Saturday, March 12, 2011

The Full Equine Vet Clinic Experience

Everyone who's been reading my blog lately knows how I've been fretting over trailering my three horses to the vet equine clinic at the Fairgrounds. I'm not afraid of my horses. I'm afraid of disaster striking us and having to lose more money while I'm unemployed. I didn't want any accidents, and you know that accidents are bound to happen when to trailer two of the spookiest horses on earth to a strange place with tons of activity.

Our first appointment was at 11:15 AM, so I walked outside at 10:15 AM to give myself plenty of time to get the leg wraps on and lunge each horse before asking them to go into the trailer. I stepped outside to see a bunch of vehicles in my neighbor's lot, and sure enough, as soon as I caught a horse, everyone piled out of the house next door and started playing ball. The ball hit my fence a few times making a bang and a rattle while I was under my horse's legs.

I had fed all three of them Calm and Cool and it seemed to have an effect. They stood quietly despite the commotion going on next door with a kid running around yelling, a ball flying through the air, lots of voices conversing, engines starting up and trucks driving off.

Both Gabbrielle and Bombay went right into the trailer. I had trotted Bombay around with his leg wraps on to make sure they wouldn't slip and open up any place of bare skin where he could kick and cut himself. When we reached the Fairgrounds, his legs were intact, but he did scratch his face. So, he still panics in the trailer, but I didn't have to pay for stitches. I think I need to invent a face mask for horses though. A helmet alone won't do it for Bombay.

We stood in line and were surrounded by draft horses. I had to go register at the table, so my husband had to handle both horses by himself. A Sheriff's Posse member spotted my husband having trouble and held Gabbrielle until I got back. The horses weren't behaving badly. They were just excited and dancing around, causing their lead ropes to get tangled.

Then a bunch of donkeys and mules showed up. One donkey kept braying so loud that the horses were running to try to get away from it. It was quite an intimidating sound. The Sheriff's Posse lady told me to turn Gabbrielle around so that she's facing the donkey. I did, and right then two people walked their horses directly behind Gabbrielle, bumped her in the butt, startling her, and she spun back the other way. My arm was beginning to hurt trying to keep control of Gabbrielle, and I thought, "At least we are next in line."

Right then one of the vets got an emergency call and had to race off, so now we were down to three vets. I was like, "Shoot! All these well-behaved, sleepy draft horses, and the vet has to leave right when it is the spooky Arabs' turns."

When we got served, Bombay did really well, except that he refused to open his mouth for the teeth float, so the vet gave him a second sedative. My husband and I warned him that the last time we brought Bombay to one of these clinics we had to practically carry him out, because they over-sedated him with four shots.

Gabbrielle took her 6-way vaccination just fine, but when they tried to give her a sedative, she pulled back and reared up multiple times. Gabbrielle was running backwards with three of us trying to stop her. The vet said, "That's why your horses need four sedatives!"

Despite our differences on the subject, he did respect our request not to over-sedate and found that he was able to easily float Gabbrielle's teeth with just one shot.

We kept running into my boss from my volunteer job, because she had a horse for sale at the clinic. I got all excited to find out that she owns horses and asked her where she rides, because I was hoping to finally have a riding partner, but it turns out that she lives in a rural community that's pretty far away from where I live. Her yard backs right up to BLM land, so she can just ride off into the sunset. She said she moved there specifically for that reason. She doesn't want to have to trailer a horse somewhere to ride.

There were people on ATVs and motorcycles riding around the horses, which is my pet peeve because not all horses live on farms where they've been exposed to such metal beasts that make strange gurgling noises, but quite truthfully, there was so much going on that the horses didn't pay any attention to those vehicles.

They had a used tack sale and were raffling off a bunch of prizes. We put one ticket in a drawing for an equine first aid kit, and a more expensive ticket in a bag for a ton of hay.

As we were leaving, the donkey was still braying, and my husband said he feels sorry for the poor guy who has to live next door to that. We came back for a 1:30 PM appointment with Lostine and got the same vet. My husband asked him if he had the pleasure of treating that braying donkey. The vet said, "No, but I know that donkey. He lives two doors down from me."

We burst out laughing. My husband and the vet got talking about our son participating in pole vaulting for the high school varsity team, and the vet said he'll keep an eye out for our son's name in the sports section of the paper.

When the vet finished with Lostine and started treating some other horses, it suddenly hit me that I only saw him give Lostine the sedative. I ran back and asked if he ever gave her the 6-way vaccination. He said his assistant gave it to her. His assistant turned around and said, "I wasn't even here while you were treating her horse."

It was true. I played the role of the vet's assistant while she was out to lunch, and I know I didn't give Lostine her shot. So, he gave it to her really quick and said, "Good catch!"

We got home right when our son got home from his first track meet of the season and found out that he won first place! So, it was a good day all around. Sorry no pictures. Our hands were kind of full.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Well at least it's over and there were no major catastrophes. Congratulations to your son too.

Mikey said...

Awesome for your son! And you too, you made it thru this day!!

Dreaming said...

Oh, I am so glad that it all went well. I know that you were very worried about it. You commented about the noise from neighbors this morning, but the horses were OK with it...don't they ever get used to it?
I laughed when you talked about the draft horses....yup, I love my guys who are often very cool, calm and collected - certainly not Arab-like in behavior at all! Our neighbor has had several very high-spirited Arabs and I don't envy him at all - although, I will admit, and Arab will win a beauty contest over a drafty guy. But, that's OK with me!

Nuzzling Muzzles said...

I forgot to mention that each time Gabbrielle spooked and jumped, I spooked and jumped. This lady gave me a funny look and said, "It takes a special person to handle an Arab." It was a backwards compliment. She wasn't saying I was special. She was saying that I wasn't doing a very good job handling my Arab.

fernvalley01 said...

Taht sounds like one helluva day! We do our own shots , and luckily our vet comes here.My horses trailer well and are usually more like the drafts you talked about , but ,Donkeys , lots of horse and ATVs all in the mix?? I would be spooky let alone my horse!Glad you got through it and had the presense of mind to make sure Lostine got her shot too! ANd congrats to your son!

Rising Rainbow said...

Sounds like you made it through without any major wrecks. That's very cool!

achieve1dream said...

Whew! Must be a relief to have that over with. I'm glad everything went well and you're done for the year. Good job! Oh and I think you're a great Arab owner. :) Ignore the rude people.

Crystal said...

Wow that sounds like chaos!! We also give our own shots but we do trailer to the clinic for teeth floats once a year.

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

I think you did an awesome job. Handling just one horse at one of those types of clinics is insanity! And you had three. You rock, in my book!

And hooray for Colt. Awesome win!


baystatebrumby said...

My goodness, it sounds like you really did have your hands full. But you did it! Success! YEAY