Monday, June 27, 2011

Denali Update

My husband and I spent Saturday night camping out on an Island near Seattle. It felt very fancy sailing over and sleeping out under the stars. Too bad the real world was only an hour away (I could see downtown Seattle from Blake Island) and we came back Sunday morning. I had taken off from the GWB because I thought that we were going to be there longer.

I ran out to an open house at the rescue that has April. I love them, and it was nice to see April out being a horse.  After a quick visit I decided to go see Ms. Denali. Someday I need to take a video. I walked up to the field and Slewy was about 300 yards out. All I do is yell her name once. She looked up and came galloping over to me. I love it. The rest of the horses came galloping over too, trying to figure out what she was running for.

I got her halter and took her out of the field. I still get super nervous handling her. I try, and I try, but it doesn't get a lot easier. I let Denali eat some grass and took her blanket off. She was really sweaty and I noticed all of her horse bites on her. Poor thing. The guilt took over and I took her down to the barn to give her a good grooming and put some medicine on the bites. No one was at the barn, which made me even more nervous. She was a good girl. Someone did decide to start shooting guns while I was leading her, but I screamed (out in fear) and she calmed right down. Damn guns.

I turned Denali out and she just stood by nickering (I also double as the food lady.) I decided to see how she's moving for myself so I grabbed a lunge whip and asked her to walk. She decided that gallop would be just as good and around and around she went. She looked great! A little ouchy, but she's barefoot, so it almost seemed to be a foot thing and less of a nero thing. She even did some head tosses and no nero signs. Maybe the time off is doing good for her. I also changed her supplements to Cosequin ASU from SmartRepair. I don't know what's causing it. I'll take it. It makes me nervous when I think about her being ridable. I know that makes no sense, but if she can be ridable that means that she needs training and that I need to do research. I want her to be ridable more than anything, but I also want my intense fear to go away.  I get on other horses and automatically get terrified because it reminds me of our rides (there were not many good ones.) Disclaimer: I can not (nor do I want to) sell or give Denali away. If you knew truly how much money went into her upkeep you'd think I was totally insane. I can't risk her ending up on a slaughter truck again.

I know that Denali knows that I'm afraid. I know this because she is SO good for me. She stands still and even when I am picking at scabs on her legs (with my heart in my throat) she stands perfectly still. I got out her dinner and decided to feed her while I groomed her. It kept her occupied and got one horse fed. She is so dirty. We are getting a washing station, but it is going to be awhile until I think I can clean her with water.

(45 minutes later)

I had a clean horse. Her tail and mane (which is getting MUCH too long, temptation to cut off is getting really hard to ignore.) reminded me of Bob Marley so I brought out the Cowboy magic and finally her looking like a horse. Her bridle path is about two inches long and is standing straight up. I decided to let it grow in, but I might cut it off.... she looks like a punk rocker.

I went to fly spray her and she let me do her left side (no horse bites) but wouldn't let me near her right side. She kept turning around me and wouldn't stand still. I stopped her and promised that I wouldn't spray her cuts. No joke, she looked and me and sighed. Per my promise I got under her belly and her legs. I have whip on fly spray whips and went around her cuts and put medicine on them. There is a new baby (3 year old) that is getting integrated to the herd, they are determining order again. Sigh.

She was a peach, a perfect angel and her trot and canter looked better than ever. She's getting worked three times a week (I just found this out, opps!) and is doing well. Who knows, maybe she will be ridable. My only concern is tripping. I don't want to get on her first (I lack skills, confidence, guts, confidence, skills, etc.) but I won't give her to a trainer without full disclosure. I need to keep working her to see if she is going to keep improving or if this is a blip. We've had lots of those! Regardless I love this horse, and she loves me. I know this much to be true.

Thanks for reading!


Lisa said...

I wanted to make a couple of comments on this post. Firstly, there is research to show that horses prefer to keep things in the field of vision of their left eye - 9 horses out of ten, when given a choice, will choose to put a person or object on their left. I thought this was very very interesting!

Secondly, your bravery astounds me. I just love how you push through your fears. :)

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Dont forget, when she is ready, you can do SO much ground training with her. It will help her understand what you want prior to riding again, and will help YOU with fears. You will feel armed with tools and then confidence just steps in. Baby steps. We do baby steps all the time, as needed. There are days where I'm brave and days where I have to scale it back down too.