Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Halter is Off

Firecracker's halter fell off that night. She's been receiving her powdered anti-biotic daily for the past few days; we have until Friday to go. I just pour it into her alfalfa pellets and she doesn't seem to mind.

The one thing that concerns me now is the possibility of infection at the sight and trying to keep it clean. I can't see the actual wound as her mane falls over the top. I tried fashioning a dauber out of her long branch and a piece of cloth bound to the end, but she'd have none of that. The stick is acceptable, the fabric is not. I'd dipped the fabric end into a tea tree salve and managed to bump it around a little bit behind the ear, but am afraid it only landed on her mane.

She doesn't mind walking in and out of my makeshift chute, providing there is a bit of hay there to munch on. I can shuffle the panels back and forth while she's standing there without her batting an eye. She's not in the least worried when I stand behind her. I can scratch shoulders, sides, and under the belly. I rubbed along the haunches and down her hind leg to the hock. I patted the side of her neck as you would before popping a needle in. None of it really fazed her. Her ears swivel as you move back and forth, always aware of where you're at, but the munching of hay continues. Until, that is, you get close to the head. 8-12 inches is her limit. That's when she becomes uncomfortable with your closeness, throwing up her head, trying to escape the confines of the panels. That's when I take a couple steps back and let her relax, then go about touching all the acceptable spots again.

I'm not really certain how I'm going to deal with this, except to just keep trying. I don't want her to associate my every visit with stress, or see the panels being shuffled into position and become frightened. So for now, it'll be try, then leave her to relax a day, then try again. She's light years ahead of where Sunny was, which is nice. Without this little set back, there's no doubt in my mind that Darling would be riding her this summer.

For now, it's just another exercise in building trust. The more she learns she can trust us from the ground, the fast things will come along once she's saddled and we're on board.


Rising Rainbow said...

Hopefully the antibiotic will take care of anything at the wound site. It's always tough trying to treat a horse that doesn't want to be treated and even more so when they have no trust in the first place. You can only do what she'll let you. Safety has to be first. But boy I hate when that's how it goes.

nikki said...

Way to go getting that halter off! Poor thing! Did they just have it too tight or is she still growing? I bet she loves you to pieces right now tho and I can't believe how fast she's coming around! Mine took at least 2 1/2 months to get to that point. How did you make your cool Happy Holidays welcome banner?

Tracey said...

MiKael, yes, safety first!

Nikki, I made the banner using photo shop, then uploaded it to and used their code.

Yes, she's come around pretty quickly. Not as fast as Quiet Storm or Jet, but she's a little older and had spent a lot less time in the holding facility, so that's to be expected. I'm very happy with her, though.

photogchic said...

What a crazy thing to have happen! Nice job handling a dicey situation. Let us know if this situation hinders or helps her trust---some times events we think will set us back actually build the relationship---wondering which way it will go. Happy holidays:-0