March 4, 2010

Vet Visit & Shots...

The whole experience with Rose's hind end opened my eyes to just what a task may lay before me. I suddenly realized that I needed to go beyond relying on my imagination and the advice of friends. It was time to do some research. I scoured Amazon and Powell's for training books. I started out with a John Lyon's book on bringing up baby, and then quickly added to my arsenal of books, ranging from Clinton Anderson to Parelli and others. I haven't found one specific method to be the perfect one, but they have been a great guide and starting point.

I knew that Rose was due for a float, so after about two weeks settling in at our barn I decided to have our vet come out and give Rose an overall health and dental exam and administer her vaccinations.* After the first visit with Rick, I knew that needed to know be prepared for whether or not she would be good for our vet and stand for her shots. I delved into my training books and the internet and I came across a method for desensitizing her to shots, if she wasn't already good about them. She'd either have an issue with the shots and we'd work through it or she's already be fine about them. At this point, I'd learned to expect the worst case scenario, and be happy with any better results.

The Rubberband & Syringe test:
I took a medium size syringe (no needle on the end) and placed a rubber band on the tip. Then, placing the syringe on her neck as if I were to give her a shot, I pulled back the rubber band (envisioning one of my brothers on the other end as a target) and let 'er rip.
Rose stood perfectly still!
I did it again. No reaction. I proceeded to move all over her body, where she might ever need a shot. No reaction still. I carefully moved to her hind end, ready for her to kick-out. No reaction. Shock and then a HUGE sigh of relief! At least this appeared to not be an issue. A couple days later, the vet came and went. She took her shots like a pro and I was told that she was in good form and health, he saw no issues with her other than the fact that she was overdue for a float and needed her wolf teeth removed.

*I decided not to do a vet check when I bought her, due to her young age, lack of having done anything in her life, and the sales price. I know a lot of you out there say that one should still do a vet check on even a free horse, but I felt comfortable with the amateur flex test we did that day and her overall apparent health.

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