Saturday, December 5, 2009

A little helper and apparent progress

This morning when I went to the barn to remove Panama's blanket, a fellow boarder had her farrier out. It being Saturday, the farrier's 9 or 10-year-old son was hanging out at the barn while he worked.

When I brought Panama into the cross ties, the kid wanted to know what I was going to do with him. "Just brush him," I said. "Can I help?" he asked.

(See, adults, that's how you're supposed to do it: ask first. Sad that a 9-year-old is better about that than some of the boarders I've met.)

After questioning the kid, I was reassured that he is around horses quite a bit (his dad being a farrier), so I gave him the go-ahead. At first while he curried Panama, I stood at Pan's head and made sure he stood still. Panama is not often brushed by anyone but me, and it being a kid I wanted to make sure he was going to behave himself. But both Panama and the boy seemed to be doing well together, so I relaxed my vigil long enough to brush Panama's mane and clean up his poop while the kid brushed the rest of him — except the legs, I noticed, so obviously he's aware of the potential danger there!

I was pretty impressed with how well Panama stood for an unfamiliar kid handling him. He really is a good horse.

I've also noticed in the last 2 or 3 days that Panama seems to be calming down. He seems to be less nervous in the cross ties, and is balking less about going into the cross ties or crossing the Line of Death. Since he had worsened noticeably about all that about a week and a half or two weeks ago, I can't help but wonder if it's because his fetlock was uncomfortable to work on, and he associated all of those things with working. Is he beginning to relax because he's had nearly a week of me visiting without working him, and is no longer anxious about being ridden?

Another potential improvement — when I picked his feet out today he didn't seem to fuss as much about the left front. Was it just because he was distracted with the kid there, or because I was being extra gentle so I wouldn't jar his fetlock? Or is it actually beginning to heal and bother him less?

I don't know any of these answers for sure, of course, but we'll see how he is in another week and a half. If he seems okay, I'll turn him out (because by then I know he'll be needing it!), and if that goes well I'll try a little light riding. Wouldn't it be nice if all his recent behavioral issues go away with the fetlock pain?



At December 5, 2009 at 3:22 PM, Blogger Veronica said...

Fingers crossed that the fetlock pain was the cause of it!

At December 5, 2009 at 4:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hope he's feeling all better soon - nice the kid was so polite and helpful!

At December 6, 2009 at 3:25 PM, Blogger Katharine Swan said...

Veronica, mine are crossed too!

Kate, I hope so too. The kid wasn't perfect by any means -- he kept clucking at poor Panama when what he really meant was whoa, but he ASKED first and that's what I really appreciated the most.


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