Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 154

It was great to see Little Love again!  She was happy to see me, too.  Before, when she wasn't mine and was living at the large commercial facility close to my house, it used to be complete hell to come back after a break.  She would be so freaked out and dissociated from everything that it always took me at least a day or two to get any kind of connection with her.  But now that she is obviously in a better place mentally and emotionally to begin with, she accepts my absence as well as my return with a grain of salt. 

Today a man who owns an Argentinian Criollo gelding came over to see the barn.  Becky has been looking for a new friend for Col for when Little Love and I leave and this man answered an advertisement we placed in the local newpaper.  He was really nice and both Becky and I had a good feeling about him.  But the one who really got us sold on this guy was Little Love.  In general, she doesn't like men and she doesn't like strangers.  She did, however, like this guy.  When we were standing on the barn aisle, talking, she approached the three of us and just sort of "joined" our little group.  The man turned to pet her and I felt myself tense up in anticipation of Little Love's "normal" reaction = pinning the ears back and backing away.  But, none of that happened.  She allowed this strange man to pet her neck, just like that.  I have to say, he was very respectful of her space and never tried, for example, to touch her on the face like people usually do.  Even Becky noticed Little Love's reaction (or the absence of it, more like) and mentioned it to me afterwards.  We decided it was a good sign; I trust Little Love's judgement when it comes to people.

Every time I am gone, even if it is for just a few days, I always notice Little Love's front feet when I come back.  And I don't notice them in a good way.  Today was no different; I was shocked to see how "crooked" they really are.  In fact, it felt like again they had gotten worse, the medial wall getting shorter and more upright, and the lateral wall slanting out.  I had this same feeling last time I was gone so perhaps they were always this bad, but I just get used to it when I see her every day. I really need to go back to some old pictures to see if they are the same or if they are actually getting worse.  The right front, which has always been the worst foot, is particularly asymmetrical.  I so desperately need someone who knows what they are doing to look at them and trim them.  I am doing what I can, but in the end, what do I know?  Not much.  In any case, it's definitely time for new pictures.  Perhaps, if I take a really good set, Claudia can explain how I will be able to help Little Love in the long run.  I'm not so sure I'll know exactly how to trim, but at least I could give it a try.


  1. It's always interesting to see how our horses interact with other people.

    Griffin really loves children and will walk right up to them with no hesitation. I can put a child on his back and he will happily follow me around, extremely careful not to unbalance his little passenger.

    Adults on the other hand tend to make him wary -- especially if they ride him. I very rarely let another adult ride him anymore just because it DOES make him uncomfortable. The only exception is if it is a person who has never been on a horse before and I can just let Griffin follow me around like he does with kids. Once he realizes this is what we will be doing, he's fine.

    While I am not against riding, I DO see it as a bit of a personal thing for a horse. I often wonder if having a stranger on board is a lot like having a stange human approach US and give us a hug or some other intimate gesture. You hug back because of a lack of a better reaction, but yet -- it's not really comfortable because you don't KNOW this person and all of a sudden they are in your space.
    I have gotten to the point where I seldom accept rides on strange horses anymore because it feels so odd to be riding a horse that I have no bond with. After having developed an 11 year bond with Griffin, it just feels "weird" for me to be on a strange horse....and I wonder often if the horse feels the same. I must say I have a whole new level of respect for the poor horses that work on rental strings and carry strange riders all day stressful..and yet so many of them put up with it so well...

    It sounds like this gentleman will be a good match for Becky and Col :-) Griffin is not always a fan of guys either. The guy that trained him at the racetrack was brutal, so I don't really blame him.

    I also feel badly for you in all the frustrations you have had to deal with regarding Little Love's feet. When you first became her owner, I was so happy for both of you I was doing a huge mental, happy dance...and then when you had that original farrier that made her so sore....

    I think doing the pictures is a great idea and hopefully will aid you in a path in the right direction. On the bright side, at least she is not as sore anymore and seems to enjoy life -- and those are the important things.

    With Griffin aging, I often see little things related to old age that sadden me, but I try hard to remind myself that he's healthy, he has a good attitude about life and seems content with things...and if he's not worried, I shouldn't be. If only WE could live in the moment as well as our horses do -- imagine how much less stressful our own lives would be! :-)

  2. Horses are the best teachers, and we are blessed to have them in our lives. I think Little Love's "new" attitude towards this stranger is testament to her quality environment... her being allowed to have an opinion, be a horse, and have a herd friend. What a blessing for all involved, and all of us watching this adventure unfold!
    Good luck with finding the perfect home for your family, that's easy! It was getting Little Love squared away that was tantamount to her happiness, which is tantamount to yours!

  3. Ugh, I've had a heck of a time trying to post comments lately, so know that it's not just you.

    Anyway, take a ton of photos of her feet if you can. There are a lot of things you'll see a lot better in photos than while you're holding the foot. Also Claudia should be able to help you from the photos.

    I trust my mare's opinion of people too, she hasn't been wrong yet.