The opinions expressed in previous entries may or may not express the current opinion of the author.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Good Morning's Work

Golly, but horses love a project. When I was out trimming this morning, they all wanted to cluster around and participate. When I took a break, they followed me, as if saying, "What are we going to do now?" And when I finally finished and sat down on the grass, tired out from the unseasonable heat, they stood close by, dozing.

I'd decided that today I was going to trim Bridget, but as I drove home from mass this morning, I was aware of not feeling great at the prospect. There were two parts (at least) to this, and the first part I figured out pretty quickly. My plan had been to bring Bridget out of the pasture for trimming, and - in turn - anyone else I got around to doing. This plan was flawed: firstly, the extracting of each individual would involve several steps and a lot of patience. Secondly, whoever was being extracted would assume that I was going to put them in the field across the drive to eat. So I resolved instead to trim inside the field, putting some hay in a net for the trimmee, and some on the ground for the others. This plan made me feel better.

As I was setting things up, the second part of my discomfort became apparent. It's got something to do with me feeling too apologetic sometimes, or just not going for what I want. A feeling of swimming against the current or eating jello with a fork, I don't know what to call it, but I could feel it, and - feeling it - I could somehow fix it. I decided to be determined and unapologetic and to just, well, Git 'R Done.

And we did! All 16 feet in record time, and the horses all behaved like little angels.

George volunteered first, and he has never been so good about getting his feet done. Next Bridget came up to volunteer. She gave me cause to remember how important it is - even while Being Determined - to respect the horse's no. On one occasion I was fiddling with some last details on Bridget's RF. and she kept taking it away. I was beginning to get a little irritated when I noticed that she was waggling her RH in the air. No worries! Why should I insist on her RF, when she was so eager for me to work on her RH?! Also, when she - or one of the other mares - became a little restless and uncooperative, it was usually because another horse was inching into their space a little too closely for comfort. It was helpful for me to be notified of this, so that I could shoo the other horse away and prevent an Incident.

And talking of shooing away - as I wrote the other day, George and I have moved on to a new phase in our relationship. One characteristic of this new phase, I discovered today, is that I can shoo him away without making him angsty and without being stern. I had a handy branch beside me at the ready, and waved it at him whenever he crept too close. And he would back up, looking at me with an expression that seemed to convey a sense of humor. It reminded me of something like as if I were mixing up a batch of cookies and my husband - or one of the kids - kept stealing bits of the cookie dough to eat. And if I chased them away by waving the spoon at them, or even play-whacking them with the spoon, nobody would be upset or angry, but they would still back off, because they knew I really wanted them to. And that's how it was with George.

And sometimes he picked up the stick and waved it at me.

Can you see the humor in his expression? This is new!
It's taken George and I almost three years to begin to find a mutual sense of humor - patience, anyone?

And then here's something else he did - I'd finished trimming Bridget and was brushing her, when up sidled George. And Bridget didn't move away, so clearly there was something in his demeanor which signaled peace. And he moved into our space, with a sweet expression on his face, and there we three stood, with nobody making a fuss.

When it was time to trim Rose, she walked away from me, driving Chloe in front of her. I followed, and she kept walking (not running) away. After maybe a minute, however, she stopped, turned to me, and put her nose out to the halter. That's the way it is with Rose - she's just a little suspicious at first. Maybe she's what KFH calls "The Sceptic." And then she was really nice about having her feet done, even leaving her foot resting on the stand while I walked away to fetch something.

And speaking of walking away to fetch somethings, that would be because those somethings were strewn all over the ground. Because I always start out with the best of intentions, with everything neatly attached to the magnet on the hoof jack or in the bucket, and then by the time I'm done, everything's been dropped in the mud and left all over the place. I always spray my tools liberally with WD40 when I'm done, in hopes of minimizing the damage.

After we were done, I let the horses out to play and eat in the yard. They were so nice today, it just put me in a really good mood.

1 comment:

  1. I like your analogy of shooing husbands and children away from the cookie dough with a spoon (and I just had that spoon in my hand, mixing dough for apple tart); that is of course exactly how to do it, with a feeling of lightness, but obviously meaning it.