Friday, August 7, 2015

7th August, 2015 Insect Day

As a teacher I suppose it is only fair that I should get the occasional Insect Day. Thanks to a sudden bit of heat, they were rife today. This morning it worked in my favour because Henrietta learned that humans can be quite useful in getting them to buzz off. I was also able to massage her very lightly under the right eye although the left was a no go!

Caroline's horses were unfortunately plagued by them this afternoon making it very difficult to do any constructive or safe work. We had to make the best of occasional cloud cover and breeze to do anything. The horses seem to have settled well since we moved them to New Park and they live amongst enormous herds of deer and have joined up with Caroline's other horse, Beauty.

Beauty is an elderly Thoroughbred polo pony from Argentina. Now 26, she was diverted from the meat man at Beaulieu Road Sales Yard 6 years ago when she was one of the many that are sold by travellers at the side of the formal auction. Considering her age and background she is looking really good and has that self-possessed old lady feel about her.

Zee has become less wary of people since he moved and is regularly petted by children from the tourist campsite next door. However he has only ever had his front feet picked up, and not his backs.

Today we made a start on that and he was fine about it.

It wasn't safe for Caroline to get on board today but it was a good opportunity to revise Tigerlily's mounting block skills and not even need a headcollar on her. She is asked to 'park' next to the mounting block...

...and if necessary to back up.

Completely unperturbed by a little lean and ready for a click and a treat on her offside. The good news is that the break means that she no longer looks to me for treats.
"Thank you very much for today. I think it was productive, despite the insect problem! I feel happier about Beauty now and feel I have a good strategy to move forward with Zee's back feet. I'll keep trying, a little at a time. I think we made the right decision not to get on TigerLily or take her out. The probability of a big problem was high and it only takes one bad event to upset a horse and set them back years - and I didn't want anyone getting hurt either. At the end of the day, I have to stay safe so I can look after the horses, so I am pretty risk averse!" CW

The cows at Whitefield Moor were obviously too hot and therefore cooling their heels in the pond.