The last couple of weeks have plagued my farm with rain. And since the rain came too late to help any crops it was just a nuisance, making mud and forcing me to keep the horses in. The only good thing that came out of it is that I now have gutters on my barn and run-in because of the mess that the downpours caused. I’ve also got some sitework to do to prevent the big mudholes from forming again. Four inches was too much for my farm to handle.
I feel like I’m not making a lot of progres with Bill, but as I was making this entry I looked at the health certificate from when I brought the boys home from New Holland, specifically the date – 9/29/08. They haven’t been here 2 months yet. I’m going to stop beating myself up. This isn’t the extreme mustang challenge where I need to be jumping them through hoops of fire in 100 days. 🙂
Bill is coming around. Everytime I tried to approach him to brush or pet him, he would fly off. So I started bringing him into the stall to work, and he would run circles around me to keep me from touching him. He’s afraid of hands, brushes, halters, ropes. I had no idea what to do so I just started trying different things. One day I decided to approach him with my head, since he’s scared of everything else. If that doesn’t sound crazy enough, I should tell you that the school athletic complex is directly across the street so there were probably at least 50 people who could have seen me doing this. I’m officially that crazy horse lady.
So anyway, we’re in the stall, me bent over, walking towards him like I’ve got a slipped disk or something. Bill is just scared. He’s never kicked or attempted to bite, and though I know he can, I’m not worried. He looks at me, whites visible around his eye, but stands. He’s not retreating as usual, so I kept going. Darned if it didn’t work. I rubbed my head on his shoulder, down his neck, and then sniffed his nose. I guess I’m trying to convince him I’m really a 2-legged horse and not one of those mean humans. I’m not sure Bill bought it but a funny thing happened…he started sniffing me, and then rubbed his head on my arm and shoulder. I slipped him a treat, and then started scratching his leg. I walked out of the stall that day with horsehair all over my head, stuck to my eyelashes and up my nose, but it was worth it. Since then I’ve been able to work my way up to rubbing and brushing him all over, and I’ve discovered he likes to have his belly and the underside of his chin scratched. I don’t have a lot of time to work with him, but I make it a point to do so at every feeding. He is approching me now rather than retreating, and we’re to the point now where I can work on picking up his feet. Small victories, but victories none the less. I can only guess what the neighbors think of me.
Dan continues to gain weight, and to be pushy. 🙂 I work on manners with him while I can but I admit he’s taken a backseat. Primary objective for him is to fill out. I’m glad that even though he’s old and skinny, he holds his own in the herd.
The herd seems to be working out well. Fred and Peanut (sometimes I think they are really just one animal) are fine as long as they have each other, and Tom really doesn’t care what the others do as long as they don’t interfere with his eating. I’m looking forward to blending Bill into the herd, but he’s by himself for now to finish healing after his gelding procedure and to let his hormones level out.