Every day is a new day. I definitely was in a better place to start with when I got to the barn. My plan was that there was no plan. Which was a good plan :-) After the chores, I pulled a slightly reluctant Little Love out of the field (she didn't stop, but just came very slowly, Col following tightly behind). I soaked her feet and washed her back, which she seemed to enjoy since she had the choice to leave at any time (which she didn't). The skin condition on her back is not doing so well. I took a picture of it last week, but it looks way worse in real life. Yesterday, instead of just having these spots with no hair, she had weird crusty scabs. I picked at them and washed them with this solution that is sort of like Betadine soap. It seems to have worked since there were no new scabs. But, her hair looks awful on the top of her back. Like I need another thing to deal with at the moment...
Talking about that. Pieces are starting to fall into place concerning Little Love's transportation to Finland this summer. It is going to be a pretty interesting journey and I definitely have to prep her for it in advance. In fact, we did some loading again today and for the first time, I shut both the back and the front bar, locking Little Love in. She was fine with it, at least as long as she was eating the small amount of grain I gave her. Once she had no food, she realized what had happened and she had a little "fit". She jerked up her head and tried to back out, but obviously just hit the back bar. The trailer swayed from side to side for a moment. I gave her a carrot and she took it (which means she wasn't too panicked). Then I opened the front and let her walk out (she had a halter, but no leadrope). She went down the front ramp pretty swiftly, but atleast she didn’t run out J
So, that was a bit of a surprise for her, realizing she was actually in there and could not get out right away. Next time I'll put her in there, but won't even do the bars. I want to go back and forth, until I can see that she really doesn't care about being locked in. I need to practice this A LOT. Because, when she leaves for Finland, it looks like she will first have to be driven two to three hours north in a trailer just to cross the boarder into France. Then, she'll be picked up by a huge horse transport on it's way from Spain to Germany (good thing is that there are other horses in there). Then she'll be at a barn in Germany where she'll wait for the next horse truck to come and get her and take her all the way to Finland.
The good thing is that I can be there with her at the "transfer spot" in France as well as in Germany, at least when she arrives (I can't travel with the truck, but will go by car). She may end up spending a few days at that barn and my plan is to stay with her as long as I can.
The thing is, I need to make it to Finland before the horse does (she goes through Sweden) The problem still is that no dates are fixed as of yet, because both transporters don't seem to really make their schedules until a week or two before. So, we are just talking about ball park guestimates of when she is going. But, I had to get my own boat tickets, as I’m traveling with family (husband, kid, dogs - bless all of their hearts for being willing to follow my horse from what seems the other end of the earth to the other !) and those boats fill up fast. If heavens align, Little Love will be picked up on the same day I have my tickets. And if not, we will both just have to deal with it.
So today I hooked up the trailer again. I just wanted to make sure Little Love hadn't gone back to panic mode after being shut in yesterday. Nope. She literally RAN in when she saw the open trailer. I closed the back bar, but left the front open. She was a bit nervous, but it could have been because Col was walking around in the paddock area and she could hear him behind her.
Her skin looked a little bit better - I think. Or perhaps I'm being hopeful and thus blind? So, I decided to wash her again with the same soap. I think I just have to stay on top of it. There were a few new scabs, too, but I scratched them off.
She is still in heat (her stall was awful, took me forever to clean it), but not so clingy with Col. Actually, she was more like hostile towards him than anything else. This made me hopeful that perhaps we could leave the property without major incident. I decided to try it. I'm trying to live by the rule "If it's not happening now, it's not happening." This is so important with Little Love, because sometimes things can get sketchy and if I get stuck on those moments, we'll never leave the yard again. But it's not easy to challenge yourself every single day.
She actually walked out the gate fine. She didn't call out to Col for the first time until after we had crossed the big road. It was nothing like the other day, though, so we powered on. Her eyes were on sticks and she kept calling to Col every so often, but despite all this, she seemed motivated to walk. We got about a half a mile away when I stopped to let her graze. She was still nervous, but then finally the grass "won" and she calmed down. She ate grass for ten minutes and I was tempted to walk further, but I thought it a good idea to go home instead. Why push my luck, right? Go figure that just about then things started happening. Believe it or not, but while we had been relaxing and enjoying the sun (and grass), a huge bull (yes, a bull) had crept up behind us and was now standing on the hill, staring at us. There was a flimsy fence in between us, but that didn't really mean a thing to Little Love. So when he mooed (and she realized he was there), she bolted towards home. Luckily I have a long rope, quick reflexes and excellent running shoes. I was able to hold on to her and somehow run with her so that we could get away from this big animal.
What is it with me, the horses and cows? For crying out loud.
Little Love was pretty freaked out, but she did listen to me and not drag me home. We trotted a while and then stopped to see if she could actually walk, but it was too soon. So we trotted further, until we were fairly close to the big road. That was obviously far enough and finally Little Love settled down and was actually able to eat a bit of grass before we walked home. Phew. If there is one thing I won't miss from Switzerland, it is these creapy cows. Usually all the cows have these enormous bells (which I think is animal abuse) so you can hear them a mile away, but there are a few herds around the barn with bells only on a few individuals. Those individuals do obviously not include bulls.