He’s Here!

Just a short one this time.  I arrived at the barn around 7:15 yesterday, thinking I’d be there just ahead of Woodstock, but when I walked in, there he was in his new stall, looking out over the gate at me!

He was definitely “up,” as we horse people say.  And with good reason.  He was also off his feed all day, not wanting his lunch or dinner, barely picking at the hay grown here.  I gave him some Orchard grass, and he dove right into that!  Victor took him for a couple of walks, and he was good but marched out like a youngster–Victor was surprised to learn that he is 18 years old.

Today he is much happier, eating hs food and hay, taking his walks and stopping to munch on some grass, and standing quietly in the cross ties for grooming.  And when he’s happy, I’m happy!

Waiting for Woodstock

Well, I have been here in Puerto Rico for just over three months, without my beloved Woodstock.  I have thought about him, worried about him, sent kisses to him, rejoiced at every good vet check, laughed at pictures sent by my friends, and missed him terribly.  Finally, on the 13th of this month, he was cleared to travel.  HALLELUJAH!!!

So, I started calling the shippers, and things happened so much faster than I ever thought.  There was one spot left on the plane from LA to Fort Lauderdale, and it was scheduled for the 21st!  Of course I booked it, and the scramble for his travel papers and packing his remaining things ensued.  It literally went down to the wire, but at the last minute everything was in place.

He was picked up at 3am to arrive at Ontario airport by 5am for a 6:10 flight.  All went well and he arrived in Fort Lauderdale right on time, loaded onto a trailer and taken to Blue Sky Farm in Miami.  I received a phone call from the manager there, and the first thing she said was “He’s pretty cute!”  Not that I’m biased or anything, but she is absolutely correct about that.

Well, he was supposed to fly from Miami to San Juan early this morning, but something happened.  At 2:35 this morning, I awoke from my sleep.  As I tossed around, I couldn’t stop thinking of Woodstock, and hoped all was well.  On my bedside table, my phone lit up, but I didn’t check it because it’s usually a notification that a new email came in.  He was supposed to be picked up early again to be at Miami airport by 5am.  Finally I fell back into sleep.  At 5:30 my husband woke me, and I checked my phone.  At 2:37am I had received a text telling me that the plane had broken down and my boy could not be retrieved today, they will try for tomorrow.

As sad as this news is, I am grateful that the trouble happened while the plane was here on the ground and not in the air over the ocean!  And Woodstock gets to enjoy another day in the equine equivalent of a Four Seasons resort, with someone fawning over him and telling him just how cute he is.

Now it’s time for the list of credits.  HUGE shout-outs to:

Dr. Mark Secor, DVM.  Dr. Secor is our vet in California.  He oversaw Woodstock’s care, treatments and rehab from beginning to end, always from a place of compassion and recommending what is best for the horse.  An abundance of caution is never a bad thing.  He typically saw Woodstock in the afternoon, when I’m sure he was tired and perhaps sometimes low on patience, but he always took as much time as we needed, even FaceTiming with me over the phone!

Brittney Maguire and Jacque Parker of Summer Valley Equestrian in Coto de Caza, California. They were our trainers and have been Woodstock’s caretakers since last October.  We really didn’t get much of a chance to go very far with them, because he got hurt right after we started.  When I had to move and leave him behind, they stepped right up, managed all of his vet appointments, treatments, therapies, and rehab program.  They checked on him and doted on him, and followed his feeding and supplementation regimen exactly.  When it came time to pack him up, they got really creative to make everything fit so nothing got left behind.  I have no words to properly thank these ladies for all their time, love and attention to detail in the care of my boy.  Anyone looking for trainers in southern Orange County CA will not be disappointed by joining their program.

Tex Sutton Forwarding handled the first leg of Woodstock’s journey.  Greg Otteson is the West Coast contact, and he has handled everything; coordinating schedules and what papers were needed where between himself and the shipper that will bring him to Puerto Rico.  Please, everyone, look up ‘Tex Sutton’ online–you will be able to see their photo gallery and a video of Air Horse One, the dedicated airplane that can take as many as 18 horses in safety and comfort all over the country!

Next, Greg Jackson of Alegre Equine Air Horse Transport.  He is fetching Woodstock from Miami to San Juan.  He makes runs from San Juan to cities in the States and throughout the Carribean.  Please look him up online as well, you will see a slideshow of how the horses travel on his planes.  They each have their own little travel “pod”!  Greg has also been spot on with handling all the requirements of bringing my horse into Puerto Rico, connecting with Greg Otteson and my vet to make certain nothing was missed.

Each and every one of of the aforementioned people are true professionals who run first-class business operations.  I cannot recommend them all highly enough to anyone who has the need for their services.  I want to say THANK YOU to them for all that they have personally done to help us, I am forever grateful for their time, attention and expertise.

Woodstock will be here tomorrow, and we will continue his rehab here with our new trainer, Israel Lopez at El Bosque la Sebastiana.

It’s Not Easy Being Green

Did you know there is a breeding season for Iguanas?  I did not know that.  Iguanas are quite prolific here in Puerto Rico.  And that’s an understatement.  They’re literally everywhere.

Having visited here frequently over the past two or three years, I have seen plenty of them.  When you go to old San Juan there are guys walking around with two or three of them on their shoulders, and for a small fee you can have one placed upon your body and pose for a picture.  I personally would not do this.

So, for the last two or three weeks there has been a plethora of dead Iguanas along the roads and highways here.  At first, I didn’t think much of it, but as the days went on and there were more and more dead bodies, I began to wonder why.  And the answer is that we are in the beginning of Iguana breeding season.

You may be wondering why I care enough to make an entire post about this, so here goes.  I have nothing against Iguanas.  I am happy to leave them alone and watch them from a safe distance.  As far as I’m concerned, they can live their little Iguana lives outside, a safe distance from me.  But watching the body count rise day after day, I feel bad for them.  Some get completely obliterated by whatever vehicle with which they have the unfortunate contact, while some appear fully intact; just obviously dead.  There is no road crew for cleanup, so they remain subject to the sun, baking and bloating.

There is something that perplexes me though.  Nearly every one of these poor creatures that is killed is quite a large specimen.  I’m talking at least 12″, NOT including the tail.  Now, I don’t know how quickly these guys grow, but it would seem to me that if they can stay out of the road long enough to grow that big, at what point in their maturity do they become so stupid as to play chicken with the drivers here???