Saturday, March 19, 2011

Steen the Stoic

Today the vet came out for spring vaccinations and teeth. Bear and Steen both had their teeth done in the fall, so only needed the shots. However, our barn is also switching the way we handle worming and now our horses are going to have their manure tested twice a year so they can be treated only for what they have, instead of being repeatedly dosed with wormer they might not need. I think this is a good change, the only downside being that the pasture horses can sometimes be coy with their poop.

Bear is a big eater and the result is he tends to grace us with a pile of his manure at least once every time we bring him inside. Steen, on the other hand, seems to be of the mind that potty time should take place in the pasture. The only time this doesn't hold true is when he's nervous. While normally I appreciate this trait in him, today it meant we were at the barn a good deal longer than we might otherwise have been.

We started by bringing Bear and Steen inside. They were both good about getting their shots. Then we groomed them thoroughly, including shampooing their lower legs and feet to get some of the crusted mud off. We turned Bear back out but were still waiting on Steen. The sound of the tooth drill going and all the commotion of vet day was just not having any impact on him. He was totally relaxed, willing to stand and look around, eat chopping hay, whatever. Even when he stuck his face in the soapy bucket and got suds all up his nose, he didn't appear to mind much.

Finally we got tired of waiting and asked Cathi if we could load him in her trailer. Steen literally hasn't set foot in a trailer since the move to the new barn almost two years ago. Before that he hadn't been in one since the day he was delivered to me, so I thought loading might get his nerves stirred up. To further add chaos to the scene, there was a mini stud horse in the run next to the trailer who had quite the little attitude, prancing around and squealing every now and then. He belongs to a neighbor but was on site today to get gelded. There was also a large tractor not far off that Cathi's husband was using to scrape the manure out of the winter lots and use it to fertilize the big pasture.

Steen, however, wasn't worried about anything. He approached the trailer with only mild suspicion.

I let him sniff around for a while, then asked him to load. He stepped up onto the trailer and his weight made it wobble a little. He stepped down quickly. I let him wait a minute, then asked him to load again. This happened three times, with him coming further in each time. Then he stepped right in and hung out with me inside for a while.

But he didn't poop. I let him back out again and took him over to meet the mini horse, thinking that might get him a bit riled up. It seems lots of large horses find little horses terrifying.

That didn't work either. The two had a civil round of nose sniffing that included nothing more dramatic than a little strike from the mini. Finally, Nadir's owner appeared, also waiting, and decided to try the trailer. Nadir pooped right away after loading. His owner tied him up, and I asked if she'd mind if I took Steen in as well. She said no problem, so I led Steen into the trailer again. He stepped up without hesitation. Gay closed the door, and moments later we got what we'd been waiting for.

On the way home, we swung by the only tack store in the entire region. Brian has been feeling his saddle is too small for him, and with his long legs this has been preventing him from getting really comfortable while riding. So, we had him sit in a few different sizes and models. Nothing they had was quite right, but we did determine what size he'll need. When we came home we ordered one we've been eyeballing for a few days. I won't go into too much detail here because you can read about it on his blog.


  1. I'm thinking about checking poo too. Sounds so odd to be saying that but too much wormer is not good, that's for sure.

  2. Having learned a lot about vaccines and such in the last few years, I feel like we over-do it at the barn I'm at. Some of that is probably just the price you pay for having so many horses in one place, but I sometimes wonder if it's all *actually* necessary. I don't expect it to change anytime soon, but if I get my own place I'll definitely do things differently.

    My horses aren't particularly upset by minis either...Tranikla actually seems to be quite fond of them. :)


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