Friday, May 18, 2012

The farrier comes, Rondo improves, and I overcome a little post-injury anxiety

I've never been gladder of a week being almost over.  This has been a very busy week, with at least one (and sometimes two) appointments every morning.  On Wednesday, for instance, I had a vet appointment for one of the dogs and a farrier appointment.  Yesterday my trainer came for a double training session -- I had her ride Panama as well as work with Rondo, since I haven't been able to ride (and probably won't for at least a little while longer).

Wednesday's farrier appointment was a bit of a struggle for me.  Although I'd been out at the barn already since Rondo stepped on my finger, it was only to groom.  This was something hoof-related, for the first time since the accident, and I was surprised by how anxious I was.

Ironically, though, it was Panama who was fussy and antsy and kind of a jerk for the farrier.  We did him first, when my anxiety levels were kind of up, so that could have been part of it -- though I suspect that Panama's lack of work lately probably is the more likely culprit.  He is the kind of horse that doesn't appreciate "vacations," and enjoys the mental and physical stimulation of being worked with.

Also, although that may explain his all-around fussiness, he was extra fussy when the farrier trimmed his front feet.  I've been having him trim a little shorter the last couple of visits -- my farrier tends to trim on the long side -- but since Panama resisted the trim last time too -- and since any amount of resistance is highly unusual behavior for him -- I'm going to assume he's telling us that's too short, and have my farrier trim accordingly next time.  It's not short enough to make him sore -- he was fine when my trainer rode him the next day -- but he's definitely not happy with how it feels to have the trim actually done.

Rondo, on the other hand, was really quite good.  I've been working with him on allowing his feet to be drawn forward, like the farrier needs to be able to do (in fact, that's how my finger got stepped on).  All the work with him has paid off, and he was pretty darn good for the farrier.  He was leaning on the farrier, but in retrospect I think that's because the farrier didn't want to get underneath him, and had each foot a little out to the side.  After two months of me working with him, though, Rondo went from not allowing it at all, to allowing the farrier to draw each foot forward and do a little bit of work from the top of each one.  Not much, mind you, but enough.  It was a HUGE improvement over last time, and by the time Rondo's turn was over, I realized that his calm behavior had helped to eliminate my anxiety.

Just a few weeks ago, I was thinking how there are times when I feel like I don't like Rondo at all, usually when he's being a big jerk about something new he's (supposed to be) learning.  On Wednesday I realized that there are also days where he far outshines Panama, and I'm so sick of Pan's antics that I could just scream.  I suspect it will be back-and-forth like this for a while, and I wonder how it will be when Rondo is fully trained -- I feel like Rondo will be my dopey, level-headed horse, and I'll love him for that.  It's probably lucky for Panama that I have a strong bond with him despite all of his brattiness!

Stay tuned for a post about yesterday's training session!



At May 28, 2012 at 9:08 AM, Anonymous Vaughans said...

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