Of Horse

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Success in Small Amounts
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Success in Small Amounts

The rain has finally decided to stay away for a while, which is fantastic news on one hand and not so much on the other. Having drier weather means I'll be able to better deal with Cookie's thrush with more success and we'll be able to exercise more without the fear of sliding around and getting hurt. There's always a compromise when it comes to weather and now that it has stopped raining for a while, that means timing is everything. The humidity more or less dictates "when" I can exercise Cookie. If the temperature is already in the 80's or 90's and the humidity is above 70%, chances are it's too late in the day to exercise. I won't run the risk of making Cookie sick just to get things moving. Early in the morning will be the best time for workouts. 

As for her hoof, I may have to use a boot until the sulccus heals completely. For now, while the weather is dry I'm going to continue to treat the thrush and leave the split open so it will heal from the inside out. Hosing all of the gunk out of it with the hose is extremely helpful. It allows me to clean the split out, completely removing dirt and debris with far less pain to her than if I used a hoof pick or other blunt object to remove dirt. 

While there are many things we are working on, we have success in small amounts. Cueing for "leg up" is getting much easier. All of the basics like, back up, move your butt, side pass and move your front are becoming second nature for Cookie. If at any time she doesn't do it right, we do the same thing until she does do it right then we stop for a short break. I repeat all steps until they are all done correctly and without hesitation. 

Next on our training "to do's" is giving to the bit, flexing and bending as well as ground cavaletti. I don't believe Cookie has ever been trained with a bit so I am starting her with a good old fashioned D-ring snaffle. She has a tendency to "chew" it and push against it so this is why I don't think she's ever been worked in one. She has excellent give with pressure and release in a halter and eventually she will have this same response to the bit. 

I don't have a training circingle or saddle yet, so I'm going to use my bareback pad as a training aid until I get a saddle or circingle. I'll take each rein and attatch it to the cinch which will draw her nose down, flexing at the poll. The key is to not have them drawn back so far that she cannot get any release and I do NOT want her nose so far back that it touches her chest ( also known as Rollkur). This exercise will not only help her to give to the bit, but it will also help to engage her hind end and help her to collect under for better balance. This exercise will be done both on the flat and over ground cavaletti. The cavaletti exercises will help her to pick her feet up, gain muscle tone and strengthen her top line. 


*Note* her weight is holding very well. I've been giving her about an hour of grazing time in the front yard every other day. The thrush is fighting hard to hang around so this dry weather will give me a great chance to get it cleared up. I may have to start putting a duct tape boot on that hoof to treat it better if we continue to get more rain. She has been enjoying the few home grown beets and carrots, though her favorite are still the carrots. Her attitude has been nasty the past couple of days which I contribute to her being in heat. Overall she is healthy and happy for the most part. I did pull a very small staple out of her hind foot, near the toe. It wasn't embedded deeply, mostly on the surface so no need for the vet or antibiotics. She is taking in a lot of salt to make up for all the sweating she has been doing due to the humidity and water intake has increased slightly. 

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