Tuesday, January 10, 2012

We're going to New Jersey! (March 2011)

We have arrived!

Saying Hi to Dr. Mike

On our way to the barn

Because Suki and Nikki were going to be at two different barns, I had to pack supplies for each of them. Nikki's trunk contained tack, grooming supplies, supplements, treats, blankets and boots. Suki's contained wound care supplies, exfoliation and moisturizing products, blankets, sheets, grooming supplies, supplements and treats. I am a list person, so as the countdown to the travel day began, I had a list of supplies for each horse and lists of things to do prior to departure. It is like sending your child to camp (including all of the related anxiety!)

So March 13 finally arrived. Michael would be driving (route 78 is VERY scary!) and Isaiah would be coming along as well. I went to the barn ahead of time to load the truck and trailer and get the girls ready for their trip. We planned to leave between 10 and 10:30 AM. Nikki had only been on a trailer once, and Suki was becoming increasingly difficult to load, as evidenced by our trip from the rehab farm! Knowing this I had arranged for some additional loading help.

My plan was to load Nikki first thinking that Suki would go on easier if a horse was already inside. Nikki had loaded easily at Heather's with a bucket of grain. Oh, how foolish I was! When Nikki wouldn't load we switched to Suki. That turned into its usual battle where she refuses to even look at the trailer. I texted Heather and Mike to tell them that we were running late, and asked Mike about a dose of acepromazine (sedative) for Suki. Usually a cocktail is given, but all we had was Ace, and I was unsure of the dose. With that in hand I tricked Princess Suki by scratching her withers and injecting in the muscle in her chest. Now we had a 30 minute wait. Just in case, Heather said to hit Nikki with some as well. So there we sat......

When the horses lips were suitably droopy (a sign that they are sedated)we started again. No go. Each one of us tried with a variety of methods, when FINALLY Suki decided that the game was over and walked on. Nikki followed fairly quickly after that. So off we went, ONLY 2 1/2 hours after our intended departure time. I was exhausted already!

The drive went smoothly and we could not hear or feel any ruckus from the trailer. First stop: Flying Change Farm to drop off Nikki. We settled her in fairly quickly with her equipment and supplement instructions. Everyone was surprised at how much she had grown since they had last seen her! I gave Nikki hugs and kisses and went back to the trailer. Suki had some visitors in the trailer and with many well wishes we were off again. This time for the 20 minute drive to Centenary. I was proud of Suki for not fussing when we unloaded Nikki as she stood quietly on the trailer until we drove away again. But there was usually someone talking to her, and she LOVES attention!

We made it to Centenary with only one turn around (the street had been re-named)and finally pulled into the equestrian center. The equestrian center at Centenary College is pretty impressive. Large fenced pasture areas, large outdoor arenas, several barns and a large indoor arena with classrooms and a lounge. Since we left the back barn has undergone a complete renovation. When I located Dr. Fugaro, he and some of the TEAM Suki members came with me to unload her and take her to the barn.

Suki unloaded quietly and walked nicely by my side to the barn. As I have said, she always settles in pretty quickly so she walked into her stall and started nibbling at the hay. The folks from Suds and Duds were there to take measurements and discuss adjustments to the fly sheet. Suki was very good for all of that, trying to find treats from everyone the entire time! I demonstrated and explained Suki's daily grooming, exfoliation and moisturizing routine. Knowing about Suki's love for gummy bears one of the girls had made a stall card for Suki with gummy bears photoshopped around the perimeter. It was so cute!

As hard as it was hard to leave her behind, I knew that Suki was in good hands. With a veterinarian, several veterinary technicians and an army of equine science students, why should I worry? I am a horse mom, that's why! I worry about my horses like I worry about my cats, dog and of course, my beautiful son, Isaiah.

We parked the trailer and made the two hour drive home. My daily routine was going to be quite different for awhile! While the girls were away I would only see them on the weekends. In one way I was thinking about the extra time I would have to work on other projects, but I would certainly miss my girls....

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