I'm not sure if Jason and I are getting smarter or lazier or both, but we made some significant changes in how we approached vaccination day this year. For starters we decided to break vaccination day up into two days. We vaccinated the horses in the first four pastures yesterday. We will be vaccinating the horses in the last three pastures next week. This was not our only change to vaccination day.
In addition to breaking up vaccination day into two days we also set up temporary fencing with step-in posts in two of the four pastures to reduce the number of potential Runners. For anyone who has forgotten Runners are those horses who literally run away as we try to catch them. Horses that are not normally Runners sometimes turn into Runners when they realize a veterinary professional is on the farm. While I was feeding breakfast and putting on halters Jason quickly put the posts in the ground and ran the temporary fence across.
As always the moment they were done eating the horses went to take off to the nether regions of their pastures thanks to their halters being on their heads. You could see their confusion and surprise when they made it only a few steps and encountered the temporary fence. They stared at the new fence, studied the new fence, and looked at each other with dismay as they attempted to come up with Escape Plan B. I had no sympathy and told them "sorry guys, you can't run or hide this time." I may have even followed that up with an evil laugh.
Thanks to our planning ahead we had no Runners on vaccination day number one. However Timbit felt the need to make up for that and turned into every stereotype of the evil mini horse you have heard. Timbit let us know that A) he had no desire to be vaccinated and B) he had eaten a big bowl of Wheaties for breakfast. Timbit put up an admirable fight and it required some serious wrangling on the part of Jason and two vets to get Timbit vaccinated. Team Vaccinate Timbit had to regroup in between each vaccine to catch their breath and reposition. Timbit was in it to win it and he almost took home the title.
Normally Sparky the donkey carries the torch for the most uncooperative equid on vaccination day. However he was pretty easy yesterday and allowed Timbit to take up the cause of uncooperation this year. We vaccinated Sparky and Timbit first and we were all wondering if Timbit had set the tone for the rest of the horses. Thankfully no one decided to follow Timbit's example and everyone else was cooperative and pleasant.
So far Jason and I are really loving spreading vaccination day out into two short days instead of one long day. We really loved taking the option of being a Runner away with our temporary fence in a couple of the pastures. We liked it so much we are going to get some more step-in posts so we can employ this same tactic again in all three pastures next week. When some of your pastures are up to 40 acres in size when a horse decides they are going to be a Runner they have lots and lots of room and places to run. Ask us how we know.
Like I said I don't know if we are getting smarter, lazier, or both, but either way we liked the results. We'll see if we still feel this way after Day Two next week.
Two vets and Jason wrestling Timbit. I did the heavy lifting and supervised and took pictures. Someone has to do the hard job.
Regrouping for a moment. I believe this was when dart guns were being discussed.
Timbit was in it to win it . . . and he almost did.
Word travels fast when everyone has a smartphone and apparently the farm was buzzing with the news that the vet was on site and vaccinations were happening. All I wanted to do was take their picture but as soon as Clayton, Toledo, Walon and Rocky saw me coming they exited stage left. ASAP. I tried to tell them the vet was gone and they were not being vaccinated but no one was listening.
Romeo and Flyer
Baby and Trigger
Hemi and Apollo
Alex and Darby
Walon, Bergie, Stormy, Oskar and Johnny
Kennedy and Donovan
MyLight and Calimba
Norman and Cuffie
Renny, Murphy and Dutch