Calm, Forward, Straight

Calm, Forward, Straight

Monday, April 11, 2011

At the barn #39 - Just say ahhhhhh...

Last week's busy-ness carried over the weekend, and this week looks much the same. Work is really picking up as spring has definitely arrived. Plants to plant, beds to weed and lawns to mow. Add to that several deadlines related to my jewelry business, out of town visitors throwing delightful dinner parties - great meal lingering over the table for some fine company and conversation that kept me up well past bedtime - and then where the heck do you squeeze in horse chores? I don't know how exactly, but I did it.

Friday was hay run day. My friend, the owner of our dearly departed Ginger and her daughter Honey Bee aka the brat, and I took my flat bed trailer and headed up the road to a new hay source. This one didn't disappoint. Gorgeous 65 lb bales of orchard grass, that despite being the same age as all of the substandard hay I've dealt with since last October, was still green, not dried or faded or musty or dusty and without any noxious weeds. Hell-o all you hay brokers out there - apparently you can successfully store quality hay through the winter so it's still worth paying through the nose for - just sayin'...

The only snag was a too many cooks in the kitchen moment while I was negotiating a drastically tight squeeze backing my trailer, which by the way I actually do daily for a living. The farm owner and his wife were both giving me (contradictory) directions as well as S. who had to put her 17¢ in. Let's just say that it took everything I had to block out the two unnecessary voices and hear the one that counted + not blow up and use my lower brow vocabulary. Serious self control. I'm so not kidding :)

Dropping off  Honey Bee's share...

 "mine all mine!!"  ;)


Today was horse dentist day. I love my new dentist, a practitioner natural balance dentistry. I found her in a round about way due to Kate from A Year With Horses. Thank you so much Kate!!

Briefly, as I understand it, the idea is that rather than just flattening out hooks and waves on the molars, attention is paid to the incisors, facilitating the smooth side to side motion of the jaw, as well as how the upper and lower jaw meet in the front of the mouth. This should affect, besides grinding hay, the ability and willingness of the horse to flex at the poll and laterally, as well as give to the bit, accept contact and round.

K. was professional, had a lovely way around Val - giving him frequent breaks from the speculum. She explained what she was doing at every stage, and used the minimum amount of sedation necessary. She mentioned immediately that she found unevenness in Val's incisors which was likely impacting his flexibility to the left. I'll reserve final judgment for after we have a few rides under our belt, but we have had recurring struggles with bending and turning to the left since I brought Val home, which I had hoped wasn't completely due to me, as my best efforts have not totally resolved that issue.

My one regret is that I had intended to take pictures, but got so wrapped up in the process that it was too late when I remembered. Val got the afternoon off. I'm looking forward to a ride and status report in the next day or so.


  1. Thanks! Glad you found someone good - it does make a real difference.

  2. A good dentist is always a find. Sounds like Val's teeth got the royal treatment.

    Like the hay delivery story. Don't you just love helpers?

  3. oh I hate all that help backing up.
    Good dentists can make such a difference. A student of mine is having resistance issues with her horse. Turns out she is overdue to have her teeth done. Not a lot but they need to be done. Last Saturday we put her in an English hackamore instead of a bit and voila! happy, forward horse. She is getting her teeth done right away and in the meantime she is working in the hackamore.

  4. You did well to keep your cool when backing up - very stressful!
    The dentist sounds interesting. I'm looking forward to reading about how working on the left side is affected.

  5. New lovely hay and new lovely dentist - a great combo! :)

  6. Good job with the vocabulary control! It sounds like it you did much better than I could have dreamed of doing! ;)

  7. Ooooh good job not yelling at your "helpers." I can't back a trailer with "helpers." Just can't do it. Gets me totally flustered. If you will just leave me alone I can back a bumper pull anything into any spot!

  8. Thanks for the recommendation on Eleanor Kellon. I'm familiar with her (have a book of first aid & she writes for Horse Journal) but didn't know about this site. THANK YOU!

  9. I'll be back to read this post, but wanted to answer your question about my camera. I have a Fujifilm Finepix 28100. I love it and I haven't even begun to learn everything that it can do lol. :)


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