Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The girls come home!

Nikki and Prince

The plan was to move the girls the first weekend in May. At this point Suki's treatments consisted of cleaning and medicating the small area on her back, exfoliating and moisturizing her skin. The areas without hair seemed a bit sensitive to me, so I was gently exfoliating only every other day. Suki also needed to wear sunscreen on her face, and a fly sheet to cover the rest of her body when she was outside.

On Friday Michael and I dropped off Isaiah at school, then made the 1 1/2 hour ride to Heather's Flying Change Farm to pick up Nikki. I was so excited! First I would have a lesson, then we would head back to Pennsylvania to get Nikki settled. Nikki loaded pretty easily for a 3 year old that had not been on a trailer in two years, and off we went! I am always a little nervous about trailering because my mare Jenny had been in a trailer accident when she was five, and suffered a fractured hock. The trip was fine, and Nikki traveled well settled in at the new barn easily.

The plan was to turn out the girls together, but for the first night Nikki had a sweet, elderly appaloosa gelding to babysit! Neither Suki nor Nikki were used to being turned out on grass, so they would have to be gradually acclimated to the lush fields.

Saturday: Kelly was away the weekend that I was moving Suki, so Michael and I were on our own. Since she had been having some issues with loading I was a little worried.

We were able to drive the trailer into the riding arena with the opening facing the barn. The plan was to lead Suki out into the ring and close the gate....just in case...
At first it seemed like she might walk right on, but after 10 minutes it was clear that it was not going to happen. Suki did not get hyper or upset, just out right refused. Because of her recent experiences with the fire, etc, I was unwilling to get too aggressive with her. We used grain, treats and all of the usual quiet efforts to convince her to load. It was just not happening! So before she got worked up I brought her back in the barn and sedated her slightly. When she seemed woozy enough out we went again. It was still a struggle, but eventually she walked in. It's as if all of a sudden she decided that she is bored with the game and just walks in.

The trip was short, only about 20 minutes, but Suki was still sweaty when we arrived. Not really distressed, but not happy either. After a moment she walked off the trailer quietly and we led her into the stall next to Nikki. Once I had unloaded Suki's belongings we decided to put the girls out for a bit to see how they would get along. There were some squeals, but nothing overly dramatic, and they relaxed and nibbled at the small amount of grass in the paddock. They would be let out into the main fields for short periods that would gradually increase in duration until they were ready for full turnout. There was nothing left for me to do but go home (and worry, of course!)

The owner and barn manager seemed quite surprised at how good Suki looked. That barn is only about 10 minutes from the site of the fire, so of course they knew the whole story. I was expecting them to be startled or horrified by Suki's appearance, but they were obviously expecting much worse! I thought that she looked great, but then I had been with her from Day 1, and knew how far she had come!

December 19, 2011
Suki was extremely muddy on Monday night. But the two previous nights had consisted of abbreviated grooming, so this ensured that I would be spending quite a bit of time with Suki. Hmmmmm do you think she planned that! The weather has been fluctuating so it seems like I am constantly changing weights of blankets! I can't wait until it's just always time for the heavy blankets! Less thinking for me!

I will be gradually adding photos to the earlier posts, so scroll down and take a look

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