Monday, April 19, 2010

19th April, 2010 Loading, loading, loading...

Yesterday it was off to Audrey's for the loading course where she was letting me use her four yearlings, all dark bays but some darker than others, to teach my clients how to load a pony for the first time. These four have only travelled loose except for Faith who has been to a couple of shows as a foal at foot. The course covered how to introduce protective gear, light manoeuvring around an L-shape and then loading and unloading from the trailer including introduction of the partition, bars and ramp. The L-shaped poles are a really useful way of teaching ponies to move around a small space. Needless to say they all behaved like angels and were a joy to work with.
It is so beneficial to practice before going anywhere. Magnum and Harrier haven't travelled since last year and yet this two year old and three year old loaded like old hands when we tried them yesterday and have forgotten nothing of what they were taught.
A very sad e-mail from Tracey also highlighted the benefits: "Ludo was put to sleep yesterday whilst in theatre undergoing surgery for colic. He suddenly had symptoms on Wednesday morning when thankfully someone at the yard noticed him lying down. Unfortunately despite trying surgery they decided it was inoperable and we decided to let him go whilst he was under the anesthetic. It is a devastating loss having cared for him for 23 years, he was definitely my best and most precious friend and I can’t imagine life without him, he has always been there since I was 17. Anyway I also wanted to thank from the very bottom of my heart as without you I would never have got him loaded so easily in his hour of need. Despite not being loaded since your last visit he went on within 10 minutes in the early hours of yesterday morning with virtually no stress an absolute god send when things were incredibly stressful for us as it was.
Without your last visit I doubt we could have persuaded him to load at all without causing unnecessary stress and I was prepared to let him go at the yard if he couldn’t go on the trailer so as not to cause him any more suffering. As it was we managed to get him to Lansdown Hospital very quickly where he was given the best possible chance with the best possible care and for that I am forever grateful. I wish everyone who has put off loading training could realize how critical it could be for their horse and tackle it sooner rather than later, before it’s too late. I’m so glad I found you to help us when we did. Yours forever gratefully" TA
Maverick loaded easily to go to the vets this morning and although he got hot, he travelled well too. Once again we were helped by Jim, Nicki's calm friend who was so useful and pleasant to have around on Thursday last week. I'm sorry I forgot to thank him then - everyone should have a Jim!!!