Saturday morning, 9:30 AM, I left to head out to the feed store. Promise and December needed boosters on their vaccinations which I should have done last week but figured I'd at least get them done before we loaded them in the trailer. By 10 AM I had the shots and was headed to the barn.
Arrived at the barn and my sister helped me hook up the trailer. We started with Promise. He's such a lovely boy about shots. I readied the vaccines which Sister gave him and we decided to give him a shot of ACE to keep him calm. He really doesn't like confined spaces so my straight load trailer has been an issue. While we were waiting for the ACE to take effect we got his stall clean and swept and loaded the last of our tack into the trailer.
20 minutes later Promise's head was drooping and his eyes were closed. Time to load up! I wish we'd brought the camera for this one. It was classic. We tried luring him in with sweets, calm words and gentle pressure. He'd climb in with his front feet but refused to take the last steps with his back two feet. Anybody behind him caused him to fly out backward. Kim tried wrapping the long cotton line around a metal post in the manger to give herself some leverage so he couldn't back out. He put up a brief struggle pulling his head against the halter and squatting down. I don't think I've ever seen anything so funny in my life. He wasn't violently fighting just sitting back against the rope. Eventually the ACE got to him and he just rolled right over onto his side and laid down behind the trailer. I wish I could describe it better. It was pretty funny. We were laughing too hard to get him moving forward. So we backed up and we tried again. Walked him in a circle and got him loaded halfway up. With the rope set in place I was able to smack his butt with the whip from behind until he finally hopped right in. We were ready and closed the door quickly. Once he was in he ate some grain quietly from the manger like he trailered every day. All-in-all I don't think it took more than 20 minutes which is pretty good for him.
I ran down and got December. Immunizations went quickly and smoothly. Sister lead her in the trailer and I picked up the whip behind and she decided to jump right in with her buddy. Easy as pie. We got the kids loaded up in the car and we were on our way with Kim behind the wheel. She drives nicer than I do. The trip over was uneventful and by 12 we had the first two horses at the new barn. We unloaded Promise first and he very gracefully backed out. I was so proud of him. December came crashing out like an elephant and took her first look around at the new place. She was excited to be there. Sister lead Promise to his new paddock and I followed behind to turn December out in the round pen. She's going out to pasture with two other horses so I wanted her to get a chance to run around and acclimate first.
We unloaded our tack into our fancy new indoor tack room. Next the trainer gave us a grand tour of the place. We realized we know her dad (he's a farrier) who lives onsite because he worked for my old trainer a long time ago. Once Sister had an accident at our old barn that left her with a badly broken and bleeding acrylic nail. The farrier had given her some of his tools to cut it off with so he remembered us too. We got to see the lovely indoor bathroom (exciting!) and the light switches all over the place. You can light that place up like a Christmas tree for night riding in the winter. Yay!
Next it was time to turn December out with her new pasture mates, Musty and Musket. Musty is an older Anglo-Arab and Musket's a young TB gelding. We turned her loose and she took off to explore her new surrounds with both boys trailing behind. I think she liked the run but Musket was getting a little too close for her comfort. She gave him a good double barrelled kick in the chest to let him know who's boss but I could tell she wasn't really trying to hurt him. After that things seemed to settle right down. She let them smell her and then they all wandered off to see if they could find something to eat.
That had gone so well we decided to head back to get Tax right away. We still had two stalls to clean as well as dusting out our old tack lockers. Back at the barn I gave the last of my hay and my good tarps to the barn owner since I won't need them. I got Tax out and gave him some ACE too since he's decided recently that he doesn't want to trailer. We got everything cleaned up while we waited for it to take effect. Then it was time for the real theatrics of the day. We founght with Tax for about 30 minutes. I think I was trying to hard to drag Tax in from the front and Sister hadn't gotten enough pressure going in the back. He fought to back away from the trailer and since his head was confined he freaked and reared up. He came down on the trailer door and cut his face. Fortunately they are shallow cuts. Then he jumped up and continued pulling until his halter snapped. I should have let him go but at the time I was thinking I didn't want him to think he could rear up whenever he wanted. After we chased him down and got a new halter on him I asked Sister to take his head. When he pulled back I asked her to go ahead and give him some rope instead of fighting. Oh well, you live and learn, I guess. Then I got behind and popped him a couple of good ones with the whip and he finally jumped in. I slammed the door shut and had to push his big butt forward another inch to get it closed. The moral to this story is that I'm selling this stupid straight load and buying a slant even if my hubby doesn't like it. All three of them just jump straight into a slant load.
I drove to the new barn as slowly and carefully as possible. Sister needed to take her car since the new barn is only a mile from her new house. When we got there Tax unloaded fine and began his ritual of screaming at the top of his lungs at all the new horses. I hope he doesn't do that every single time we go to a show. We put him out in the round pen and let him run around until he calmed down. I unloaded the last of our things from the old barn and got his stall ready for him. He's got a nice big box stall with a window to the inside of the barn and so he can see out the back to the outside as well. Finally I was able to take him to the wash rack and wash off his various scratches and dress them with antibotic ointment. The bad news is that he could see December in the pasture from there so they spent some time calling each other. Then it was time to check out his new stall. When he finally settled down enough to grab a bite to eat I unhooked the trailer. It was 4:30PM by then and the kids were beat. I was beat too and it was time to head home for the night.
I'll write about Sunday later!