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.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The 5 stages of worming.

I have been rather ill, but now I am getting better again, so today I was finally able to go out to the ranch again!

For some reason I wasn't able to get to sleep until mid-morning, and I only got about 3 hours at that. Ever been unable to sleep because your body ached and you knew you had to get up early? Yeah, that was me today.

But I had to go see my boy! His wormer had FINALLY arrived.

Bo showed me a different way to give wormer to a horse. Instead of sneaking up on him, we acclimated him to the idea gradually. Bo showed him the tube, rubbed it all ove rhis face, neck, and chest, backed off, came back in, did the same thing on his other side, stuck a finger in his mouth, backed off, came back in, let him smell the wormer, put a finger in his mouth again, backed off, came back in, stuck his finger in Sol's mouth again, and then finally put the wormer in. He took a little longer than he had to because he was demonstrating how to do it, and letting me see what was going on with my horse.

Oh, but the photos.

So I present to you, gentle readers, the five stages of worming, from the perspective of the horse.

1. Denial.

This can't be happening! Not again! No! There isn't any tube of wormer here! Lalalalala!

Lalala nothing happening at all, I'm gonna get let go any moment to run off and graze! Yep! What tube?

2. Anger.

Oh you are NOT putting that crap in MY MOUTH!!!!!

3. Bargaining

Pleeeease I'm begging you man, I... I will stop knocking the posts out in the pasture over while scratching my butt! Really! I'll pretend to do DRESSAGE! ANYTHING!

4. Depression / Abject Horror

Nooooo I am such a sad pony, woe is me!

Life is so cruel!

This is it. They are poisoning me. I am going to DIE. How could life end this way? It's so unfair!


5. Acceptance.

Oh FINE. Okay. I guess I'll live. Maybe that wasn't that bad. I mean I am getting attention now. Getting loves isn't so bad, I guess.

Next, we put a long rope around Solomon's neck, and we tried out a different horsemanship method, moving him around with body language. Sol responded better to Bo than he did to me, backing off and moving out of the way. I was too aggressive, and Solomon learned long ago that when things got iffy for him, he could cuddle up to me for reassurance. That's great in some cases, but not so much when one is attempting to work. So I learned to tone it down, but also block him out of my space. I'm not one of those "the horse can never be in my space" kind of person, but I also do recognize that it isn't always safe or productive to have your horse crowding in close, or to crowd your horse. Sometimes it is easier and safer to go around, and to have him stand still while you re-maneuver yourself. Solomon was game, though he really felt that he deserved grazing time after having gone through the horrors of worming, and he responded fairly well.

Then we tried turning Solomon by going around behind him with the rope, and then putting a brief bit of pressure on his upper leg/butt area so that he would spin around. This was tricky for me because I focused so much on Solomon that I ended up driving him instead of getting him to stand calmly while I went around him. We did work it out, however, and it was kind of fun to spin him from so far away. It's just another way to move one's horse.

I was only out there for about an hour and a half, but I was hurting and not feeling well at all. One week of illness and it feels like three months of inaction. But Bo says I'll get back up to where I was before soon enough, and he's right. I just don't convalesce terribly well- I always feel like I should be able to will myself better right away. But that doesn't work with people any more than it does with horses!

So now I'll share with you some lovely head shots from the end of the day, when these three boys decided to have some social time.

Solomon and the Little Bay Gelding...

Three gorgeous boys.

...being boys!


Anonymous said...

Bo really has a thing for sticking his hand in horses' mouths, doesn't he? LOL

Evergrey said...

Haha, well, and showing that it isn't something one must be terrified of!