Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

At the barn #9 - No good deed goes unpunished

This afternoon was spent helping hold horses for vaccinations. While we don't have a local equine vet, our small animal vet is kind enough to do vaccinations, coggins and fecals. He only comes to our island every other month, so you don't want to miss his visit. To add to the urgency, there have been several cases of rhino nearby in the last week.

What I imagined would be an hour tops, burned up the whole afternoon. Val's shot was done before he knew it - he's such a mellow guy :) And my other charge Honey Bee was good as gold - five minutes and we were done.

Our neighbor Cowboy was a different story however. I held him for the dentist last week, and I guess he might have remembered that it was not such a pleasant experience. Two shots of Rompin (sp?) didn't really take the edge off and he whacked the dentist in the face with his head. The dentist retaliated in a forceful way and I was caught in the cross fire. I asked him if he thought that Cowboy would remember that lesson considering how doped up he was?! Far be it from me to judge. If I made my living handling horses I might feel differently...

Anyhow, we struggled to vaccinate Cowboy safely. I had to hold him (while several times removing needles from his neck) as he reared and bounced away from the vet. Eventually we succeeded. I feel strongly that it is the owners responsibility to have their horse behave for the farrier, vet and dentist as well as load. Did I mention Cowboy is a problem loader?


  1. I'm with you. I believe all horses should be taught manners and be easy to handle. Then again I sometimes don't blame the horse after seeing how some 'professionals' actually treat them. We recently had spring shots and the dentist in and had no problem with our herd of eight. But there is one certain vet that one of our horses does not like at all and he can act up for her. So I wonder if it reflects on who's handling them sometimes that sets them off. Sounds like your charges were very good though.

  2. I wonder too what about effect of the handler being in a hurry / impatient... my trainer always says you should convey to the horse that you have all day to wait for them to relax, behave etc.

    Thinking back on my beach ride last week, I rushed tacking up and mounting because I felt pressure about my riding companion having to wait for us to cool out. Val wasn't fully relaxed when we started the ride.

    Cowboy wasn't at all relaxed when the vet began trying to stick him either. It's funny - my Grandma used to say "The hurrier I go, the behinder I get." Very true with horses.


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