Up our way the weather was clear. Roads were fine. They finally made it mid afternoon. I had kept the children up from their naps to meet the new horse, and to play outside in the beautiful weather. Right on time, google maps, GPS what ever, are great, they pulled into the yard. I was a bit surprised at the state of the pickup and to see a horses head sticking out the back of the trailer.
My horses immediately began the required screaming in greeting and he returned their calls heartily. But the female half of the hauling pair climbed right into the trailer with him. He unloaded nicely if enthusiastically running circles around her and wanting to go to the other horses. I was leading one child and carrying another so I asked her to lead him to his pen. His butt swung side to side as we wadded through the deep snow to the gate but he never really tried to pull lose.
The male half of the pair followed quietly, big and lumbering he was obviously along to help drive, not a horse person.
In his pen Rusty allowed her to pull the blanket off over his head with no interest or concern. He then proceeded to run the fenceline calling for those other horses he could see. We went back to the house. I invited the crew in for a drink and they accepted. We sat at the table and I got him coffee hoping to hear about the trip. They settled in, seemingly for the long haul and proceeded to tell me about their horse hauling escapades. Apparently they breakdown a lot. And are often late for pick ups, after which they can’t understand why the people cancel. Once they lost a wheel on the trailer, not a tire the entire wheel. They thought it best not to cross the mountain pass loaded on only three wheels so they got it fixed.
I was glad to hear that.
As my children nearly fell asleep at the table we sat and talked. They were headed to Rapid City next for a pick up and from there to Arizona via Oklahoma. All this in an old ford, late eighties I think? I was amazed and impressed. But mostly wanted to get the kids to bed. I had meant to offer them cookies but forgot I’m afraid.
As soon as I could I got back out there to play with him. He was busy having a fit and was not interested in me. H was willing to take a cookie from my hand and let me put a halter on him without fuss. I lead him through knee deep snow to the waterer. He was spooking and looking around as he followed me and I expected at any minute to be stepped on. There was no way I could get out of the way I was barely managing to walk in the high crusty snow. The waterer was terrifying. He sat back on his haunches then shied back and forth. Never though did he pull on the lead. I stood by the water and splashed my hand in it and he slowly inched up to it then drank greedily with legs as far back as he could keep them and neck extended.
Next we waded to the hay bale. he tore into it as I stood scratching his neck. I figured I would leave him to it and pulled the halter. As I turned to go He lunged after me and I thought he was going to smash me. I keep remembering that his original evaluation said he was very pushy. But no he rushed around me anxious to get back to that fenceline. Plus the hay is next to the bull pen. I don’t believe he has ever seen cattle. They are both fascinating and horrifying as he tries to figure out what in the world those things are.
I grabbed an armful of hay and carried it back to him, scooping snow into my boots with every step. He turned from the fence to snort at me as I got close, a mysterious misshapen monster. Head high and feet prancing nervously he watched me come, ready to flee at any moment. Then he took off, coming towards me. He barely waited for me to set the hay down before tearing into it. I left him there to eat in peace.
I have been amusing my self trying to decide how I would rate the haulers if there was somewhere to offer my review. I’m not sure. He got here, unharmed in as timely a manor as possible considering the weather. I don’t hold doing repairs on their pick up before leaving against them. They were very brave in unloading him regularly for breaks, while it was nice for him I’m not sure I would have done so with a colt of unknown training without facilities in case of reloading issues. He was starving and very thirsty when he got here. Again not necessarily their fault. Many horses wont eat or drink when being hauled, I don’t remember seeing a hay net though and he sure went right for it here. And as for them being rather, shall we say odd? Don’t suppose that is something that can be complained about.
I don’t know what is usual for horse haulers, the only time I’ve ever been around anything like that was when we moved from Omaha to Chicago and my mom had her horse shipped. The race track in Omaha was still going and the Thoroughbreds were regularly hauled back and forth. Her big, rather obese Morgan gelding was loaded on the semi trailer, three stalls wide, with those slick racing fit Thoroughbreds. It was all very professional and he was quite out of place.
- And So The Adventure Begins
- Second Day