Monday, March 31, 2008

Sandy Explodes!


I've never experienced anything like it...


I'm not sure I ever want to again...


Absolutely unbelievable...


There's hair everywhere! Big, huge clumps of Sandy hair covering every square inch of the paddock...and me. It looks like he was blown to smithereens out there. (What exactly is a smithereen, anyway? And why does spell check say there's no such thing as the singular form?)


What, you thought when I said explode, I meant in a wild horse sort of way? No....just his shedding coat. Everywhere.


I felt bad about tying him the other day. It's not something I'd normally do with a wild horse, but for whatever reason, that was my gut reaction to the situation. Scaring a horse isn't me, and if you've been around long enough you know that. But as readership has quadrupled since the Makeover began, I know I'm getting a lot of new readers, and half of them are probably aghast by what they read. I emailed a couple of trainers I know, one who's an acquaintance as well as a BLM volunteer and has done countless demos at adoptions. I think I gave her the impression that I snub horses to get them used to me. I felt bad.


Since Saturday was a mess with the weather, I left Sandy alone for the most part. On Sunday we were back at it. And guess what? He led. I mean, right there next to me like a broke horse would lead. We worked on getting the shoulders loosened up and moving, asking him for some forward motion so that he could do some cross overs, and although it was a bit slow in coming, he tried his hardest to figure out what I was after. He let me lean on both sides of his body, and we worked at giving to pressure on his barrel (my hip acting like a leg) and tried for some forward motion. We didn't get very forward, but we did get movement. Everything I asked him for, he gave, and he did it without pulling back or getting scared.


Then I pulled out the rake, and although he tried to evade it at first, he didn't do his usual ducking into the corner and it wasn't more than a couple of minutes before he'd given up outrunning it and stood for me to rake his body. Which is when the hair began to fly! I worked a lot on his belly, where he's normally super touchy, and he stood there with his head hanging as I pulled off mound after mound of hair. I worked to his back end, which he's really unsure about. The left side he was fine, but the right side took some work. In the end, however, I could run the rake up and down both hind legs and in between them as well. I really want to get him desensitized there, not only so I can work at picking up feet, but because I want to get him a blanket and I'm not sure how he'll react to the leg straps back there. But now we're well on our way to being civilized!

The weather is back to snow this morning. I've got a riding lesson that I'm not really wanting to drive to. They're promising 50 degrees and no precipitation this week. I'll believe it when I see it.

7 comments:

Jessie said...

I am glad it was a hair explosion and not the other kind...

I just saw the photo gallery of all the Western States horses. Do you know how long they have been at the holding facility? Most of the Midwest Challenge horses were captured in 2006.

Kathy M said...

Being an itchy shedding horse can certianly work in our favor at times.
;D

Mrs Mom said...

Ooo save some hair and make yourself some sort of momento! --- No dont ask me WHAT KIND of momento-- I am clueless there. But i am SURE someone out there knows of something to twist and make with horse hair!!! And HOW to make it as well....

Tracey said...

Jess, me too! Although having it down my shirt made things a bit itchy on my side of the rake.

Kathy, most definitely! This is the first time he's relaxed enough to enjoy it; he's always been so tense before.

Mrs...I thought about that, too. Don't think it'd spin well, but it crossed my mind =D

Rising Rainbow said...

I'm glad that it was hair exploding as well.

It sounds like he's done a little thinking. That's a good thing.

I don't think you've done anything out of line with this horse. You know me. I am a stickler for doing what is best for the horse, I wouldn't let you off the hook if I thought you were being a bully. I think that Sandy is very lucky to be in your hands.

Tracey said...

Thanks, M! I know you'd hold me accountable :)

Anne said...

I can't imagine doing what you're doing. You have my admiration.

They're all exploding right now. At least the birds are happy, if not the fence posts.