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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Saturday morning as I was sitting drinking my second cup of coffee my text message dings on the phone.  I picked it up and ... it read ... shipper canceled?

This tiny message was enough to set me off!  I texted back, ... come with and well do it today!
It took 30 seconds for the phone to ring.

The person on the other end didn't know what to say... it was a ... Let's talk about it moment.  I was done!   The owner expecting the horse had to be "done" and everyone was on pins and needles trying to figure out the issues with delivery. 

I have a tiny trailer, a little truck, and I had the weekend to do it! I just require when I haul a horse the owner be with me so they know I'm doing what I can, when I can ... and if an emergency occurred it wasn't second hand message from a stranger.

Lets do it tomorrow?
Can you do it during the week?
You take care of the gas / diesel and lets just DO IT!

I knew I couldn't do it Sunday... and my week is scheduled to the minute... So I had to get it done if I was going to be the one doing it.   I hated to rush it all but... the issue had drawn on long enough and things get no better when dealing with an animal, do it or not animals feel the tension of non committal decision through any human around them.

Mike was already scheduled to help me start the gravely.. he showed promptly at 9:30 as asked.  We got the thing back together, but never got it started... I threw in the towel at 11am ... I knew I was never going to get it started, get it to the pasture, and know Mike was safe by noon.  So I paid Mike for his time, asked him to take care of the kids (my horses) while I was gone, and went to get my stuff together!

My trailer stays packed with emergency supplies  I only recently took out my bag of feed I normally keep in it. ( I rotate my feed bags to keep it all fresh) I some how am missing my broom and muck rake, but I will soon be replacing them.. thanks to people in this story!

We rushed... we got it all in the truck... I left my Motrin on the counter with the trailer keys? no real issue, but I hated that I left my barn lantern as well.  That was a big one!

We were leaving late... it is a 6 hour drive in a car ... with a horse that would be an 8 hour drive EASILY ... but once we got to the barn... I knew this was going to be... ? more than they expected.

No real issues...
BUT please if you are a parent! Understand ... Safety comes first! and your child should NEVER be in a trailer with a horse, any horse... I don't care if that horse is 40 years old (not really) bomb proof, and been a perfect gentleman all his life... things happen and in a trailer someone will get killed!

The horse was an easy load, but not a safe load... there is a difference.
An easy load is just a horse that will get on.
This horse was hesitant, but 15 feet back with a little visual pressure is all she needed.  No issue!
But the previous own had gone in the trailer with her and that worried me, as I never do that and I LOVE my kids, trust my kids, and think it would be no real big deal BUT IT IS!!!!!!

The first training I ever got for SweetPea was trailer loading!  I was NOT going to have a horse that would not load themselves on the trailer without it being a safety issue for her or me!   Get a professional to do it! but DO IT! is my point!

A five year old should be able to load your horse if it is a safe load! Keep that in mind with judging what I am saying!

She was a easy load!
She was VERY aware of her surroundings and as we drove off her heard was upset at her leaving! No out cries but racing the fence and following the trailer was the action of the herd.  They could not have cared less when we drove in.

Pretty horse, we put shipping boots on her... she started to get hot after we got out of the mountains, not too hot, just she was working more than she needed to, to stay still in the trailer.  She wasn't sure about using the bumper pads to lean on at first.  She never ate or drank so we had to stop and hand feed her.  We got her started with a small piece of apple and a horse cookie that was larger than the fruit piece.  Then I dunked hay and fed it to her little by little.  She would not get her back end off the butt bar our first top.  She ate more the second stop, Started eating out of the hay back the third and by the forth stop she was eating as if we had starved her intentionally.  

We had to stop because of her being hot, not drinking, and barely eating... The boots came off! As we noticed she never even moved her feet! She was frozen in a wide stance,so there was no worry of a cornet band bruise from the haul and she needed less to be cooler and more comfortable.

We did have to get her out, she had not pooped in 5 hours. We were lucky enough to find a hidden area perfect for noise protection, very little car activity, and nice grass for us to run around in.  We ran in circles, she did some lunging, and finally a little poop made me SO happy I can not tell you how much.

Life was better thanks to horse poop... if you are new to horses this is now your life!

The new owner spooked the horse by accident.  It wasn't the owner! It was the ride that had put the horse on edge.  I had seen for myself only hours earlier the previous owner shaking a black plastic trash bag out right in front of the horse and she barely flinched.  You never know what a spooked horse is going to do... My worry was safety for the owner... I yelled for her to get out of the dressing room in case the horse reared in my extra tall trailer and caught the dressing room window with her front leg.  NONE of this happened but it is ALWAYS a possibility.  I had actually asked earlier than the new owner stand only at the empty side emergency door of the trailer before we got there, BUT life never goes as planned and she did NOTHING wrong.  I just knew this horse was going to be wired when we arrived and ? she was...

Once we got her out of the trailer the horse was fine! A comical snort every few minutes but still no more poop.  ? A few whinnies... cries of help and hello to the new brother and sisters but nothing out of control. 

We delivered the horse safe, but still no more poop, running walking, walk, trot, no canter as I can't go that fast... please????

At midnight I had to draw the line... the horse had been delivered safe, but I wasn't positive on how she was going to settle, poop, eat, drink etc... She started eating as soon as we put her in the stall, it was wet hay from the ride on top of dry hay ( so that would help a little) on her freshly swept padded floor.

We left ... HE drove us back to NC... I was spent, I was WAY past my bed time, and way past driving anytime soon.  He was pumped on how happy his little girl was, how well we got the horse there, and how wildly unexpected but perfectly emotional it was for everyone. 

My life revolves around horses...
While I do not remember getting my first pony.I was barely three.. I will be forever heart broken from the day I had to see him leave.  I remember that second horse, third, and so on... There has never been a horse in my midst that I didn't have a print on my heart from them being in my pasture.

To this day smelling of my horses is enough to calm my fears, wash away a bad day, and allow me to dream of a life so easily communicated as theirs.  Horses bring out who you are.  Watch how you treat your horses, how they treat you, and how the world respond to that same emotion. 

My thanks to the family that owns this beautiful TB Mare!
My thanks to the entire family that allowed me to share in a first horse event!

Their gratitute was passionate
Their emotions ran thick and bright in a night that exected to be dark.

I enjoyed the care package on the way back, and tonight!
I enjoy my painting at my desk each day as I type!
I have your cards and letters hanging on my board!

Thank YOU all for sharing such love with me!

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