Catching up on my training blog, today was take a break day. I needed to clean the paddock and Cookie likes the breaks in between training.
Yesterday, being a training day went rather well. She still has trouble understanding I want her to plant those hind feet and move her fronts, however she did much better than I expected. It took a bit longer this time, but once she and I got on the same page, it went quickly. I asked her to cross those front feet and as soon as the foot touched the ground, I released the pressure. I let her think about that a moment or 2 and asked again. There were times when she would swing her rear, side pass, back up diagonally. It is a challenge at times, but I know she'll get it. Once reason for the break today is during our training, she was getting bored. Which is a sign to me that she's not interested at the moment to do what I'm asking. That's quite alright. She may have been having an off day. Some trainers because of time constraints train every day, usually for at least 30 minutes to an hour. They get paid to general work miracles in a short time frame. I have the luxury of time so there's no need to push her hard. Whatever we learn in the coming years we will both learn at our own pace.
After our workout yesterday I hosed her legs down because it was hotter than the same time the day before. If you find your horse is hot and sweaty, hosing their legs only can cool them down. I say only their legs because cold hose water on hot muscles can cause them to stiffen or tie up. Once you hose their legs, walk them around for a few moments. Keeping them moving will bring the heart rate and breathing back to normal and if it's hot outside it will cool out the muscles and allow the blood time to come back out of them allowing them to relax. Once you get them back to their regular heart rate and breathing, hose them off again and allow them to stand in shade or partial shade. Here in the south the humidity can be very high which causes the air to feel like the inside of a greenhouse. Very muggy, very hard to catch your breath, etc. So taking the time to do this will help your horse and make them more comfortable. After about 30 minutes your horse should be sufficiently cooled down and you can then give them a bath or hose them off completely. Removing the salts helps them also in a few ways. It keeps them from being so itchy, and it helps them the next time they sweat by unblocking those sweat glands. You wouldn't want to go to bed with dried sweat on you, so do your horse that favor also.
Cookie loves to play in the hose and her water trough, so I allowed her to play for a little bit. Once she was done she promptly rolled. lol So much for staying clean! That's ok, it helps her with the flies and itchiness. I would never do this, but I was entertained by the thought of wrapping fly strips around her legs like ribbon around a pole. The vision was quite funny to me. I know it would be extremely uncomfortable for her, not to mention it could cause many problems like poisoning or her legs getting tied up together. That is never a good idea so please don't try it. Hanging fly strips is ok as long as your horse doesn't have access to them. If your horse is bothered by flies on their legs, many companies have fly "leggin's" that will offer some comfort and are safe to use. I would recommend removing leggins and fly masks at dark for safety reasons. I've never put a blanket or fly sheet on Cookie, but I'm pretty sure she'd make a huge mess of either as she rolls all the time and lays down often at night. lol
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