moving Leta

I just got back from an adventure in NM. I helped my good friend, Leta, move her horses when her transport company backed out on her at the last minute. Well, they did not exactly back out but were not able to give her any date for when they could come and she was down to the wire on her move date. I arrived in Hunt wed April 2nd with my rig and my friend, Rita, followed with her truck and my flatbed to load a wood burning stove and some panels Leta was giving me. After a great barbecue lunch Rita headed home and Leta and I set to making sure the horses were ready to go. Leta had been packing for months as she was moving from a 200 plus acre ranch with 4 houses on it to 40 acres and 1 house and a small guest house. Even with all her downsizing it was still a huge undertaking. Leta had a wonderful moving man named Lou and he and his 3 man crew had been at work since tues morning loading everything up.

Early wed morning we set off with Lou in Leta’s car, Leta and I in my rig with the 3 horses and 2 of her dogs, Mundo in Leta’s truck with 2 dogs and her trailer containing barn items plus 4 cats and 4 chickens. Joe and Earnest brought up the rear with 2 huge moving vans.

We were concerned about the horses because Gabriel has a chronic neck injury and Copper is 30 years old but all horses made the trip well. Gabriel seemed to enjoy us paying special attention to him by soaking alfalfa cubes and feeding them to him by hand when we stopped for gas. The trip was long and we were coming to the last stretch about 10:30 that night. Lou felt we should take a short cut and we were all for it. Little did we know that the road was not paved and consisted of 15 miles of up and down washboard. I had been getting a bit sleepy but after this stretch I was wide awake. At times I had to stop completely to keep the wheels from being jarred right off the truck. I was sure glad I had recently had major front end work done. Leta and I were so glad we had decided to put boots with pads on Gabriel and Copper and hoped they were helping absorb the concussion. At last we did arrive and all animal were secured for the night and we headed to bed.

Thursday morning we checked on everyone and all seemed well. the chickens had even laid eggs on the way. After some coffee and a breakfast of whatever we could find that did not require cooking I set off for home. I did not get 5 miles down the road before my transmission light started flashing. I was not too surprised because I had felt the truck struggling the last half of the trip and I did have 260,000 miles on it. I limped into a service station and was able to call Leta’s mover, Lou, and asked him to let Leta know what was going on since she had no phone. Lou left Leta to instruct the movers where to put things and came himself to pick me up. Talk about service over and above. By the time Lou arrived I had found a Ford dealer and he followed me into Edgewood to Rich Ford. I have US Rider road service and the tow driver they found suggested the dealership. I felt very comfortable with the manager, Les, and he was able to locate a transmission and promised to work on the truck Monday.

Back Lou and I went to Leta’s where the unloading was complete and Leta was looking a bit lost in a sea of boxes. Neither of us had the energy to go to town so we opened enough boxes to find some canned goods and made a salad with a tomato that had made the trip from TX. I don’t think Leta had eaten at all and I had eaten chips in the truck so our dinner tasted like manna from heaven. After tucking all the animals in we went to bed early.

Sat morning we had some energy and located some pots and pans so we could cook the eggs the chickens had laid. With this fortification we set off to explore. Of course the first place we went was the feed store. it is really neat and they have everything from fencing to dog biscuits. They even have natural foods and treats. After giving the feed store a good looking over we went next door to a great little cafe called the San Marcus. Even though we had just eaten we could not resist and had a meal of real good authentic new mexico food. It was a good thing we did because we returned to the ranch to find the horses had escaped!

There was no sign of them at all so we set off in the truck to locate them. We caught up with them about 3 miles out and they were pretty darn glad to see us. At home in TX they were used to having a river to go drink in and they had not brought any water. The challenge was getting them home. I lead them from the back of the truck but Gabriel and Bella could not agree on a pace. She would lag back and he kept going up the side of the truck. I did not realize that Leta could not hear me over the diesel engine so when I yelled slow she thought I was saying go. Needless to say we made it back but Gabriel was pretty stressed and threatening to colic. We gave him cham 30c and offered him a bran mash which he was not interested in. finally we soaked some alfalfa in water and got him to eat it. This seemed to settle his stomach and he relaxed. We waited until all the horses had drunk well and passed manure before giving them their dinner and turning them out. We made sure all gates were secure. We had secured some supplies in town so we had a great meal and called it a day.

Sunday we set to getting the barn in order and that took pretty much the whole day. Feeding was now much easier with everything in one place. The horses seemed to be fully recovered from the trip and their escape. Everyone was eating and drinking well. Leta and I went to Pasquels for a very nice dinner in Santa Fe. We had to wait a long time for our table so the manager gave us a sample of each dessert cookie. We took these home and snacked on them that night and the next day.

Monday we set of for the cafe and arrived at 1 minute to 8 when they opened. We watched them feed the dogs and another truck pulled in behind us at the gate. About 10 after someone arrived and let us all in. I guess things are a bit more relaxed that in TX. It was great to eat our breakfast while watching the peacocks and turkeys outside. It seems people in rural NM are heavy into birds. We went home to wait for the phone man(who never came) and took a nap. We met a friend of mine, Dee Blanco, for dinner and had another wonderful meal.

Tuesday morning my truck was all fixed up and I headed home. It was an easy trip and I got in about 11:00 pm. I had great plans for all the things I was going to do Wed but I could not seem to get going on anything. I finally gave up and went for a drink with my friends, Rita, Pat and Debbie. I really enjoyed my forced vacation at Leta’s beautiful resort like home but it was great to be back in TX. Madalyn

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About Madalyn Ward, DVM

This blog provides information based on my unique take on horse health and well being. The articles are based on experience of treating and working with horses for over 40 years. In most cases the articles are focused on an holistic approach to health and management. When conventional medicine offers good research or therapy, I share this information as well. Madalyn Ward, DVM

1 thought on “moving Leta

  1. marijaneb

    Hi Madalyn,
    I just want to let you know that I’m enjoying your blog. It will be fun to “share” in your new property, all your work there, and your various trips and adventures. I’ll be checking in regularly to see what you’re up to away from HHH.

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