Thoroughly Vetted- 2023 Edition

Well, what do you know! I didn’t have to cancel my horses’ veterinary appointment after all. If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, you can get the background scoop HERE.

Using what I learned during my previous trailer loading practice with my two horses, the loading process on the big day went smoothly. Both horses traveled quietly together. We even arrived at the vet clinic with ten minutes to spare.

During their appointments, Shiloh and Piper got their annual exams, Spring vaccinations and blood draws for their Coggins tests. Fecal samples were also collected to do a worm egg count. Piper needed his teeth floated so that was performed during this visit too.

No major health concerns were noted by their veterinarian, other than the ever-present issue of weight management which is a continual thorn in my side. Easy keepers are not easy to manage.

Afterward, both horses rested in stalls while Piper’s sedation from his dental work wore off. It was a busy day at the clinic, and by the time I got ready to leave, there were three other trailers in the parking lot.

As I led Piper towards my trailer with the helpful veterinary tech leading Shiloh behind, I noticed a small audience watching us as they waited for their horses’ appointments. I also observed three horse heads peaking out from the trailer directly next to us. Everyone looked curious.

I immediately felt intimidated by having spectators. Spectators that were about to watch me attempt to trailer load. Something that I often find difficult, if not impossible. Cue my brief mental panic. I had visions of the horses having to be henceforth boarded at the vet clinic because I couldn’t get them home.

Fortunately, though, I managed to quickly refocus on my game. I worked to remain mentally present with the horses as I sought to quietly and calmly guide them into their big box on wheels.

As Piper and I approached the back of the trailer, he stepped onto the ramp. Piper briefly stopped in his still slightly sedated stupor to get his bearings but soon went right on in.

Next, I got Shiloh’s lead rope from the veterinary technician and asked Shiloh to walk forward toward the trailer. He didn’t initially move so I repositioned myself and asked him again just as the technician clucked to him. Shiloh walked right up the ramp and went straight for the hay bag like he does it every day. What a relief!

I then gave my thanks to the veterinary technician for all her help wrangling two horses during the visit. I was now ready to head home with both horses firmly in tow. As I closed up the back of the trailer, it was then that I heard someone from the crowd exclaim “Don’t you just love a good loader!”

8 thoughts on “Thoroughly Vetted- 2023 Edition

  1. Boy, do I understand your tension for having an audience and the thoughts of having to leave the horse. I took my horse for an evaluation by a well-known trainer who lived an hour and a half away. It didn’t go well and my horse wouldn’t load when it was over. Over a barrel, I had to pay for a month’s training and leave the horse. I couldn’t stand the way he treated my horse, so before a month was up, I paid the trainer more money to get him into a stock trailer and bring him home. It was an expensive and miserable lesson for me, and more so for my horse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh boy, what a stressful not to mention expensive experience. The whole trailering deal can be so tense for everyone involved, right? It still strikes me as amazing anytime I can pull off the event and actually arrive somewhere with my horse(s)!


  2. Trailering can be stressful. I regularly trailer out for lessons on my own so loading by myself is necessary. My boy is usually good but every so often he tests. All I have to do is pick up my dressage whip and he jumps right on. I swear he laughs at me. We did have to retrain a bit when I went from ramp trailer to a step on. Now when we ride in my friends ramp trailer, he gets confused coming off. Hahahaha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, yes, ramp versus step on/off. One or the other arrangement can either add to the challenge of trailering or make things easier, depending upon the horse’s preference. I can see how switching between one type and the other might be confusing, especially in a trailer design where you can’t turn the horse around to unload. It’s amazing that anybody every gets anywhere with their horse. Loading seems like a minor miracle every time to me.

      Liked by 1 person

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