Saturday, March 22, 2008

Worming my horse

I wormed my horse, Panama, today. It was quite an ordeal, which I didn't expect because the last time was such an improvement. (The first time the vet wormed him, because he wouldn't let me get anywhere near his mouth with a syringe. The second time we had only a short battle of wills before he gave in.)

During my first attempt today, my husband, Michael, was inside the barn with us. I was also getting pretty impatient with Panama's head-tossing. For one or both of those reasons, I wasn't able to worm him: For one, Panama tends to act differently when other people are there with us, and for two, he is very sensitive to my body language and behavior.

Anyway, I groomed him, gave him treats, and calmed him down before trying again. When I did try again, I had Michael stay outside and shut the barn door. I stood with Panama's head over my shoulder and my hand over his nose as before, but took several deep breaths and willed myself to relax.

I talked to Panama as I usually do — a lot of silly babble about nothing, just for the sake of him hearing my voice and my laugh. When he started to relax, I started poking my fingers into the corners of his mouth and praising him when he didn't overreact. Eventually I was able to get the syringe into his mouth and deliver the wormer without too much trouble.

He got lots of praise for that, of course — and once I was sure he'd swallowed the wormer, lots of carrots too! I just hope this will get easier over time, as I can't imagine repeating this scene every two or three months for the next 25 years!



Post a Comment

<< Home