doped up with a light sedative. She walked like a drunken sailor as I took her back to her pen.
Washoe was next, since the equipment was already set up. He also had blood drawn for his coggins, but he’s such a good patient, he didn’t even notice the poke – either for the blood draw or for the sedative. He just needed a little filing and off to the pen with him. I tried to lead him over near Estes so they could commiserate together, but he promptly wandered to the feeder and fell asleep against it!
Now for the two hard ones. Neither Jesse nor Ranger is particularly friendly with vets. Ranger just doesn’t like very many people too close to him, and Jesse has extremely tough skin and tight neck muscles, making taking blood draws quite painful for her. Last spring, Ranger had done very well getting his shots, so he went next. OK, maybe getting blood drawn is a little different than a quick shot. Bill said it was a small rodeo (I was inside the Lodge with other people), with he, Doc and Doc’s dad dodging both ends. Apparently, Ranger has an issue with sharp, pokey things, but it got done.
In the mean time, Jesse had been working herself up a bit at the rail, watching Ranger’s antics. I figured we would have a real fight on our hands, so I packed my pockets with horse treats to sooth her nerves, as did Doc’s dad. I walked her over to the spot and handed her to “dad”. He got a good grip on her halter with one hand and a treat ready in the other. When Doc felt her neck for the vein, she stuck her nose in the air and froze. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. She actually stood perfectly still while Doc had to try twice to find a vein. He drew the blood quickly and she got a whole handful of treats, then she literally pranced all the way back to the corral. She wasn’t pulling on the lead, but she was certainly “bouncy”! She stood still for me to remove the halter, but when I said “Go”, she took off like a shot with heels in the air. She had been still for as long as she could! Bill said it was funny watching me walk the two mares across the road: one leaning on me, stumbling like a drunk, and the other couldn’t keep her feet on the ground.
When I checked them later, Estes was eating like she had never seen hay before. Both horses had come out from under the sedative with no problem and everyone was happy again. The horses are ready for vacation.
(forgot to sign it again)