Friday, October 30, 2009

Mi Amigo

I am still not cleared for riding, but I don't want my horse to forget about me. I went to the barn today even though I couldn't ride. My manager and I just did some ground work with our ponies in the round pen. It was good to be there, even if it wasn't as fun as it could have been.
We gave them a good grooming first. My poor Amigo was in rough shape, we are well paired. He also had a tick. It was feeding on his eyelid. He let me remove it and it came willingly because it had a full meal. Amigo's eyelid was a little puffy from the tick. I'm sure it will subside now that the tick is gone. When I cleaned out his hooves, I found that they were a mess also. There was a pokey stick in one foot, a compressed ball from a Sweet Gum Tree in another foot, and the frog (soft center part of the foot) of yet another foot was damaged and tender. One foot was obviously bothering him while we worked. He probably would not have been OK to ride today either. I don't know what he has been up to in the pasture.
So the two of us, tick-bit and sore-limbed, along with my manager and her pony, did some desensitization exercises in the round pen. We played with a beach ball and a flag and a lot of horse treats. Amigo was very scared of the flag at first until I put horse treats on it and let him eat them off of the flag. The first time he took a treat, he bit some flag also. When he picked his head up, the flag startled him because it lifted up as well. He didn't let go of the treat though! He wanted the treat more than he was scared of the flag. Amigo is also known as the cookie monster because of his love for horse treats. With calm words, patience, and lots of horse treats, Amigo eventually allowed me to wave it above him, in his face, and on his back. He also allowed me to hold the flag in front of us while we walked around the pen and roll the beach ball towards him and bounce it off of him. He is still a little leary of the ball when it touches his back legs, but I think he did a really good job today. We made some progress. It was a good day.

No comments: