Mahogany’s Big Adventure

So it turns out that relocating a horse from one state to another is kind of a big production. Just to transport a horse across a state line requires a vet check and a Coggins test (for equine infectious anemia; horses who test positive must be euthanized or quarantined for the rest of their lives) and a certificate of good health. Before the vet can inspect and test the horse and fill out the health certificate, he has to have the address that the horse will be moving to, the name of the person or company who will be transporting the horse, and the date on which the horse will be leaving the state of origin. I didn’t have any of that information when I left California, so I left Mahogany in the care of a friend while the kids and I made the move to Texas.

Finding a place to board her here was more of a challenge than I expected, but I finally found a beautiful place about ten miles from where we’re living. The facility’s full-service care is a bit out of my price range, but I only need space in their pasture. Mahogany would be miserable standing in a barn stall anyway.

The most affordable option for transporting her was to use a national company that basically does nothing but drive big rigs back and forth across the country, picking up and dropping off horses along the way. There was some uncertainty about whether there would be room for Mahogany on the next California run or whether she would have to wait another two weeks, but at the last minute another horse canceled out and Mahogany got his spot.

These big companies operate on a crazy schedule. They picked Mahogany up in the wee hours of Tuesday morning and dropped her off in the wee hours of this morning (Thursday). I guess that’s how they keep their prices low, though — just keep moving 24/7.

I went to see her this morning. She looks very content in her new pasture with her new herd of friends. An enormous draft horse seems to have taken her under his wing. She has a few minor scrapes and she looks a little dehydrated, but that’s not unusual after a long trip like that and then settling in with unfamiliar horses in an unfamiliar place.


I led her to the water trough and she drank deep; I’m not sure she had known where it was before I showed her. I don’t want to ride her until she’s had a chance to recover from the stress of the trip and get settled in, so instead I took her for a walk to explore the new digs. Her pasture borders the Trinity river, so we headed that way and walked along the riverbank for a while.


The river trail isn’t nearly as domesticated there as it is in the area that the kids and I hiked a couple weeks ago; it’s actually kind of overgrown and jungly. I unintentionally walked through a web that belonged to this beast:


The photo doesn’t do him justice; he was huge.

We also came across the skeleton of some unfortunate horse.


Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him not, Mahogany.

The bugs are more plentiful here, and she’s still getting used to them. After we came back from our walk I watched her at liberty in her pasture for a while, and she did a lot of tail-swishing, self-grooming and fence-rubbing.



But she’s very plainly happy; other than mild annoyance at the insects she’s showing no signs of stress at all.

It’s a huge relief to finally have her here. It feels like being able to exhale after holding my breath for a month.

Categories: Animals, Horses, Life, Wildlife | Leave a comment

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