A little less than two weeks after she arrived at SAFE, Winter met with the vet and the farrier for the first time in years. When we’d first booked the appointments for her, we did so tentatively, unsure if she would be far enough along in her handling to be seen to. But Winter is a tremendously bright mare, and over the course of the week following her arrival, made huge strides. Each day, multiple times a day, Terry would go out to catch her, and each day it became a bit easier. She remains a ways off from being truly halter broke or letting just anyone catch her, but her forward progress has been exponential.


As part of her daily handling, Winter was also learning to take oral meds. Thanks to our good friend applesauce, Winter learned that not everything that comes out of a syringe has to be yucky. With this lesson, we were able to deworm Winter, and, on the vet day in question, help get her in a more relaxed frame of mind with a bit of dorm gel. She was nice and relaxed when the vet truck arrived, and while she was still highly aware of the people around her, she let the vet listen to her heart and give her a once over — not to mention some pets.


She wasn’t quite ready to walk into the barn for her appointment, but thankfully our vets at Rainland are flexible, and were willing to come to her for the float. She sedated well, and with the help of some earplugs and a slow start, we were able to get her teeth back in their best working order. She had developed quite severe sharp points that were causing some ulcerations in her mouth, so with those taken care of now, she is surely feeling a lot better during mealtimes. During this appointment we were also able to vaccinate Winter, draw blood to check her insulin and thyroid levels (both in normal range), and insert a microchip.

But that’s not all – we were also able to coordinate it so that our farrier was able to arrive concurrently with our vet. The two chatted about the best plan for Winter’s hooves, and following the completion of her vet checklist, Winter had her first hoof trim in a long time. Just the fronts for now, as she is still uncertain about being touched anywhere behind her mid-back, but that is where the most work was needed. It will take a while before Winter’s hooves fully come around, but this was a great and very crucial start.



These two routine appointments mark the first of many to come now over the course of Winter’s life. One thing is for sure, the future looks bright for this smart mare!