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49380The Vet Trip

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  • Marv Walker
    Aug 24, 2013
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      The Vet Trip

      Cathy "No Legal Relation" Walker, a super volunteer at Brave Meadows
      Therapeutic Riding Center http://BraveMeadows.com retrieved a
      scrawny, rangy paint off the slaughter truck that stops by the barn
      every so often to see if the program has any interest in any of the
      horses back in February. Then she became a boarder AND a volunteer.

      Cathy had a horse in her younger years before children and
      grandchildren came along and for whatever things she saw in him she
      wasn't letting him get back on the truck. She named him
      Dakota. As I said earlier, I noticed she was having some
      difficulties with him and I offered her some suggestions which she
      took and in no time them two are a team. They are the talk of Brave Meadows.

      I like watching people who REALLY enjoy their horse and Cathy REALLY
      enjoys her horse.

      So when she asked me if I'd help her take him to the vet for his
      shots and avoid a farm call I agreed. Since Dakota was going I
      decided to take Faith and get her up to date on shots, especially
      rabies if she bites me and West Nile if she bites a mosquito, and get
      a Coggins in my name as well.

      Cathy was concerned Dakota wouldn't load and she thought we ought to
      meet at the barn fairly early in case he wouldn't load well. There
      was no doubt in my mind he would load but to ease her mind we agreed
      to meet a couple hours early. She had never loaded a horse before
      and he is much bigger and fatter than he was when she got him and I
      wondered if he would even fit in the little two horse.

      Cathy expected me to help her load him and I started to tell her the
      same thing I often tell her when I assign something for her to do at
      Brave Meadows, not that she needs anyone to assign anything to her,
      when she interrupted me and said, "I know, I know, 'You'll never
      learn any younger!'" I stayed out of the way and did some things
      that needed doing in the barn and he loaded like a million
      bucks. She loaded and unloaded him a couple times on both
      sides. She was stoked and walking on air.

      Faith on the other hand, got half in, backed out, several times when
      it was time to go, then she got in.

      We get to the vet's barn and when the tech comes out and looks at
      Dakota she says, "Wow! He really looks good!" Cathy's face splits.

      And they talk about how ratty he looked when he got off the truck.

      I've known the vet for years and she comes out and we start talking
      about Faith and how I came to own her and she asks me her breeding.

      I say, "Well, by looking at her she's got all the marks of an
      App." The vet nods. "I found out after I ended up with her she's
      50/50 App & Arab," I add.

      The vet's head jerks, her chin drops and her eyes get big and she
      laughs, "And you have a 100% challenge!"

      The vet knows little of what I do. She had heard of me before we
      actually began using her at the current farm but she doesn't know the
      nuts and bolts. She has no idea about my anecdotal experiences with
      50/50 horses.

      Now, not all 50/50 horses are like Faith but the more I talk with
      experienced people I find my thoughts are not unique.

      Anecdotally speaking, all horse breeds are bred for a particular
      purpose. Sure, in some breeds the purposes may be closely related as
      in say, Halflingers and Drafts, but many are not. Some crosses may
      appear to be closely related such as Quarter Horses x TBs but they
      are conflicting purpose crosses. Quarter Horses are bred for a
      number of quick conserving bursts of speed per day. TBs are bred for
      going as fast as you can for as far as you can and then resting for
      several days before doing it again.

      For whatever reason people think they can just willy nilly breed
      horses and get the best of both worlds in one generation. When I was
      looking for an Aussie and looking through the Atlanta paper I could
      barely contain myself from calling those people with designer dogs
      like ChihuaLabs and screaming into their ears, "WHAT IS WRONG WITH
      YOU???!!!" More often than not they get the worst of both breeds.

      My work with problem horses convinces me more and more that purebred
      horses should only be bred to the same breed horse, if bred at all,
      and "grade" horses should not be bred at all because there are
      already more horses in this country than there are homes for those
      horses. Grade horses are often more predictable than closely mixed
      horses because they have a Heinz 57 heritage containing a wide range
      of genetic influences blending and muting each other. High
      percentage mixed horses have fewer genetic influences and they tend
      to oppose each other.

      Marv "Vetter late than never." Walker
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