Boot Camp For Arrow...
Since my fall there have been some adjustments to training. At first it was thought that I had broken my hip. Upon further review of the X-Rays it was determined I just have muscle and soft tissue damage. I’m still very bruised and swollen but I should be cleared to ride in 4-6 weeks. I had wanted to at least continue riding lessons on a lesson horse but that was also a ‘no'. My role with Arrow during this time will be to LOVE on him, groom him, stretch and massage him and continue to work on desensitizing him.
Saturday was our 1st day doing this by ourselves and I must say I was very surprised by the results! Fly spray was very scary to him. As soon as he saw a fly spray bottle in the vicinity he did his best to get away. I had a goal to work with him for 15 minutes and to get 2 legs sprayed. Next time we would go for a little more. I took him to the covered round pen because I was not going to tie him while doing this. I had him on a lead rope. I brought a bottle identical to my fly spray bottle that had water. You do not want to use your expensive fly spray when ½ the bottle is sprayed in the air. I stood in the middle holding his lead rope with my left hand and the spray bottle with my right. As soon as I lifted the bottle he started to pull away from me. I started making spraying noises and then started spraying the bottle eventually spraying the water on his left shoulder. Just as the training video showed, he stopped moving. I stopped spraying and gave him a ‘good boy’ and a pat. I started spraying again, he moved away again and this time I sprayed his front left leg. As soon as he stopped he got the same praise. I am happy to announce that at the end of the 10 minutes I had him standing perfectly still as I started spraying his neck and continued until his entire body was done. Well beyond my goal! I do wish I would have brought my real spray along so I could have actually had fly spray on him. The flies are horrible right now! I took him back up to the barn giving him time to process what just happened and grabbed my fly spray. I took him out to a wide area of the driveway and started exactly like I did in the round pen. He pulled away at first but this time it only took less than 5 minutes to have him standing still and completely sprayed. Yayyyyy! Wiping it on takes forever! Next activity will be the big bad plastic bags. I did not tell my chiropractor that I had been doing this as I am sure he would not approve. Especially when I have a 10lb lifting limit.
As far as his riding training with Chloe, he is doing Awesome! He is such a quick learner and just wants to do well. He soaks up the praise and looks so proud when he gets words of encouragement! We stepped him up from 2 days a week to 3 days. There have not been any other incidents of spookiness while being ridden either. Since he was a race horse he doesn’t really understand leg cues at this point. That is what Chloe is working on now along with his contact with the bit. This is all new to me as Lake was past this point when I adopted her. I love seeing the progression in such a short time! I hope to ride him when I am able to ride again.
My daughter starts riding lessons tomorrow so I’m sure you can guess what my next blog post will be about!The picture is Arrow and my Hubby taking a selfie.