08.05.11: Little Squirt

The vet was supposed to come on Saturday to do another horse's shots and pull some of Storm's teeth. However, due to a bit of a miscommunication, the vet didn't have his dental tools with him, so Storm got off the hook for the day.

We had already brought him in before the vet got there, so we decided to groom him up since we had him out and it was pretty sopping outside from the rain for the prior two days. No one showed up for class (come to find out the students had their prom that day anyway), so we didn't have anything else to do at the moment.

He did much better with the grooming this time, standing better for us, and only got a bit worried when Jeannie was banging around a bit and messing with the cat food (which I am sure sounds remarkably like grain). I decided that since I hadn't worked on his mane since he arrived I wanted to practice that. I thought the better of spraying him outright with the detangler, so I ran back to the house to get a spray bottle and filled it with water.

I sprayed a small spray in the barn aisle and when Storm got upset with the first squirt. I headed outside behind the barn to work with him for a few minutes. He responded quickly to the approach and retreat. When he stopped his feet I would turn and walk away. In a matter of five minutes he was comfortable with the spray falling on the majority of his body.

I had Jim move him next to the picnic table so that I could stand on the bench and work on his mane comfortably. He was fine with the spray from the detangler, which is slightly different than water. I was able to work on his mane pretty quickly without too much trouble. I turned him around and finished the other side, and finally worked gentley on his forelock. I discovered a bunch of winter hair still left under his forelock and rubbed that out for him, to his pleasure.

I finally started on his tail, which did not take too long, thankfully for my back. He stood very well for it, for the most part. I was pleased with his patience. We finished up and let him graze for a while.

Today Kathleen was supposed to come over and spend some time with Midnite, and we had talked about taking the horses for a walk around the pastures if we could. It turned out to be cooler and cloudy, and Midnite was a little bit jittery, so we started out in the arena instead. We were in good company as there were four or five other people in the arena, too. We worked for a while on basics, everything from picking up his feet, to disengagement to working more on leading with him following further behind. We began work with driving from zone 3 (his middle) which he was slightly confused about in the beginning, but seemed to understand without too much trouble.

There was a piece of masonite pegboard on the ground that had been used for a despooking training that happened several weeks prior, and we walked toward it. As we approached I felt him hesitate, so instead of asking him to walk over it, I walked over him and simply asked him to stay next to me. We walked around the end of it and then hung out for a moment because there were several people talking and we stopped to chat. Kathleen's horse Midnite began to paw at the board on the ground, and Storm stepped forward to investigate it, and then began to paw as well, and then simply stepped across.

We chatted for a while more before Kathleen and I headed out to take a walk around the field. We decided with Midnite being asa spooky as he was that we would only go around the field instead of all the way down around the pastures. Both horses did very well, Storm only spooked once, and that was a small twitch when something at the edge of the treeline startled him.

After swinging around the field, we stopped to allow them to graze for a while before turning them both back out in their pastures. We had a great afternoon hanging out with the horses and relaxing. We were lucky to get the time in since it started raining late in the afternoon.
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