Final preparations have been completed and our special ponies have arrived to begin the biggest journey of their lives. Quarantine procedures to take horses and ponies to China is long and complex and it is best to consult with the professionals. If you are interested in purchasing or importing then please get in touch with Hayfield’s Equestrian who can provide this service. The ponies have already undergone a variety of veterinary requirements and checks before their purchase was confirmed.
The checks will continue throughout the quarantine procedure, so once the ponies had settled a government official vet arrived to check that everything is up to the their strict standards. The quarantine period then begins and our ponies will stay in the facility with me for the next 30 days.
On day 31 we will fly to China which will be a new experience for us all! When we arrive in China it will be similar to here and we will again stay together for the quarantine period before beginning our new life at the Guanming Riding Club Shenzhen
But for now the first thing to think about is helping the ponies adjust to their new environment, they have all come from different parts of Holland so it’s a big change for them. They don’t know each other or me so it will take a little time to help them feel settled.
It’s best to start small so on day one the quite ponies had a walk about in hand. I have taken them to see the indoor school and they have been individually introduced to the horse walker. It’s not common for ponies to go on walkers so this has to be done carefully for a short time. I was able to watch them from the stable window to make sure they were ok without standing by the walker which would encourage them to stop and see me.
The hotter ponies had a gentle lung so as they could disperse some energy, horses and ponies with more blood breeding need to move more to reduce stress. They are all eating and drinking well. I will also keep a close eye on their coats and droppings as this will help me to assess how the changes may be effecting them internally.
I can also check their temperatures and gums to make sure they are healthy and getting all the nutrients they need. Dutch stables tend not to have as much grazing as in the UK so its unusual for them to be in the fields at this time of year. This will lessen the adjustment for their systems as they will be used to being stabled and having hay as their bulk fibrous feed.
The ponies have lovely shavings beds and the amazing facilities here at Horse Services International are second to none. We even have a muck vacuum in each stable. There is a small trap door in the corner of each stable the staff here open it and throw the muck in, it is sucked up a huge pipe into a lorry container which gets collected as needed. It’s a very modern system and is a massive help to the staff here who have to undergo intense cleaning and sterilisation procedures after each quarantine period. The system can also be switched from vacum to washing vac its fantastic!!
I spent the afternoon grooming the ponies and making some notes about them, its good to have a marker to compare back to. I wanted to be familiar with how well they are shod if at all, if they have any medical conditions such as thrush or mud fever. I also need to be mindful of any odd behaviour or habits which could currently be due to stress or the travelling. It’s quite possible for horses and ponies to strain muscles or become stiff after a long journey.
Anything that’s unusual over the next three or four days wouldn’t alarm me but I will take it into account and plan for that ponies accordingly. If I think they have got tense and stiff with the journey then I will prioritize him to get loose schooled and time free in the arena so they can stretch, roll and let off some steam. Now I have my notes I can look back in a week and see if any of the behaviours or ailments are improving, if they are not then I will consult with the farrier or vet accordingly.
The next day the ponies have a saddle fitting session once I have allocated the best fit saddle to each pony I can begin working them. The quite ponies who didn’t work yesterday have a gentle lunge and go on the walker. Whilst the hotter ponies who were lunged the first day are now lose schooled with their tack on. As I’m working on my own lose schooling help’s me to see how the saddles sit on the ponies when they are moving. This will help me to assess if I need to change the saddle pad or make a small adjustment.
It is also safer for me when lone working to see how they react under saddle. As the ponies were purchased and vetted over a week ago it’s quite possible that their previous owners may have kept them in twenty-four seven in case they injured themself. Anyone who has sold a horse has faced this dilemma! As I don’t know what has happened in their recent history I will watch them all loose first before getting on them.
Loose schooling is also really helpful to help me understand their personalities, are they crying for their friends and running to the gate or are they bold and investigating and getting on with their work? Happily all three of my hotter ponies were very bold and complete experts at loose schooling! In fact I think Hugo would have loose schooled himself! One of the boys was rather fresh so I’ve made sure he gets some turn out time in the school.
That is all for today guys any questions or comments please get in touch and don’t forget to like and follow my site freefill.blog look me up and share share share ! x