Saturday, January 26, 2008

Two Down, One to Go

Boo and Shane finally left today. They were supposed to leave a few days ago, but the shipper got delayed, so today was the big day. Boo did not want to load up into that trailer at all, and when a horse weighs 1,600 lbs. and doesn't want to go somewhere, it can be a trick to make her do it.

Given the choice, I would have given her more time. I would have sat on the end of the trailer and let her relax about it, but the shipper took charge of her and tried to load her himself without even giving me the chance to ask her.

He was okay with her---not mean or abusive or anything at all like that---but he had more of the "traditional" handling methods rather than the natural horsemanship ones. He tried to rush her a little, and she got flustered and anxious, which led to her getting resistive and defiant.

We had such a hard time loading her that we finally tried loading Shane instead. He'd never been on a trailer before, so we had no idea how that would go. He didn't really want to go on, but with enough encouragement he finally did.

By that time, Boo had had a chance to calm down a bit, and with her buddy Shane already on the trailer, she was a little more willing to consider getting in herself. It took a bit more effort, but finally she loaded up.

So now they're gone on their way to their new home in Florida, where they will be loved and spoiled by their new family. I think they will love the attention!

Senter is leaving tomorrow to go to the trainer's. I'm pretty excited about this opportunity for him. He's going to learn so much! He's been really bored here and not being used to his full potential at all, so he's going to really thrive in a more active environment.

When the shipper saw Senter trotting around in his paddock, he was completely wowed. He kept commenting on what an impressive animal he was, and asking questions about him. That's pretty much everyone's first reaction to seeing Senter. Now, with the chance to get a better education, he's going to be even more stunning. I'm so happy for him!

Libby is still not feeling completely well today, but she didn't have a fever and she ran around some playing with the other fillies, so I think she's on the mend.

We had just gotten a large shipment of the alfalfa hay in yesterday, but we had to call our hay supplier and get another shipment of the grass hay too, so that we could take all the babies completely off the alfalfa for now, until Libby is feeling better. Eventually, we'll introduce a little alfalfa back into their mix, but probably will try to keep feeding some grass hay too, to prevent this from happening again.

We thought we were getting a good deal with the alfalfa hay. All of the hay is $7.00 or more per bale now, and prices are still going up, up, up! When our hay guy said the alfalfa, which is richer and more nutritious, was the same price as the grass hay, we thought we were lucky to get it. We thought if we introduced it gradually enough, the horses would be able to make the switch with no problem. But according to our vet, it may just plain be too rich for the baby horses, regardless of how slowly we introduce it.

So, after yesterday's $400 vet bill, it doesn't look like much of a bargain after all.


FullCircleEquine said...

When I can find hay to buy I am paying upwards of $8 a bale! and it is NOT even good hay. I am lucky that my boys arent picky.

If my friend finds hay she gets some for me and tosses it into her loft. I cant buy in bulk since I have NO place to store it. I am sure my neighbors would be somewhat put off if I put bales on my porch. Plus that really isnt good, not for the hay and not for fire safety.

Maybe this hay season will be better. We can pray right?

Nancy Chase said...

I certainly hope this year's hay crop is better! Our hay guy has warned us to expect prices of $8-$10 a bale soon, which is why we jumped at the chance to buy a load of the $7 alfalfa.

At $10 a bale and using 12 bales a day... our only hope is to keep downsizing our herd faster than we use up our latest load of hay!

Senter leaves today, and my two mares Char and Scylla leave on February 5th, so then we'll only have 4 sales horses left.