For a young horse, the first trip off the farm is like a child's first day in school after an also-first trip on the bus. It's a significant rite of passage.
Tiffany, our weanling filly, took that first ride yesterday when she had to go to Washington State University for X-rays. Initially a bit hesitant, she decided to trust us and allow herself to be led into the trailer without any fight--a big relief, seeing as how the last thing she/we needed was a fracas out in the driveway. Chalk one up for her good-minded disposition. Chalk one up also for trainer John Lyons' time-tested method of training a horse to load. Although we gave ourselves a several-hours head start before her appointment, in order to TRAIN her to load rather than to force her, she didn't need more than a few minutes before she "got it" and walked in.
She took the big world of the horse hospital well, too. In fact, it was probably harder on me than it was on her when she had to be handed over to vet students, then walked, trotted, poked, and prodded within the caverns of a $30 million facility. She acquited herself well in the good-manners department.
Tiffany's diagnosis was a growth-related issue in her right stifle. Her prognosis is good--we caught her lameness early, before irreparable damage could occur, and now we know how to manage her through her recovery. She went back into the trailer without hassle, seemingly all the more grown up after her big trip to town.
Wish I could have heard her describing her grand adventure to the other horses after we tucked her back into the barn, doled out dinners, and turned the light off for the night!