Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Zoe's Great Adventure

This isn't really a clicker post, just an update. My daughter Anna decided she was ready to have her Zoe with her in Wyoming. She found an acceptable barn (which was not easy since most horses out there live OUT and that sounds a little harsh for thin-skinned Ms. Zoe). The original arrangement was that Zoe would live with me while Anna got settled in out there and in return, I could breed her and keep the foal. And now I have Percy as a result of that and as I think I've mentioned, I adore this little boy so am very glad for the deal we made!

On Sunday morning, we left home (28 degrees in northern Vermont) and headed for Fair Hill, Maryland where Zoe was to meet up with some west coast competitors at the Fair Hill CCI so she could get a ride West. Fortunately my college roommate whom I hadn't seen in 15 years lives in Fair Hill and so my husband and I arranged to spend the night with her.

Anna loaded Zoe without any blankets since she is pretty fuzzy from the early cold weather we're having and the trailer is pretty draft free. On our first stop to check her, one hour in, she was already sweaty. So Anna opened some vents and we hoped she'd settle down. We stopped and checked her again another hour later and she was still sweatier. It was only in the thirties so it had to be nerves. She hadn't been on the trailer in 2 years but we're guessing she was looking for the cross country course at every stop! So we opened some windows but were trying not to have 30 degree air blowing on her sweaty self. At the next stop, Anna pulled out her fleece cooler, covered her up and we opened every available window. Anna's cousin was also traveling with us and she dug out the Rescue Remedy and and Anna squirted it into Zoe's mouth. Zoe was eating hay like crazy (she's a good eater thank goodness) but didn't want to drink on the trailer. Anna had fed her a breakfast of hay stretcher pellets soaked in warm water to soupy consistency to get lots of fluids in her.

That was pretty much the status for the rest of the trip. The day warmed up as we went south, Zoe dried off and settled in- whether it was the Rescue Remedy or just time, I'm not sure. We made fantastic time and had good roads and little traffic for the most part so we made it to Fair Hill in just over 9 hours- arriving with just enough daylight to transfer Zoe's trunks to her next trailer. She was stabled at a race barn and Anna pulled her cooler off so she could have a nice roll in the shavings. She then emptied her water bucket and was happy. Thankfully, she settles in to new surroundings very easily.

Her limousine for the remainder of the trip was a very nice 4 horse, air ride, slant load trailer pulled by a semi, shared with two other horses. It was fascinating to listen to the driver (the husband of the Fair Hill competitor) and watch him pack equipment into the various hidden compartments. The truck could go 1500 miles without refueling! It had its own water storage which he figured would get the horses half way to their destination before needing to be refilled. They were planning on stopping each night, however.

My husband and I had planned to leave the barn fairly quickly so as not to get in the way of all the travelers. I took a deep breath, kissed daughter and horse, and climbed back in the truck. Anna's cousin is going west as well so the girls are following the trailer in a car. I get regular text messages when they enter a new state, and arrive at their nightly destination. Zoe seemed to figure out that this was not about competing and has been calm and dry for the rides and is eating, drinking and pooping. So far, so good. Banamine and ace have been packed but I hope they aren't needed!

Zoe was very glad to see her own special person again- I'm sure the peppermints WILL be gone by the time they reach Cody, WY :)

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