Sunday, May 25, 2008

Day three

Yesterday I went to visit a friend in Maryland, so Drifter didn't have any work. She was however moved from her stall to another for stall cleaning and did fine.

Today was a big day.

First, I ripped off the nasty scab on her RH and cleaned and bandaged the wound. There was a lot of pus under the scab, hopefully it can heal nicely now with no effect on the tendons. She was very good for this, despite that fact that it must have hurt like hell.

Then I put a surcingle on her. This was the first time that she has been girthed up that I know of. Her only reaction was to back up when I tightened it.
Here she is in her stall, standing calmly with it on.
So, then we tried lunging. We walked to the outdoor riding ring for the first time and hooked up the lunge line.
I hooked it through her halter to the surcingle, so that she couldn't turn to the outside and bolt. The downside to hooking the line this way is that if she does turn to the outside, you now have the lunge around her neck and can't pull on it because you are pulling her away from yourself.
Of course, this happened several times, but she quickly learned to stop and allow me to switch sides and not panic. She lunged well to the left for the first time. She was tending to pull towards the barn/horses side of the ring and cut into me on the other side. Luckily, she isn't the overreative type, so that I was able to shake the line at her to move her out. By the time we got to the right side, she was getting tired and a bit frazzled, so we didn't do as much or as well to the right. She also picked up on the "bllt" sound for a downwards transition, as I was using this before she hit the end of the lunge and she started responding by slowing and not pulling. Another kudos to her is that she didn't go up when she felt the pressure of the line bending her nose towards the surcingle. She had some nice moments of roundess and a lot of moments of invertedness. We still have a long way to go.
Drifter had her feet done in March. The vet commented that she had her feet done in the stocks. Today I was able to lift and hold both front feet, she didn't even fight- just seemed a little unbalanced.
Drifter ate all her wormer today- she is also eating hand fed alfalfa cubed from the barn staff.
Drifter was turned out in the paddock for the first time today. I was told she was hard to catch, but when I walked by the paddock and called her name, she followed me. She stood right by the gate and was ready to come in. I am still working on her leading manners.

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