Thursday, March 3, 2011

Early March Tales from Plainfield and Back Acres Farm

It’s been a busy week around here. On Sunday there was a mini-clinic with Bonnitta Roy, who teaches "dancing" with horses, using liberty work principles and human body language. The session was filmed and will reportedly be seen at some point on her website at   Other sessions are posted there - so cool to watch. It was quite something to see - lovely, in fact.  Even though the weather was cold, the participants were highly enthusiastic, and there will be a follow-up clinic scheduled soon.

Two new horses arrived this week - a Hanoverian/TB mare belonging to a neighbor who needs one to two months of care, and a lovely Percheron/Trakehner cross from down South. We are dealing with the usual integration scrambles - keeping everyone calm, identifying optimal turnout and pasture buddies (or not) in this season with its footing from hell, making sure health and safety issues are taken care of as best we can.  I find myself wondering if new children in a day care situation are required to come with vet and vaccine certificates? I never had a kid, so don’t know the protocols - but friends with children seem to accept with both irritation and equanimity the fact that the children (and they) are routinely sick throughout the year by reason of the germs the kids bring home from school.

Yesterday a boarder and I drove to Rheinbeck, NY to the equine hospital there to take a young draft for cryptorchid/castration surgery. The owner had hoped to avoid it by waiting for the other testicle to descend, since abdominal surgery is by definition invasive and carries potential dangers, but the time had come. The hospital was lovely - very clean - and the vet-surgeon was beyond helpful and attentive. A white board was soon COVERED with diagrams as to the different possibilities including the up- and downsides of each  approach.  Informed consent was certainly an option after he was through explaining.  But the outing was tough on the horse and tough on the owner:   the young horse had been trailer-trained but never taken anywhere so far away (on bad roads), and then he was upset by a strange environment. The owner felt as if he had betrayed his horse-friend who trusted him in getting on the trailer, and now the horse - who wasn’t even sick - was going to have a difficult couple of days, and wouldn’t understand why. A real conundrum for any male horse owner - we talked quite a bit about it on the way home. Any castration is nasty for the horse - no way around it. This one, of course, was more medically indicated since apparently an undescended testicle has a much higher liklihood of becoming cancerous - so the surgery was probably indicated in any case. Still....

1 comment:

  1. Here's a link to a short video from the Playshop with Bonnie!