It's hard to believe that it's already late July. After this week I only have one more week of pony camp to help with and that summer job will be over already. And I'm already more than half-way through my distance learning course for equine massage and have my lodging arrangements and everything all set up for the week long practical in October. My daughter is working pony camp with me this week and the last week of this particular class in August, plus she has her own camps to go to so after that she and I will have two weeks off with no camps/work. Then school starts again. Time just feels like it is rushing by.
I have a new person in my list of horse people I think are really neat. Scott Hassler. He wrote a really interesting article for Dressage Today recently about helping your horse be more supple and building their confidence. I like this quote: "Forcing, overtraining or expecting too much too fast leads to injury or rebellion." Very simple, but very to the point. A couple weeks ago when we came back from the Buck Brannaman clinic my dad asked my husband (the non-horse person) what he learned and he said "Wait. That's what I heard most the whole weekend is to wait. It can't be rushed and you have to be patient." That's not something that is very common in our society and it's something I struggle with too. My husband's expression for us is "I'm evolution, she's revolution."
I got to pretend to be a farrier last week which by the way sucked! Maiden's feet are very weak as it is and it's been so dry and her feet have actually gotten so dry (very rare in this part of the country) that her hoof walls were starting to chip off and it was getting worse as her feet got longer. It had only been five weeks so I hadn't made a farrier appointment and I'm a bit in between farriers at the moment because the one who's best with problem feet seems to not want to work with me because last time I practically stalked him and he never did call me back (which is odd because Maiden is perfectly good for the farrier).
Anyway, I went to Trainer K. and said "Can you come look at Maiden's feet ..." and she said "I don't need to. They are horrible!" So, she got out her rasp and showed me how to file them down until I can get a farrier out there. Luckily, Maiden's old owner has a stand built for putting the horse's foot on while you're working on them and she leaves it out so I borrowed that and it was easier than trying to hold it up myself (not sure I could've pulled that off). As it was, I watched Trainer K. do one front foot, then she showed me how to put the back foot on the stand and then she left to go do her work and I literally thought (something I try never to think) "This is too hard. I can't do it!" And the thought even had a whiny tone to it in my head. But since I don't like it when people do that without even trying I took a deep breath and gave it a try.
And it WAS really hard! Good lord. The first thing I said when I got Maiden's foot up on the stand and was standing on two sides of it to hold it down and was practically on top of her leg, envisioning my painful demise if she decided to try and rear in the cross ties was "I am NEVER doing this on anyone else's horse but my own! Never!" But I did it. I did the rest of the three legs and it was super hard work and I was literally pouring sweat from the top of my head down to my toes, but I did it! And her feet look better. But I need someone who really specializes in problem feet to help me figure out what to do for her. Trainer K. says put shoes back on and I'm all for that, but I'm also worried about how her hoof walls are cracking and peeling so easily and that seems bad. I've got her on hoof supplements and we've used Venice turpentine on her feet but they are still a mess. I definitely need professional help on this one. Now if we can just get the really good at problem feet farrier to actually call me back.
I've only had the chance to ride twice in the last two weeks because I've been so busy and that kind of sucks. I've had time to go out during the hottest part of the afternoon but it's been too hot to ride and too hot for Maiden to work too hard so I've just lunged her and done a bit of ground work with her. I noticed on Sunday my mood was exuberant for the whole day after getting to ride again. And we had a good ride although she was on edge and wanting to spook - although she didn't. We managed to communicate well enough and keep her re-directed enough that she didn't actually spook. But she was tense for some reason and very hyper-alert.