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Go Time

Originally Posted on September 28, 2019 at https://mertensdvm.wordpress.com/blog/

Using complete freedom, a few well-timed treats, and within the space of 4 weeks, we showed that horse there was nothing to be scared of.

–KATH MERTENS, DVM

Red has his farrier appointment yesterday–his first one since beginning clicker training 4 weeks ago. I’ve worked with him and his owner, Olivia, one day a week for about 30 min total each time. Maybe 10 of those minutes are dedicated me-with-horse time. The other 20-odd minutes are demonstrating, teaching, and having Olivia give it a try.0954601001583863194.jpg

Red was fabulous! So was Olivia, for that matter! She stood with Red for the farrier appointment (all-around trim, and re-set of shoes on the front feet), rewarding him for the behaviors she wanted to see (standing calmly for the farrier) and one would never have known this could be the same horse which was so terrified one month before. I wish I had video of his previous behavior; but what I do have, on video, is the farrier’s description of that behavior. [link under construction].

Also watching the appointment was barn owner Lynn, who stated several times how tremendous a change she was witnessing after just one month. You can see a very calm horse in the photos (head lowered to withers height), a horse yielding front and back feet with ease.

0508777001583863499.jpgI think it’s worth emphasizing that ALL of Red’s training was done at complete liberty. I’m not talking without pressure on the lead rope; I’m talking no leadrope, period. No halter. This is a horse who was terrified of the farrier. Using complete freedom, a few well-timed treats, and within the space of 4 weeks, we showed that horse there was nothing to be scared of.

Happy horse, happy owner, and you can bet a very happy farrier.

~Thinking horses? Think Positive.

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  • "Kath, thank you so much for being Greyson's vet, your gentle hand, compassion and great skill made all the difference for my buddy."
    --Deirdre Dekking, Portland
  • "Dr. Mertens is a very friendly, knowledgeable equine veterinarian (and a friend to the rest of the farmyard, including the chickens!). Always up to date on the latest in equine health, and even though Mertens Mammals is a small clinic giving you the personable experience, Dr. Mertens also has equipment for more advanced diagnostics and procedures!"
    —Ari Gordon, Boring
  • "I have been a client of Mertens Mammals for 10 years. Kath (Dr. Mertens) is the most kind, thoughtful and caring Vet I have ever had for my animals. I have 3 horses: my Appy "Breeze" who turns 30 this year, my Paint " Rocket " 14 and my other Paint "Fergie " 3 are all under Kath's care. I also had a dog "Cowboy" who I lost to cancer last July. Kath took care of him also. Dr.Mertens came out on Mother's Day about 7 years ago to treat Breeze for a cut above her right eye. After a few weeks of recovery we were happy to not have a huge scar. Kath also spent 2 hours with me 3 years ago when Rocket had a small case of colic. (Thank God). I couldn't ask for a better person to take care of my girls. Kath always calls to check in on the patients. When people ask who I use for my veterinary needs for my horses, I'm always proud to refer them to Mertens Mammals. I am so thankful for an honest and caring Vet. Thank you, Kath!"
    --Michelle Schatz, Portland
  • "I got looking at Sassy’s records and it will be 6 years in July when you first met Sassy—I feel so fortunate that you became her vet and have looked after her all these years. You are such a wonderful and caring doc and I know you always have Sassy’s best interests at heart. I also know I can always rely on you to help me or Sassy when needed. Thanks for all you do for both of us—will keep you posted on Sassy.”"
    —Judy Becker, Eagle Creek
  • "My horse, Pester, would have lost her eye had it not been for the great care and dedication by Mertens Mammals. They are truly there for you any time you need them. I could go on and on. Kath Mertens has been so good to us!"
    --Troy and Wendy Mohr, Estacada
  • "She has always been there for us. She is forever in my thoughts as the best vet. She saved our hours old filly from certain death. She knew exactly what to do in an instant after just seconds in seeing her. We are forever in your debt...thank you!"
    Barbara T.
  • "Thank you Dr Mertens for such a thoughtful and careful job with our sweet Daisy the Donkey this morning! She is well on her way to health again after that abscess!"
    Suzi C.