Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day 29

When Becky went for a trail ride this afternoon/evening, I made an attempt to hand walk Little Love for the first time after her feet were trimmed a week ago.  She was definitely a little more sore today, not being on the pain meds anymore, but nothing like she was in the beginning of the week.  With the help of a banana (her favorite treat) she came out of the stall onto the carpets (this is the first time she came out without Col's "help").  Once she was at the door, she had to think for a very long time if it was worth making the short treck to the pasture.  This is the hard concrete bit, but not only that, it's slightly downhill which I think is the worst part.  I told her it was very important to get some movement, so she put in a massive effort and after about 10 minutes, we were in the pasture.

She was sort of freaked out about being there without Col, but she followed me around anyways (but highly alert at times).  I wanted to take her around the corner, where the ground is flater, but she didn't want to hear any of that.  After some negotiations, she eventually followed me down there (this took lots of thinking and listening to see if Col was back). 

I don't put physical pressure on her when I ask, as this just results in her getting really defensive.  And in general, I don't believe in using pressure and am trying to learn how to not use any (I am a work in progress...).  So sometimes things take a long time.  I used to think I was a very impatient person, but Little Love has showed me (in the course of the past four to five years) that I was wrong about that particular attribute. 

After sort of walking around for 15 minutes, I decided to give up trying to get her to move more and took her halter off.  Which I obviously should have done in the first place because once the halter was off, Little Love followed me around much better.  Go figure.  I guess that was another lesson I had to learn - yet again.  She must think I'm a little dense ("that Katariina is an ok owner, but it really takes her forever to get some things...")  Duh!  So, we walked for another while after I had the brain to take off the damn halter. 

When we went back to the barn, she walked over the concrete much better as it is uphill.  I'm hoping the boots will help with the concrete parts, then we could also try to walk to the arena (lots of concrete on the way, but flat).  Tomorrow when the barn worker is there to help, we can try to move the carpets to the concrete as Little Love walks over them, maybe that will help a little bit. 

I soaked her left front for 20 minutes in her stall, she did so well with that again.  I keep telling her it's important we do it and she seems to understand this.  I sat in the shavings next to her leg and just like yesterday when she wanted me to move the bucket, she would wait for me to grab it, before she lifted her leg.

And then, to some other news... remember how I told you the barn was heated and that Col had a thick blanket on despite it being warmer in the barn at night that in my own bedroom? Well, luck has it that Becky and her husband ran out of the heating oil last night and low and behold, none of the heaters work in the barn (or in their house!) at the moment.  Isn't it funny how things work out sometimes? LOL. So, I guess we are having some lower temperatures in the barn tonight :-) Hopefully it works so well that we don't have to ever turn that heat back on!


  1. Bananas! I remember reading a few years ago about a study done in England regarding treats. Bananas apparently won the 100-horse taste test, followed by carrots and peppermints, but I can't get my girls to eat them.

  2. It's been proven that heated barns do more damage than good for horses. I wish I knew where I could direct you to a paper that explained it but essentially it messes up their internal thermometers and they end up getting more sick than they would otherwise.

  3. This might help:

  4. Thanks for the link smazourek,I think this could be something I could pass on to Becky if she insists on turning the heat back on. I think she might not, as the vet, the barn worker and I all told her the same thing: the horses will be more likely to get sick if we continue with the heating. Luckily it's a bit warmer here now, so she isn't so inclined to think her horse is freezing to death...
    And Muddy K: Lilo LOVES bananas, but they have to be really soft and ripe! (the kind I wouldn't eat anymore :-)