This week was all forward motion! During the short days of my work week, I did lots of grooming, even braiding his mane over to try to tame it down. Of course when I went back that very night, I found another piece I should have braided! His mane is massively thick and lovely, if only it all would lie on one side!
I took off his lead rope for good this week, and on Thursday, took off his halter too. He doesn’t even suck back when I walk in anymore, but greets me at the gate and stands still to have his halter tied back on. I handled his feet a lot this week, and he’s doing well with the left front and right hind. The opposite pair are still sticky, but improving. Today I even used a hoofpick on the front left and got some of the packed in stuff out before I felt him getting antsy. I don’t want to turn it into a battle at this point – I just hold the foot as long as he’s comfortable, then let it down during a time he’s not tense and resisting.
We worked on leading in our tied-off hallway between pens, with new people walking up and talking or petting, and Zeke did great with this. The only thing he’s still uncomfortable with is someone trailing behind us, so today Vickie did that while we walked. He accepted it but kept an eye out, so Vickie took her hat off. That was enough to spook him – he tucked his butt and scooted forward a step or two, then stopped. No running off, no passing me, just an acceptable little startle. He’s getting better and better every day!
Today I also gave Zeke some wormer; he’s been rubbing his tail a bit and since the only use Ivermectin at the BLM, Cindy suggested something that would control pinworms. I was apprehensive about trying to administer the worming paste, so many tame horses react terribly to having the wormer tube put in their mouth and squirted. I needn’t have worried – Zeke took it well and even appeared to like the taste!
I am really looking forward to getting out of our ‘controlled environment’ and being able to walk to he roundpen to start our real work!