Sunday, July 22, 2012

Not Our Finest Moments

 A neighbor down my street invited the horses and riders in the neighborhood to have unlimited access to their pond for swimming. I was pretty excited to finally have some place so close by to swim Daisy! I headed down to the pond with Jenny on Jolee on Tuesday morning. While Jolee went in relatively easily, Daisy would have nothing to do with the pond experience, which was a bit disappointing. I think the issue was simply that the pond is a step down into water, rather than a gradual slope downward like everywhere else that we've swam. 

On Saturday, I rode Daisy 4.7 miles through the hamlet below us and out the other side to go to my friend Katie's farm, where I had Daisy last year during county fair week. Last year, I rode Daisy home from there and while she did have some spooky moments, they were relatively insignificant. This year, going the opposite direction, Daisy was on high alert as soon as we reached the bottom of the big hill and entered unknown territory. I admit, I was frustrated and angry with her. Of course, hindsight is 20/20. 

I spent a considerable amount of time on foot, leading her forward. When I was on her back, she was too spooked and uncomfortable to move. Once riderless, she moved on fine.
My theory, after the fact, is that she felt too pressured when I was on her to be the 'leader'. She was in foreign land and couldn't trust where she was, and wasn't confident that she or I would be safe moving forward. When I was off her back, the leadership role transferred to me and she was happy to follow me along, assuming that if I was ok with going forward, she could be too.
Does that seem like a valid possibility?  I could also of course say that she didn't trust me that I knew we were safe, so that's why she wouldn't move forward with me on her back.... but she did trust me to move once off, so I'm not sure that explanation could hold water. 

My mom met us at the base of the hill just outside the hamlet to take pictures. Once she started calling out to Daisy, the familiar voice gave Daisy confidence and she trotted forward all too happily. 

I got off and on a few times throughout the ride. This is us passing the little convenience store/antique shop. 

Last year, going in the reverse direction, we had issues where the picture below was taken because Daisy couldn't handle the stress of Dumpsters and the sound of the air conditioner at once. This year she was still spooky, but with my mom leading she went forward. 

I was first quite disappointed with her behavior, but like I said, in retrospect, I'm not mad at her for how she behaved. I almost see it as another gesture toward her intelligence. What do you think?

A couple of our 'finer moments' ;). Some graduation pictures. 

I've been trimming more . . . I gave Daisy a fresh trim this week. I apprenticed the majority of the day Wednesday. That day, I had my first true moment of "I got this". I wasn't really questioning my ability before with trimming, but I wasn't feeling 100% confident that I "got everything" when I would put a hoof down the final time, and I would ask Daisy's triminologist to double check. On my second horse on Wednesday, something clicked and I put down the hooves and really felt like I got everything and it looked good. Trimming is such an art, and very rewarding once it's done; I have such a sense of accomplishment when a hoof is finished. 

On Friday I took my first official client by myself! Family friends of ours whose horses were trimmed 'naturally' before. I did one of the horses Friday, and one Saturday. I'm painfully slow at this point with trimming (1 horse takes me an entire hour) but I do know I'm doing a good job. I'm planning on asking for a hoof jack for Christmas, so at this point I'm using a bulky cinder block... which, besides the bulk, actually works quite well with a towel over top. 

County fair week is this week! The 'biggest' week of the year for Daisy and I. After going back and forth, I've decided to show her English day on Tuesday. I may skip some classes in an attempt to take it easy, since I will be showing her Tuesday through Friday... but we will be doing it :). Wednesday we'll be taking part in costume classes as hippies!
 ♫ Do you want a revolution, well you know! ♫

Happy summertime, folks. Stay cool and bug-free :) 


Ruffles said...

That awesome you can swim in the pond, sucks that Daisy doesn't want to though.
Good luck at the county fair.

hearthooves said...

Can't wait to see pics and results from the fair! Love reading about that every year. I have a question for you. I am 100% for barefoot trimming and my horses have been barefoot for as long as I can remember. However, I am leasing a horse (going to buy at the end of my lease) and he has a quarter crack that needs attention. He had a really really bad trim when his shoes got pulled from being at the track and there isn't enough hoof to properly address it. The only way I can think of that would help prevent it from splitting further and causing lameness is to put shoes on to stabilize the hoof while it grows. I do need to be working with the horse asap to see if it is the right horse for me. What do you suggest doing?

Martha said...

Although I will admit to knowing nothing about horses, I think you have a pretty good understanding of Daisy's thought processes. Other animals feel unsure and apprehensive, so it makes sense to me.

Mellimaus said...

Hearthooves: Could you possibly email pictures of the hoof we're discussing? I''m interested in seeing in what way the quarter is 'cracking'. If it's simply breaking at the quarters, that's just a sign of the horse trying by itself to have an arch where it is supposed to, to evenly distribute pressure. If you email me some pictures, I can take a look and discuss it with my own instructor. My email is:
jcftw28 at gmail dot com

sydney K said...

Learning to trim takes a long time. You will start to get things week by week and can even compare it to others learning experience at the same time. For instance everyone goes through the rasp off knuckles weeks or the dishing every quarter. Eventually it comes all together.

As for the hoof jack if you can find someone who can weld it would be far worth your money to get someone to make one for you. I have made my own for nickles in metal and a few cents in welding wire. I made the cradle too but I rarely ever use it unless I have a lame horse who cannot stand well or tries to sit on me.


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