Hi, I'm Ev. I'm training to become a horsewoman. These are my adventures and misadventures. I'm green as hell, but so far, so good. I'm now learning from Bo (and sometimes his wife DeDe) at D&D Ranch in Pope Valley. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity, I feel quite blessed, and I feel that they, and horses, have really turned my life around.
Solomon is my baby- a big old flea bitten grey Appendix gelding who is very kind and way too smart! I love him so very much. He is a rescue and was meant to be co-owned rehabbed, and maybe rehomed to a good home. He turned out to be over 25 years old with injuries that ultimately do not make him riding sound, so he is retired.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Remember when I said ALMOST bombproof?

Yeah, today was the exception to that mostly bombproof thing.
I've noticed that Solomon has gotten more of a personality since he put on weight. Usually if it weren't for the scars, it would be easy to forget that he was horribly abused when he was younger.

So today was bath day. He hates baths, hates them. Stands still for the most part, but paws the ground a lot and voices his displeasure. We managed to get through all the shampooing and conditioning without any major issues. I sponged his face. He tried to bite the sponge. I've seen horses act much worse in the cross-ties though.
So I tied him with a kind of short lead to one of the posts away from the wash area and started cleaning out his hooves for the second time. Got a really nasty rock out. But then it happened.
See, I made a mistake that day.
I ate a big mixed veggie salad before going to work on Solomon.
So I had one of those moments. One of those moments when you know you have to get to a restroom RIGHT NOW.
There was a lady watching her friend take riding lessons on the grumpy leopard appie. I asked her if she felt comfortable watching Sol for a moment while I ran to the bathroom. "Don't worry though, he's an angel," I said, thus dooming myself.
So. I went and had a seat. Moments later I heard the following, more or less:
Oh no. I knew somehow that it was Solomon. Knew it. Could not get up. Heard the BO's daughter and the BO saying "what's going on?" "I don't know!"
So I came out as quickly as I could and there Sol was, calming down with the barn owner and her daughter holding him. Water everywhere. Grooming tools everywhere.
A little while later the lady told me what happened. Apparently he got scared when I went out of sight and picked the slip knot apart with his teeth. I knew he might try that so I put in an extra loop, but that was not enough, apparently. He kicked over the bucket, he panicked, she tried to re-tie him, he "went into a frenzy," almost calmed down, then the water touched his feet and he panicked again. I'm just glad he's okay. Embarrassing, but as long as no one was hurt I'll call it a learning experience. I'm not eating before going to the barn again. :p
They said "oh it's okay, these things happen all the time!" but I think maybe they were being nice, heh, not sure.
Anyway, after that I walked him around for a little while to calm him down, then I iodined his feet again. He is picking them up for me a lot more easily now, but he is also fighting me a bit more when I have his hooves up. I'm trying to be gentle but I also know that I need to get all of that gunk out. Thrush can get serious if untreated- it can eat through a horse's frog really badly.
Eventually he will learn that he cannot scare me away from cleaning his hooves, nor can he just pull them out of my hands. I understand that he was freaked out today, and that he probably wouldn't purposefully hurt me, but I also know that he is a clever horse and that he will remember if he gets away with something, and he'll try to get away with it again.
Thankfully the iodine bit went smoothly. After he dried off a bit more, we went down to the arena so that he could have some more cooling off time, and so that the day would end on a positive note for him.
We walked with the rope a couple of times, and then we walked without it, like we often do. I let him wander around on his own for a bit after that, and of course he rolled. He still looks cleaner than he did before though!
The first time he wandered off, Prince the Pain in the As Pony came up and got some pettings. He's not at all head shy, and will let you rest your hand on his nose, which is good since he also likes to bite, and keeping a hand on his nose lets you keep track of where his mouth is. :p
Solomon decided that this would simply not do, and he ambled up and bit Prince on the butt!
Then he bit a 1-eyed horse on the nose when she came up for attention. Yeah, Solomon is a big man when there's a fence and I'm with him. When he's in the pen with those horses he's at the bottom though. :p
A little later when he wandered off and I called to him he came right over to me with his ears perked, and he stood for rubs and pettings, so I think all was forgiven. Yay!

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