I'm sure there will still be days where she is not going to want to just stand there to be haltered, however for the most part she has overcome the "run away" issue when she sees the halter.
It's a great feeling and sense of accomplishment when you can move forward from one lesson to another.
The last several days it's been rainy and the ground has been sopping wet which makes for long days and no real moving around to get rid of energy or to work on any moving lessons. It has given me more time to work on just her halter and fly mask issue which is good in some aspects, and not so good in others. I say this because doing the same thing day after day becomes boring and your horse will let you know in no uncertain terms that whatever you're doing is getting old quickly. Often times when you get in the same routine day after day, your horse will come up with some kind of issue that they didn't have before in protest.
To avoid these common pop up issues, break up your routine often. Do something different every time you go out to work or ride your horse. Maybe take a new trail or work on a different lesson. In doing so it breaks your horses mind from the routine and keeps them thinking, curious and fresh.
The weather and ground is still quite nasty here so in between rain showers I think I'll take her out for long walks. We haven't been out in quite a while and I know we both will appreciate the change in scenery. The weather here plays a big part in what and how much you can do during the day. Unlike a dry heat where you can at least ride a little bit and hose off, here the humidity means you can't ride long and hosing off may be good to get rid of sweat but it can cause a host of other health issues if you're not careful. Over heating is just one of them.
Imagine yourself in a greenhouse in the middle of summer. The air is thicker, sticky and it doesn't move around much unless there is a fan going. Drinking a lot of water and getting the sweat off is the only way you will help your body to cool off. Here in the south, we call it air you can wear because you literally begin to sweat when you step out in it. You don't have to be doing anything to break out into a sweat. Here in the summer it's best to hook up some kind of fan to circulate the air. It may be hot sticky air, but when a horse sweats and can get in front of moving air, it will help them to be cooler and breathe more easily.
Cookie's stall has a cement floor in it and it is completely covered by trees so it is cooler inside. The issue comes when it has rained and the sun comes out. The sun heats up everything that has been rained on and the humidity makes it feel like you're in a steamer. Moving the air will make it feel cooler by pushing the humidity around and somewhat drying out the air. There are also several trees around her paddock that does help with blocking out the sun, however, it's still very wet. By removing the lower limbs of most all of the trees, it allows air to circulate below the canopy of the trees and therefore enabling things to dry out without becoming such a steamer.
We humans tend to think, if I just leave all of these trees and vines, the sun can't come through and it will be cooler. In theory that's true, but only if you don't live in places where the daytime temps become extreme. Air must circulate in order for mold and mildew not to grow, as well as harbor snakes and insects that would LOVE to feed on your horse. You have to take all these other things into consideration.
I still have a lot of cleanup to do around her paddock, but it's far better than it was in the beginning. Wisteria is beautiful and smells wonderful, but is toxic to horses, as is Ivy. I still have to remove vines and limbs but the air circulation is much improved.
I'm not sure what the next lesson with Cookie will be at this point, though we are still working on the side pass and rear pivot. Till then, maybe we'll just take a break until the ground gets drier.
*NOTE* I found a large 50 cent piece sized lump on her belly yesterday while feeding. It was hard and didn't seem to cause her pain. It didn't feel like it protruded through the lining. Today it has gone done almost completely except a pea sized bump. Apparently it was a bug bite, perhaps a horse fly bite. I sprayed her down with a mixture of Citronella shampoo, vinegar and water to help keep the flies away and put her fly mask on her. Her appetite is still fantastic, manure seems to be back to normal now and her attitude is excellent.
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