Thursday, May 5, 2011

Vet day

"How on earth do you get your horse trailer out that drive?" the chirpy blond vet greeted me as she hoped out of her Ute in front of the barn.

Our driveway is a conversation starter that's for sure, usually the first thing anyone comments on when they first arrive at the farm, and today was no exception. The driveway in question is a little bit rough to say the least, last weekends massive rain, have deteriorated it further. We have a little creek crossing that you have to drive through followed by a windy uphill stretch squeezed between overhanging trees, with steep drop offs on each side. It really does have its challenges. First timers to the farm, usually chicken out at the creek and come the rest of the way by foot. So full credit to the vet for braving the drive.

Today was the big vet day, the foals were all getting there first vaccination and general health checks. The wild stallion, Matai, was getting his first horsey health check and jabs as well. Big day, and a good check to see just how well behaved all my horses really are. Vets with there poking, prodding, stethoscopes and needles, are good at bringing out any little loopholes you'd missed in your horses training.

We have three foals this year, Sonny, wild Ferns baby. Satisfaction, a little sport horse colt, the youngest of the three, and last of all Hope, another sporthorse filly, that is also the sister to the beautiful Viva, that i lost last year. I had all the mares, tied and lined up in the afternoon sun, the foals just roaming, and causing mischief as they do, when the vet drove up.

A new vet, which I'm always a bit suspicious of at first,but got thumbs up in my book. Satisfaction, dozing in the sun nearest her car, was first. Little Satty, is the quietest and also the best looking of the three babies, hes like a big fluffy teddy bear. We joke that he is all beauty but no brains. The Vet walked up, looked in his mouth,listened to his heart, guts, and he just stood there, enjoying all the attention, a quick jab and he was all done. Defiantly the easiest of the lot. Next was Hope, she again just stood there, although i did put a halter on her, as shes had a few jabs before. She then hung around like a bad smell, trying to get the vet to itch her bum, as the vet was administering the next horse. Hope is defiantly the long legged diva of the bunch, walking off in a sulk when she was ignored.

Sonny is a big big boy, solid, and the oldest of the three babies, he's far more developed. He is now at the stage where he is leaving his baby days behind, and instead tries to put on a brave face, even though he is the shyest of the three, and the least comfortable around strangers. Haltering him, he stood there, very still, eyes wide, but determined to be brave, as the vet and I, leaned over him chatting away. He kept an eye on his mother who was standing near by, as if to check that she was still OK and that he was doing the right thing. "god his little heart beating a million miles an hour" exclaimed the vet, i knew it was just that he was a little nervous, but the vet fooled by his good behaviour, checked Fern, his mother to see what her heart was doing. She was normal, and happy enough to be checked out. After Sonny, getting a thorough check, she was satisfied.

Next was the jab, and that did cause him to do a little jump, meaning a second attempt had to be made, he stood there very wide eyed and tense, while the vet to her credit, did a great job of desensitizing him and rubbing him, so the second time he just stood there and accepted the injection. Poor boy he did have the sweetest most concerned expression on his face, but got lots of scratches and exclamation over his bravery.

" Oh yea this is my very wild stallion" i said as the vet came out into the paddock, where i was standing, with my arms around Matai's neck. "haha yea i can tell, he looks pretty wild" vet replied. Said stallion was just standing dozing in the sun. As i slid the halter on, the vet checked him over. Looking at his teeth, we discussed his history, how he came from the wild, his age and his general temperament. She was impressed, commenting on his wonderful nature, and by his teeth confirming my estimate that he was about four years old.

"well he's a picture of good health now, and that temperament of his, is just amazing. You've done some pretty good work with that one." vet mentioned as we left the paddock.

Awesome. That is compliment enough. Healthy and well behaved happy horses, i must be doing something right.