Friday, June 17, 2011

That's gonna leave a mark

My daughter just left with her grandparents to go to their house for the weekend and as always happens whenever she leaves for more than an overnight I feel very bleak and kind of like someone chopped off one of my limbs. I don't know if other moms feel this way, although the impression I get is that I tend to get more maudlin when separated from my girl than most moms. I'm trying not to worry about when she goes off to college and how hard that will be for me.

Meanwhile, I have my giant white unicorn-wannabe baby, Sinatra to take care of. I special ordered those Easyboot Glove boots and they were delivered today. I was happy that after putting on the new gauze and elastic bandage wrap, the boots were super easy to put on especially compared to the duct tape. Unfortunately, his back hoof is not the same size as his front hoof - it's just a bit smaller. So, when I let him out for a brief turn-out in one of the dry pastures in back, he got excited and jumped around it took about three minutes for him to kick off his back boot and rip part of it by jumping on it. Damnit. I had run out of elastic wrap gauze bandage so I had to to pack his hoof with fresh gauze and put the boot back on over that and put him back in his stall. Tomorrow I'll duct tape the broken boot and put a thicker wrap of bandage on to hold it on better. Regardless of whether or not they work for turn-out, they will at least keep his hooves dryer than duct tape and perhaps if one of them isn't completely ruined I'll have one for the future if I ever need one again. The front one seems to be fine because it fits perfectly. Of course, I say that now - I may show up at the stable tomorrow and see they've both been kicked off and pummeled. At least he probably won't chew them because Trainer K. loaned me some spray called Bitter Yuck (literally - that's what it's called). Which (duh) smells really awful and tastes even worse apparently. The good news is that after a couple days of thrush treatment his other two hooves look just fine. I'm still going to keep doing the thrush medicine though just to be safe.

I feel like after all this having to mess with his feet and put him through so much that Sinatra and I are bonding a little more. He has been a little more affectionate with me. But at the same time he has also been a little more bratty with me. He has started balking before going into the grooming room again even when he first goes back into his stall now. And he really doesn't want to go into the wash room because he's had such bad experiences in there. Today's was a bit better. He didn't freak out over his feet so badly, although when I went to pick up his back left leg he lifted his right leg to kick and got quite a reprimand for that (even if his right leg was on the other side of his body so there was no way he could physically have pulled off kicking me.

He did get in a really good bite though which got him another big smack on the side of the nose. This time it really hurt because I wasn't wearing sleeves. My parents were out visiting the barn to watch my daughter's riding lesson, and my mom heard me yell, "Ouch! Goddammnit, Sinatra!" and she rushed over to ask what was wrong and I said he'd bit me and she got very worried, but he was nipping at me, not trying to take a chunk out of me. That is a big difference that I forget to explain to my friends who are used to dogs - Sinatra doesn't try to bit with his mouth wide open, he nips. Which hurts bad enough but isn't quite as bad as if he tried to bite like a dog with his full mouth. Regardless, it still left a nice big, raised blue bruise. Little shit. It was the second time I had to step away and take a deep breath because I was so angry. This experience is a really good at helping me build patience. Of course, tomorrow I'll go back to take care of him and be all swooney over him again.

My daughter's lesson went really well apparently, but I only got to watch a minute of it after I was done with Sinatra's feet and took him out to eat some grass outside the arena so I could peak in at her lesson. Trainer V. said that Tiny started acting up and my daughter started getting frustrated and crying and said she couldn't get Tiny to mind her. I don't recall exactly what Trainer V. said that she said to my daughter but apparently she took a minute, then took a deep breath and tried again and this time succeeded in what she was trying to do. I think she said she was trying to get her to trot and Tiny kept trying to take off with her. But Trainer V. said it was a big turn around for my daughter to stop spiraling down the "everything sucks and I can't do it!" path and pull it together and calm down and keep trying. That's a huge lesson in life - not just with riding! I don't think I learned lesson until well into my thirties. It'd be nice if my daughter could learn it as a child.

Meanwhile my 80-year old dad had gravitated toward the paddock where Tuff Toad was turned out. I told him about how she was a retired a race horse and was for sale. He muttered something about it not being too late to get his first horse. Of course he wouldn't buy her but he seemed to really like her. When I told my mom she was for sale for $500 she said, "That's just insane! That horse should be $5,000 at least." It would be so cool if my parents bought Tuff Toad and hired Trainer V. to work her for the next couple years until she's calmed down ... I do not need another horse. I do not need another horse. I do not need another horse. My mom was saying when we got there that she lives too far away to come all the way out for lessons and she's going to wait until they sell their house and move to the Eastside, but after a couple hours out there she was saying how she can't wait to start taking lessons again. She was having fun helping my daughter groom Tiny and when I said that my daughter should be doing that, Trainer V. spoke up and said, "I think your mom *wants* to be doing it."

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