Today was our veterinary medicine day! We had a couple special guests with us to help us learn more.
We started with slacklining. It was a one inch wide strip of webbing that was about 50 feet long. The slackline we walked on was only about 15 feet in length between two trees, the rest of the webbing was used to tighten the webbing and have more for longer slacklines. The line does not directly touch the tree, there are anchor lines that wrap around the tree and the tree is protected by towels. The last thing was the carabiners and the rappel rings. The webbing goes through the carabiner and then is tightened with the rappel rings. We learned about the difference between tightropes and slacklines. Slacklines have more “slack” and because of the materials they are harder to keep taut. Tightropes are able to be tightened easier and are often on winches. Thanks again to Ben and Noah for coming and setting up their slackline and teaching us about it!
Today we did fecal testing of the animals at camp. First we learned about what we were looking for when we collected our sample, like parasites larva. Then it was time to collect our sample. We went out to the barn and waited for the freshest sample. Luckily this didn’t take long! Each person used their bag to collect their species sample then returned to the activity center to put them in their fecalizer. Once their sample was in the fecalizer they used the solution and agitated the sample. This allowed for the parasites to separate from the feces and float to the top of the solution. After our solutions sat for over 15 minutes, then we opened them and added more solution to create a meniscus on the fecalizer. They put their slide cover on the fecalizer to sit for another ten minutes so their parasites would stick to the slide cover, then they set it on their slide to inspect under the microscope. Some people said they even saw some parasites on their slides!
We had Dr. Rymel, a local equine veterinarian, come in to talk to us about horses and veterinary medicine. We started talking about the decline of vets to work on large animals and horses. There are many more small animal vets but there is also a decline of raising large animals. We went to look at Dr. Rymel’s tools in his vehicle. He carries around an x-ray machine and two different ultrasound machines. Most vets don’t carry around these machines and usually they do these things at an office. Dr. Rymel showed us an x-ray on his computer of a healthy horse that he had done a pre-purchase exam on. After the tools we went to look at Webster, a percheron draft horse that lives at Tollgate, and Dr. Rymel told us more about examining a horse for a general check up. Then everyone went to groom the horses. We groomed the horses with the different types of brushes. We used rubber curry combs, which are like a massage for the horse and loosen dirt and debris for other brushes. After we loosen the dirt and debris, then you use a stiff brush to remove the most fine dust from the horse’s coat.