Friday, June 13, 2008

Bathing and first hoof trim

Tuesday: it was really hot here in NJ. Probably in the upper 90's to low 100's. Drifter was dripping sweat standing in her stall. What a good day to teach her that baths are a good thing! I set the wash stall up with a bucket of water and sponge for washing. I brought her up and she followed me right into the washstall. I cross tied her in the wash stall; as I figure that the best way to get her "reliable" in cross tying is to do it more in more places with caution so that she doesn't get herself into a bad situation. Then I started slowly with the wetted sponge on her shoulder under her long mane. She was cautious, but okay with the cool water. She got a treat for standing like a good girl. I sponged her whole body, legs, inside of her hind legs and tried to get some stains off of her. I found that she most disliked when the water began to soak her skin. She she isn't totally thrilled with bathing, but she is tolerating it. I hope to be able to really scrub her up someday soon. She also got some real fly spray and more SWAT on her to try and keep her happy in turnout- where the flies like to eat her!

I also CONQUERED the wormer! I took a used wormer syringe and put some apple flavored mushy water in there. I was able to go VERY slowly and touch her face with he syringe. I eventually slipped it into her mouth and dispensed! I repeated on the right side with a little more difficulty, but was able to do the same as well. During this process, I had my fingers in her mouth and noticed that on her left side her upper molars do not align with her lower molars. I was able to feel the chewing surface of her upper left molars and there is a large hook in the front and some sharp edges. Her gums are also very fleshy- they were not red or irritated looking, but there is a lot of flesh in there! I am interested to see in her mouth when she is HEAVILY sedated next month for her dental visit.

Friday the 13th- TODAY.

First, I had a root canal done at my new dentist and went to the barn after that - so I felt like crap. The farrier was just finishing with Fritz. So, I introduced Drifter and a little bit about her story. I was planning on having her front feet done as I have still been working on getting her reliable with lifting and holding her hind feet. Interestingly enough, she didn't want to come out of her stall. Once out, I walked her up and down the aisle so he could evaluate how she moves- she really didn't want to move out. He started with rubbing her body a little and then rubbing her legs. He did a short ask to lift and hold the front foot and then we rewarded her. He was able to get her front leg in between his and trim her foot. I distracted her and bribed her with some treats to help keep her head low and relaxed. Linda Tellington Jones talks about the connection between raising the head and the flight or fight reflex, this is also seen in many natural horsemanship techniques. Joe, the farrier, was willing to try to give the hind feet a try. The first attempt she picked up the foot willingly, but had difficulty with holding it up. She continued to shake/jerk her leg away. He went a got a long, soft rope, so that he was able to place it around her fetlock, ask her to weightshift and lift her leg. This time when she jerked her leg he was able to stay relaxed and out of harms way. As soon as she balanced herself and relaxed, her put down her foot and rewarded her. She relaxed and licked and chewed. He put her hind leg on the stand and quickly took it off. The second attempt her left her leg there and trimmed her hing hoof. We repeated on the other side with only minimal more difficulty. Wow- Drifter had her first hoof trimming without the stocks, without sedation and without stress. This mare is really smart and willing.

I also tried on a few horse blankets on her- for fall/winter. Unless I find a good fly sheet for her. THe 72 was too small. She is a 74-76 size. I found a great ice and baby blue blanket that makes her look like a yeti wearing it! The too small lilac blanket looked very pretty on her! She is getting very good with taking on/off her halter. I am hoping the staff can start doing that soon. She was quite interested in wearing blankets, sort of like "what is this" and was totally cool with me taking them off, buckling then and folding them back up in her stall. Hopefully tomorrow my mouth will be feeling better and we can do some more "work".

No comments:

Post a Comment