Oh my goodness gracious, what a weekend we had! I had originally planned to have a shipper pick pony up and bring her to me, but after finding out that she'd be coming with two other horses from Texas, I decided to go get her myself. I looked on Google maps and it said it would be about 13 hours one way . . . doable in a weekend. But it turned out to be more like 16 hours each way. I don't know how professional truck drivers do it!
We left home Saturday morning at 6:30 and got there at 10:30 at night. The drive was mostly uneventful save for some traffic in the LA area and heat in the desert. Oh, and lightning storms once we got to Arizona! Colin and I took turns driving in 4-hour shifts. Thank goodness for him deciding to come with me because that is a looooonnnnngggggg drive to try to do by oneself in two days. We got in at 10:30 at night, but since we were amped from driving and trying to stay awake we couldn't of course automatically flip a switch and go to bed. So we maybe fell asleep around 11:30. And then we woke up at 2:30. Ugh! I wanted to be on the road by 4 a.m. because, well, we were in Phoenix where it is hot and they were supposed to have 110-ish temperatures, so I wanted to get the heck out of there before the heat settled.
Our morning went as planned and we met the seller at her place at 3:15 a.m. This was the first time I actually saw pony in person, and she is LOVELY! Nice, nice mare! Dee Dee (nickname potentially to be changed because I know a Dee Dee, and, well, you know how that goes) loaded up well. She was appropriately cautious about getting on a new trailer, in the dark, by herself, and away from her friends who were whinnying for her. She took the bribery of carrots and a little tap on the bum to reward any forward movement and got on without incident. Yay!
As we drove out and away from the neighborhood she pawed for a couple of minutes, then settled down and didn't make a peep for the rest of the ride.
Here's a picture from one of our breaks.
I was really anxious to get on the road and get out of Dodge - I mean, Phoenix. On Friday's NPR news, I heard that there was a sand storm in Phoenix. A 1/2 mile high sand storm that shut down the airport and closed roads. Great. I was worried the whole way driving down there about what we'd encounter. What we got instead was rain, thunder, and lightning! It is monsoon season, I guess! It seemed to keep the temperature a bit cooler, which was nice, but it was another reason I really wanted to get back to California! There were two road closures/detours on the highways (and the detours weren't well marked, but I figured if we followed the FedEx truck we'd be okay, and we were), and it rained our whole drive out. When we got to California and went through the desert, we had the opposite. No rain, but a dust storm! At first we thought smoke . . . but it didn't smell like smoke or have that burning sort of feeling. Fog? No, I didn't think so by the way it looked, and there was no foggy sort of chill in the air. Smog? Maybe, could be, but the visibility was so bad and it was windy that I thought it unlikely, so sand/dust is my best guess. I think it may have bothered Dee Dee's eyes a bit, because we noticed they were runny on our stop to offer her water.
The first stop she nickered at me. She gingerly took a cookie and splashed her nose in the water.
The second stop she splashed some more. I offered her an apple core but she wasn't really interested.
The third stop a stranger came up to me and was interested to see her (a fellow horse person) and Dee Dee was very friendly and said hello.
So, let's see. Thunderstorm. Yup. Dust storm. Yup. LA traffic - we got lucky there and didn't really have any. The Grapevine. Pretty good but mentally exhausting (for those of you who don't know California, The Grapevine is a big, long, steep pass that you have to cross over on I-5 to get from the Central Valley to the LA area. They have signs that tell you to turn off your AC so your car doesn't overheat. Sometimes they close it in the winter. Trucks barely crawl along in low gear. You pray your breaks don't burn down.). After The Grapevine we stopped for lunch (to eat on the go, not leave her unattended!).
After The Grapevine, when I came out from getting lunch at Subway I found Colin standing in the people door in front of her head, gingerly sponging off her face. I think he has a crush on her - it is hard not to, she's so cute. :-)
She wasn't drinking a lot yet, and had been holding her pee so I was a little worried. We bought some apple juice and put it in her bucket with the water and she took some big gulps and finally had a wee and a poop. I'm sure she felt much better.
The rest of our ride and subsequent stops were uneventful (well, all stops were uneventful - she was perfect on the trailer!!). We got home around 8:30. What a long day!
Dee Dee unloaded politely and nickered at the boys. We put her in a paddock separate from them (across the driveway) and Colin kept an eye on her while I got the barn ready. He dutifully reported in that she peed, pooped, and drank water - a good horseman who knows what to look out for! I put hay out for her, a bucket of fresh water with a little apple juice in it, and made her a hay pellet mash with some electrolytes. Put the boys in their stall/paddocks and brought her up to the barn. She went right for her mash and it looked like all would be well so I tucked her in for the night and went to the house.
Today she cheerfully greeted me for breakfast.
I put the boys across the driveway in the pasture and opened her gate to let her out of her paddock so she could explore the rest of the dry lot area.
Got home from work and look who was greeting me when I drove up.
I feel bad that she's on her own right now - I know she's keen to meet the boys, but I need to keep her quarantined to make sure she doesn't have a cold or anything. There's lots of chatting across the driveway, and lots of googly-eyes back and forth - for now that'll have to do.
Later today I'm going to work with her on fly spray and getting a fly mask on because, well, flies suck!