Friday, February 4, 2011

Poor Baby Toe

We have had pretty windy and cold weather over the last 2 days so the horses have reason to feel rather cooped up in their 24' X 24' corrals.

Yesterday Fable was standing on the pipe of her gate. Now it's not like she hasn't been fooled with- we go on walks even in bad weather because the only way she will get really great at leading and learning her ground work is to do it- regularly. She was a bored baby anyway after 2 days off so I took her out to work her and walk her.

What happened to me would have been comical if it wasn't so painful. While working on my leading exercises ( a mix of go forward, whoa, back, hip over from standing, soften face to pressure, move shoulders over while going forward) I started forward and took my eyes off her for a second to scan the ground around us for holes or possible danger and she popped her shoulder into me and walked forward stepping on my right pinky toe.

I wear fairly hard capped boots for this reason but I HATE steel toe boots so I don't usually wear them. I sucked in my breath at the sharp pain and that spooked her so she JUMPED off my foot and executed a perfect capriole.

Now I have no interest in ever teaching her to do that in hand, under saddle, or frankly anywhere around human beings so I gave her a pop on the nose (regular halter) along with a firm "no". That was enough to get her to try to get away from me. My correction was just to make sure I had both her eyes on me until she settled which probably took less than 3 seconds.

I continued to work her and walk her around, gradually expanding her comfort zone around the property and after another 15 or 20 minutes, I turned her and the 2 geldings out together.

After all that, my toe is black, and I'm not sure if it's broken but it's 4 times it's normal size. I guess I have to go buy steel toed boots until I get this girl bitted and can really teach her shoulder control and she has it ingrained in her mind.

This is the first time I've actually had the thought of "Oh do I really want to deal with babies at my advanced (almost 41) age?

My 9 and 6 year olds are sooo easy by comparison even if my 9 year old can be hard to handle at times because he has had his mind blown once upon a time.