Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Part 4

Here are shots of Fancy's cast. Lisa has been reading your comments and she wanted me to respond to Laughing Orca Ranch that Fancy should be rideable by October according to her vet.

And to note that Fancy walked right into her trailer without a single hesitation. That's pretty cool. Lisa is trailer shopping these days.

That is an interesting cast. I wondered how far up the leg it would go, It's good see it didn't go halfway up her leg as I would have expected.

I know we all have some horse trailer hauling stories to tell and I thought it would be a great learning experience to hear your stories. If you have a situation you can tell us all about (with pictures - even better) I'd love to post here. My email address is patslark@fairpoint.net.

I have several stories to tell, but here are a couple that I will try to “briefly” share.

When I first got back into horses about 15 years ago, I bought my quarter horse mare, Missy. It had been 10 years prior that I sold my horse to try to survive as a single mom. During my early horse years, I had no experience hauling horses. If I needed to move my horse, I usually called one of my sisters to haul for me.

So shortly after purchasing Missy, I basically knew nothing about hauling horses and one day, I learned one of the most important rules of hauling. Do not tie the head of the horse to the trailer without first shutting the divider. (And do not open the divider until the head is untied.)

I know. I know, I see people doing just the opposite all the time, Some stock trailers are divider-less, or because of the way a trailer is built, it’s easiest to tie the head first, but I personally believe that is an accident waiting to happen. Just like mine did.

One day, as we were loading Missy for a ride home, my sister and I were yakking as we were loading and not really paying as much attention to what the other was doing as we should have been.

Missy' head was tied and started to walk out to close the divider behind me. Missy thought she was going to walk right out with me and when she felt her head was trapped, she went straight into severe panic mode.

Now, this horse was a solid-minded horse and a trailering veteran, but when she realized she couldn’t back out of that trailer because her head was stuck, her feet started going about 90 miles an hour up and down, up and down, stomping like crazy, on the tops of my feet.

I couldn’t get away from her because every time she lifted a hoof off of one of my feet, she'd stomp down on the other. Over and over. I was stuck! Scared and feeling the stabbing pain on the tops of my feet over and over again.

But it was happening so fast and I was so scary. Finally, my sister reached up from the outside of the trailer un unbuckled her head. Missy managed to unload herself without blasting over the top of me, and without flipping over backwards (something else we hear about all too often.)

My perfectly tenderized feet were two solid bruises for weeks afterward and I thought I had broken a bone or two in one of them, but I healed pretty fast.

Interestingly, Missy never hesitated to back into a trailer after that either. Some horses are amazing. But I personally will never tie the head before slamming that divider shut again.

In another incident, just recently, we were hauling a mare to her new home and we didn’t get very far down the road, and the mare was making a lot of noise in the back. So I got out to check on her and found her sweaty and scared and almost laying sideways. She was leaning on the divider and trying to climb the wall with her feet. She was in the first stall of our slant load trailer.

Although she had hauled pretty well previously, she was going nuts on this ride. My sister (always rescuing me) suggested opening the divider so the mare could spread her legs, which we did and she hauled just fine for the next hour until we got her to her destination.

Now I hear that is pretty common for horses to do. And it sounds like that is what Fancy was doing as well. I often wonder if they might get vertigo in the trailer sometimes and think they should be on their side. Who knows, but some horses really need to get a good base under them and giving them lots of room is a good idea.

I'd love to see the backward facing trailers manufactered here in the US. That's the way horses like to ride. My minis always chose to ride facing backwards when I don't tie them in, so if I do tie their heads, they are facing backwards.

It just seems to be more natural for them to keep their balance in a moving vehicle and I believe it's easier on their joints when the trailer goes over bumps. Trailering is tough on the knee joints. If you've never ridden, standing up, in a trailer, you might try it (in a safe situation) just to see. You really feel the bumps in your joints.

And old trailers from the 60s, 70s and 80s, that people are STILL using - oh my gosh, there is no suspension!

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