Week 9 covers Day 58 to Day 64 (Sun 11th Mar – Sat 17th Mar):-
On Sunday, Wednesday and Friday I pretty much fed and ran as work was busy those days.
On Monday I had to go up to the horses earlier than normal because Eddie was having his feet trimmed. Eddie’s owner and I thought it would be a good idea to bring Olly up into the stable block also whilst Eddie had his feet done. I tied him up in the stable long enough to allow him to eat his food from the floor bucket. He was ok, and I managed to groom him, he was very fidgety but not overly anxious. He did settle a little more whilst I combed his mane and forlock and he even stood still to have his feet picked out. He did however, scrap the floor a few times but with a sharp ‘NO’ from me and he did stop it each time. He certainly wasn’t what I would call settled in a stable but he was better so that can be taken as a positive today. Olly then walked lovely back to the field and we even managed to add our stop/start exercise in whilst Eddie was walking ahead of him and he didn’t mind standing whilst his buddy was still walking, again, this is massive PROGRESS!
On Tuesday Olly had his feet done. Our Farrier, Ryan Darbyshire, is great. He understands Olly’s separation issues and because Olly was only having a trim Ryan came into the horses field and he trimmed him there and then. When we arrived they were all lying down on the brow of the hill in the sunshine. Olly was so content where he was that I got his headcollar on whilst he was lying down and had to give him a gentle pull to encourage him to stand up. He did reluctantly but had a stretch on the way up so was fine once on all fours. Toffee also got up and came over to sniff Ryan. Eddie chose to stay right where he was and dozed a little longer. Olly was good as gold having his feet done.
Thursday was a nice dry day and the sunshine had come out. I had some time to myself so rather than feed and run with the horses, I thought I’d start bringing Olly in on his own and get him used to eating his feed in the stable. I found out his old door bucket and cleaned it out and used that for a change rather than the black floor bucket. It certainly stopped him kicking the door or even attempting to. He was dead chilled in the stable too which was lovely to see. Today was also the day I put my big girl pants on and braved doing a video to show you all. I hate listening to my voice back on a video so don’t do them usually but you certainly get a more personalised update. So here goes…
Saturday was another good day, but I was so determined to do the new task quietly that I chose not to film it. I will next time though. So, after a day of marshalling at a cross-country fun ride event and seeing everyone with their lovely horses, some bay TB’s amongst them, it got me thinking that I really need to start Olly back into work. It was lovely when I got to the farm in the afternoon so I chose to bring Olly in, feed him in his stable and then we’d go for a walk. I wanted to get him desensitized to areas of the farm that I may pass when we go out for a hack. He’s an ex-racehorse after all and their mentality it that EVERYTHING is out to get THEM.
Along the track towards the old stable block Olly was snorting at pretty much every scary corner, every bird flutter in the trees and every shadow we passed. We did also practice our stop/start exercise to voice command along the way which was really successful. Once back in the tractor park we stood for a little while which is usually something an exracer, particularly Olly, doesn’t like doing but he managed to do it very well but only because he was fixated on the Estate deer in the distance.
Back to the field we went and he was good as gold…even Eddie came and said hello to us 🙂
So that’s another tick in the progress book this week. It might seem boring to some of you with all this floor work but I truly belive that the solid bond and the respect Olly and I are building is priceless and it can only reap benefits for us during our journey whatever we decide to do in the future.