|It was more complicated than it looks|
Today was the bright spot in the weather forecast for the week... time to saddle up, or not saddle up and ride bareback as the case may be :)
As I was preparing to mount, Val wiped his muzzle up and down my leg, with his mouth open. It seemed strange, so I inspected further. He had some blood on his front upper gum line - just a tinge. I'm planning on some warm salt water rinses for a few days. I have recently contacted a new dentist, and am in the process of scheduling an appointment. He's not due until April but my gut feeling is the sooner the better. I'm still not convinced that some of our turning difficulty hasn't got to do with dental / tmj issues. Thanks to Kate at A Year With Horses for setting me on the path to finding a more enlightened horse dentist.
|Do I get extra cookies for courage?!|
Next came the yowling feral cat bursting out from the woods. A minor prelude to the little button buck bouncing around just outside of the arena. Why was he out in the open, so bravely, so uncharacteristically you ask? Well maybe, because my boarder's mom decided to chum him and his deer buddies up with piles of corn. I figured this out while the boarder family were at my place over the weekend for a holiday open house. (As they arrived they managed to let my Jack Russell terror run out the front door - it took half an hour to catch her!)
Over holiday punch I happened to mention that Val had been extremely distracted for a few days. Distracted to the point of dropping hot mash out of his mouth and tearing off to the far end of his paddock where he stood and stared for hours. Distracted to the point that one morning when I arrived at the barn no water and barely any hay had been touched overnight. "Oh, he's probably seeing the deer. I've been feeding them. I want to touch that little one!" Needless to say, no more corn at the barn. Special prize was awarded for self control...
But I digress... despite all of the commotion, we still managed to focus and get some nice work done. Most of the work was getting Val to pay attention to me and move forward. We did some pretty turns on the forehand, and the contact again seemed improved - another no glove ride. Afterwords we did some work in the backup arena - located smack in the middle of the bermuda triangle of horse eating monsters. I could tell Val wanted to get excited, but I firmly kept his mind on me. As I began some in hand trot work he popped up a little bit and scooted around, but all it took was a firm voice to get him back on track. Val did beautifully! I was so proud of my horse today. His reward was some grazing on the tiny patch of grass I still have, a pocketful of gingersnap and all my love. What a good boy!