Monday, January 04, 2010

Playin' with Lena Rey

Tonight when I got to the barn after work, Katie was there working Sammy, Steve had already come and gone after cleaning and graining, and I had my choice of Bar or Lena to work with first.

I admit it. I'm an older child so can empathize to some extent with Lena's feelings of being shoved aside and losing center-of-attention status. Besides, I wanted to work on the ground with her on some de-sensitization, really try to get her to use that big brain of hers for something other than spooking for no apparent reason. Well, no reason a lowly human like me might understand, anyway.

With success in mind (my mind, anyway), we went down to the round pen and worked on what pressure meant, when to stand still, and how to tell the difference in my body language. By the end, she was relaxed, licking and chewing, but still sensitive and responsive. Plus she got out, got to kick up her heels, roll, AND we still had fun.

Bar had to be content with grooming, a rub-down, and (not his favorite) being wormed. He was okay with everything--including not have to do any work, I think-- but the worming, even with molasses as a sweetener. I got the lip-face and had to hold that big, brown head up in the air for quite awhile until I was sure he swallowed. Actually, all three got wormed today, so they are all on the same schedule--easier to remember that way. Sammy apparently has quite the wormer-avoidance head-bob, so Katie used the round pen technique--you have to run around until you come into the middle and take your medicine. It was an effective tool, though I think molasses worked pretty well, too.

All in all, I think it was a pretty good night with both horses. (Minus the worming, they say.)


Anonymous said...

Good sessions! Like the picture - very cute!

Buckskins Rule said...

I've been told not to assign human emotions to horses. With that said, I do believe they feel emotions, as such. Sometimes the horses that rush to the gate first are the ones who don't get visited by their owners as often, with a look in their eye that seems to say "is it my turn?" It could be my imagination (or maybe I'm just a softy), but I would sometimes swear that there is a look of disappointment when they don't get haltered and led to the barn.

Ah, yes worming. Try medicating a very sick horse with the medicine mixed in applesauce through a syringe. Twice daily. I call it the "antibiotic rodeo".