Now that Cookie is wearing her halter, I’m out with her every day for hands on work. She can be cranky to catch sometimes, but those days I make her move her feet until she realizes it’s just easier to come to me. Once that realization hits her, she turns in and walks to me. I clip on the lead rope and, after praising her for coming in, we get to work.
Yesterday’s session started out like most days do.
Gotta get the bug juice on, and then we can go onto other things. No horse can concentrate on what you’re asking of them if they are being swarmed by flies.
Then I played with her feet. Fronts first, because it’s easier for her to lift fronts. She’s still working on balancing once they’re up. She’s had horrible feet for far too long, and she’s re-learning how to hold them up and not fall on the human holding them. She’s a very good girl and tries hard to not fall on the human, but that also means she can be grabby with taking her foot back sometimes. It’ll take time and patience to remind her the hows and whys of it all.
After we worked for a bit on her fronts, I rubbed her back legs. Last time Michele was out, Cookie wasn’t able to lift her backs, but, ever the amazing patient woman, Michele still got a trim on her! Cookie couldn’t lift, but she was willing, and able to stand on a board, so Michele could get some of the over growth off.
Now we’re working on getting her to lift the backs. She shifts and lifts to her toe, but hasn’t been able to give me a back hoof yet. It’ll come. And I’m looking into a chiro adjustment for her.
Once I was all done with her legs and feet, I gave her a couple pellets, rubbed her neck, kissed her pretty face 😉 and told her what a good girl she was. She was very relaxed, and that led me to push her boundaries some. Way back on Mother’s Day, Hubby bought me a blanket for Cookie. Everyone has worn it…except Cookie. As part of her desensitization training, I’m working on putting that blanket on her.
For today, I had it on the ground, and walked Cookie to it. She danced a little, and went sideways, but every time she moved her feet, I praised her. She was leery of that blanket, but she was trusting me enough to make some movement towards it. That was great, and it had to be rewarded. Finally, she got close enough that she reached to her neck and sniffed it. Well, that earned her a pellet! Then, when I picked it up, she raised her head and blew…so I held it up to her face and just let her sniff it. Once she had a good sniff and brought her head down a little, I pulled the blanket back. Then I praised her and rubbed her neck. Once she relaxed, I bought the blanket back up, and even though her head went back up, it didn’t go as high.
We went through this another 10 or so times, until that pretty head didn’t raise at all when I bought the blanket up…she just sniffed. That got her rubs, kisses, scratches and a pellet. 🙂
Next I went to her shoulder, and started the whole dance again. By the time she was done for the day, I had the blanket draped over my shoulder, with the end of it over her withers. Yup, I had it half on her, and she was calm. Tomorrow, I’ll work on getting that blanket all the way on her. It may not happen, but also might. We’ll just have to see how it goes.
At the end of the working session, I reapplied the Wipe, and, just before unclipping her, I lifted her top lip and had a really good look at her teeth. This is one of the things that needs to be done with horses on a regular basis. Not just to check teeth, but for handling sake. One of the main pressure points for colic is inside the mouth, and I need to be able to get fingers in there. I do all the time with Sable. Astrid is unsure of it. Ruby wants to lick my fingers-Ruby’s a licker. LOL! Cookie is usually pretty good about my fingers in there, but it never hurts to look anyways.
By the time I was done with her, my Cookie’s head was dropping, bottom lip was drooping and oh the yawning! All good stuff. She was, really, my giant Mush Ball. 😉