Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Busy Day

On the morning of the eighth, we had visits from both our farrier and vet scheduled. The day started very early for us. If you are expecting a story totally about Danny, you aren't getting it. Danny was actually better behaved than his older counterparts. He did protest a little bit when our farrier, Dale Collis, trimmed his front hooves but he was a perfect gentleman for the back hooves and acted like an old pro with the vet, not even flinching when she gave him his shots. The other horses made up for his complacency....big time.
If you've been following any of my blogs for long, you know that the only difficult thing about our big red boy, Riley is that he can be a bit head shy and hard to catch and halter. Expecting the farrier to arrive not long after 8 AM that morning, I herded all of the horses into the round pen and put their halters on the very first thing. I envisioned a smooth transition from horse to horse with Steve and I taking time about bringing one of them up to the tying post. 

When Dale arrived, I already had Django ready. I started with Django since he's usually the most difficult where the farrier is concerned. He was actually, almost a gentlemen with just a wee bit of protest but nothing as drastic or dramatic as the time he threw Dale about ten feet and then dragged me down the hillside. No, this time there was just a little eye rolling and snorting but he soon realized that the large, solid post was a lot more difficult to intimidate than me.

As we'd planned, while I helped with Django, Steve brought Brandy up, who is always easy all around. I brought up Mouse after her and she was having a "lady's day" so the diva exploded a bit but we got her under control quickly and then she just stood there and looked offended. 

Steve asked which one I wanted next. I told him to just get Danny because Riley was difficult to catch. He of course took this as a challenge and said that he would get Riley. I reached in my pocket and handed him the "Indian" halter that Huston made for me and that I try to always carry with me. It is basically just a length of soft rope with a loop on one end. It is usually easy to slip it around even the most skittish horses neck and capture them before they realize it. Steve said that he didn't need it but I made him take it anyway. Dale and I were concentrating on the oddly, disagreeable Mouse and paying no attention to Steve. Just as we finished up with Mouse, he comes walking up with not Riley but explanation, no excuses, just Danny. 

So, it was now my turn to go and get a horse and only one was left. I walked off forgetting to get the rope halter from Steve so I was left to my own wiles to capture him. He was wise to me and avoided me at first and no matter how I tried to corner him, he quickly slipped away. So, I decided to follow some of Huston's advice, I stood still and waited. At first he was concentrating on the feed I'd put in his bucket in an effort to distract him hoping that I could grab his halter but that plan had proven fruitless. As he ate, I stood silently behind him and he kept looking back at me with more than a little concern but then, the oddest thing happened, he turned and walked toward me, stopped right in front of me and dropped his head for me to hook the rope on the halter. Then, we calmly walked up the hill. Steve didn't seem to notice that I'd managed to capture Riley and he certainly never asked how but I did make sure he knew the entire story before the day was done. ;-)

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