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Vaccination Day, Part 1

Yesterday was Vaccination Day, Part 1. We vaccinated all of the horses on the front half of the farm. We decided to make sure the day got off to the worst start possible by vaccinating Timbit first. Last year vaccinating Timbit was largely a non-event. I clicker trained him, first teaching him what the clicker meant, and then working with toothpicks to get him to accept needle pricks. We broke a couple of boxes worth of toothpicks but eventually, after a couple of weeks of dedicated practice, Timbit got ok with things. When the vet vaccinated him last year Timbit shook his head once and walked in a circle, but that was it.

I’ve mentioned in a couple of recent posts that it feels like we’ve been running a marathon at a sprint pace lately. One of the things I didn’t have time to do, and in fact forgot about until two days before, was re-visiting the clicker and toothpicks with Timbit. We definitely paid the price for my failure to work with Timbit. We did get him vaccinated but there was much rearing and running backwards involved. Thankfully Timbit was not as dedicated to taking a stand as he can be, so there wasn’t any rearing combined with striking out, or spinning around while throwing double barrel kicks, or charging, or . . .

Once the Tasmanian Devil Timbit was vaccinated we moved on to Sparky the donkey. Everyone knows how determined Sparky can be when he doesn’t want to participate. Thankfully he’s mellowed over the years on the topic of vaccinations and if Jason is holding the leadrope – and by holding the leadrope I mean using every ounce of his considerable upper body strength – Sparky mostly capitulates.

After Timbit and Sparky were vaccinated it was all a downhill slide from there. We used step-in posts and electric tape to pen the horses up at the front of the pastures while they were eating breakfast to drastically cut down on the ability of the runners to run. They clearly remembered this strategy from the last two years so no one even tried to run. It was nice.

We get to repeat the entire experience again next week when we vaccinate the back half of the farm. The good news is that Timbit is already vaccinated and surely none of the horses will be stepping up to fill his void.


Remmy, Fabrizzio and Walden all knew something was up since they had their halters on

hanging out and waiting for the vet

Duesy said “hey Remmy, can you help me remove this halter?” Remmy’s response was “Sure!”

Jason always has to hold Sparky for his vaccinations, he just drags anyone else around. A couple dozen visits to the chiropractor and a few massages later and Jason’s back will be all fixed up and ready to vaccinate Sparky and Timbit again next spring.

Faune and Donneur

Rip and Hemi

Maisie and Lily

Chance, Convey and Moe

Baner, Hesse and Bruno

Romeo and Lotus

George, Silver, Cocomo and Gibson

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