Monday, February 21, 2011

Who's the Teacher?

The final laugh was on me. Last Saturday, I was bragging to everyone who'd listen about how well nine month old Danny is doing with his lead line training. Between the weather (which is now beautiful but for weeks seemed to be freezing and wet) and the nearly two weeks that the flu had me laid low, I haven't been working with him like I should have. I've been worried that I'd fall too far behind with his training to catch up but Huston kept reassuring me that I had plenty of time. This weekend, I had to play doctor for a sore he'd gotten on his nose from an imbedded hay splinter that had become infected. In between the steps of betadine, water and antibiotic, I would attach the rope to his halter and work on leading. I was so pleased with how well he was doing because as I said, I haven't been working with him that much. I was happy with him and happy with myself for learning how to stay calm and keep my energy low, so we both did well. After the antibiotic, I decided to try something before I removed his halter. I removed the lead line and  gave him voice commands: come on (Huston told me to cluck instead so that is what we're doing now), whoa, back, side (which is how I tell him to turn but I have to come up with something new since we only turn one way at the moment, lol). Without a lead rope and with those simple word commands, he performed perfectly and he backed at least six feet straight back before I asked him to whoa which he did immediately. I was so darn proud that I was calling Huston and Steve and like I said before, anyone who'd listen, lol, to tell them how perfect and smart my baby is. I don't know about the others but of course Huston and Steve agreed with me. 
Well, fast forward to yesterday; the wind and Danny joined forces to give me a lesson in humility. It was so windy that I could barely see between the hay, dust and hair that were blowing across my face. Just taking care of his nose was almost more than I could handle. Danny was jumpy, dancing and throwing his head around fighting the rope and halter. When I started leading him, he repeatedly balked and he was easily distracted. He didn't appear to be paying the least attention to me and he'd suddenly walk away as if neither I nor the rope were there. I kept correcting him but he'd just try something new and I could already tell that this was a futile task. I was embarrassed that Steve was present to watch all of this especially after all of the lauding I'd been doing the day before.  Steve was of course supervising, playing armchair quarterback or maybe cowboy and so I asked, if he wanted to give it a try. I knew of course that Danny would be even worse for him. I'm beginning to think Dan's going to be a one person horse because he won't do anything for Steve. Which is why I let him try getting Danny to pay attention and behave, I didn't want to be alone in my misery and humiliation, hehehe. I did make certain that I ended on a good note by making Danny back  then stand still for a few minutes and lower his head for me to remove the halter (true that isn't so important now but if he keeps growing it one day will be.)Today, it's windy again and I'm not even going to try working with him until it is calmer. I was the only one who learned anything on Sunday and my biggest lesson learned was....I now know not to boast too quickly because children will always make a liar out of you if given half a chance. ;-)
the sore in Danny's nose
It's much better now but at first I was certain that it was a Sebaceous Cyst or Atheroma. My vet is right, I do google way too much. Doctor Hamilton told me that it was most likely a thorn or hay splinter. The moisture is from the antibiotic ointment which remains on the spot about two seconds. Most of this application was already on my sweater when I took this photo. It appeared on Friday which was when this shot was taken. It is healing nicely today, Monday. I've been cleaning and applying ointment to the now open wound twice daily. Danny is being very cooperative although I have to use a bit of persuasion to apply the ointment which in my mind would be the least painful step. I'm thinking it must be the way it smells to his horsey nostrils which are far more sensitive than mine.

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