The brother of one of her co-owners and his wife were hauling boxes to their mother in Tucson, AZ, over Christmas, and taking a QH down, so Leche was hitching a ride. At 3:00, when I hadn't heard from them, I called the vet's office to see if it got after 5 I could get papers set outside if they were hauling at night instead of during the day, as planned. While I was on the phone, the wife picked up the papers, but the normal 15 minute drive did not go that quickly today, on ice.
In fact, they did not arrive until after 4, nearly dark. We cut up all the golden delicious apples I had and put them in a bucket, as I’d been feeding them apples off my golden delicious tree all fall.
The herd is prejudiced against Leche, who is the whitest Pinto I’ve had for a while. Three of the mares left are very dark (two black bays), and the two who are Pintos are the old typical Jay Dee pattern - about 80-85% dark. (They’re all Jay Dee granddaughters.) When the blue bucket showed up, the herd came from across the creek (banging distance is longer for horses than humans…) with Leche in the lead, but once the others got up the hill, they ran her off. I was pretty unstable on the steep hill on ice, and the brother is NOT a horseman at all, while the wife, who is, is timid, and not accustomed to something that TALL.
By the time we got her separated, haltered and into the trailer, I was out of apples, it was full dark, and she was into being naughty, wanting to go back to her friends, who were hanging over the fence, watching raptly. Two slaps of the whip on the ground behind her after she’d reared, butting the back of her head into the trailer lights strung across the top of the opening (the way some semi’s have them strung along to outline the rig at a distance), produced enthusiastic loading behavior.
I do have to admit it was not all her fault. I couldn’t walk briskly on the ice, nor climb up into the trailer, even with one hand on the wall, which left the wife to do it. She was too scared to walk WITH the mare, so no “just walk up calmly and climb in smoothly as if you expect her to go along.” She couldn’t even be close to her when she was on the ground. Fear is a terrible thing, and horses pick up on it at once.
Leche’s been hauled a lot, but new trailer, five year gap between separations from the herd, and the fear factor. It was 6:35 by the time they pulled out to head down the drive on ice, with a goose necked four horse, the weight on the outside of the back. She DID get two pieces of apple and a neck rub from Amanda after she was safely tied.
My fear was that the QUARTER HORSE, a breed known for the width of the body, would not fit.