Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Chiropractor Visit - One Good, One Naughty

Both boys had a visit from the chiropractor today, and both boys got blood drawn for their final EPM titers for the clinical trial.  Pie had numerous areas where he was very, very sore - particularly his neck and shoulders, and some spots on his back.  She worked on him for a long time, and although he warned her when she was about to touch an area that was sore by pinning his ears or pawing, he was very good about it and by the end he felt so much better.  I've never seen a horse yawn so much - he was very demonstrative about how good the chiro work felt. We've discontinued using his haynets, since the sideways twisting motion he has to use to get the hay out wasn't helping his neck - he'll be eating his hay off the ground.  I'm hoping that his digestive difficulties are far enough in the past that he'll be OK with that.  His extreme soreness goes a long way towards explaining his very grouchy behavior lately - poor boy was hurting.

Drifter, on the other hand, was not on his best behavior.  He'd been kept waiting a long time in his stall, and then he was alone in the barn while the work was being done (and Pie was outside next to the mares), and he really wasn't feeling too bad to begin with so he wasn't convinced the whole thing was necessary.  His timer had gone off and his patience wasn't there.  When he's outside his comfort zone or loses patience, he still tends to revert to the "bully" behavior that's worked for him in the past. To keep him from running over/through me - completely unacceptable behavior and the rope halter wasn't making the slightest impression on him - I put a chain, wrapped around the halter noseband, on the regular halter.  I didn't hang on him, just made it clear when he tried that running over me wasn't an option.  He was able to stand on a loose lead at that point and got a treat for (finally) good behavior.  When I turned him out in his paddock, he made quite a display - "look how powerful I am!" - bolting and running, bucking, prancing with his tail flagged - he had to put on a show for us.  He's really a beautiful, athletic horse - now if we can just get that energy and enthusiasm working for us . . .

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