It's raining today, so I poured another cup of coffee and took my quiz that I posted last time I wrote. The two answers that I really need to work on were 1) Siete doesn't like to have her back hooves picked ever since the hoof abscesses drama and 2) Both horses aren't happy when I tighten the cinch on their saddles. I promised myself that I will take some extra time to work on those issues. I've also been thinking about what I read yesterday in an excerpt from a book about animal communicator Jane Dicker. She posed questions to horses about what was most important to them. The number one thing was that they want to feel useful.
I know that at this point, neither of my horses feel useful. I can tell that Silk really enjoys it when I ride her. Before the weather gets too cold and the snow hits the ground, I am going to make an effort to get back on a regular schedule riding. Between my twelve year old daughter's schedule and taking care of my 93 year old mother, who lives with us, my plate gets too full. Riding is a luxury, often pushed aside. I try not to beat myself up if I don't get to it. The horses are going to be here tomorrow, next week, as long as they live, so I will eventually saddle up when things calm down. It's the one thing that I do for me. And now, if Jane Dicker is correct, it's also the best thing I can do for the horses.
Today, since the weather is bad, I am going to wash the horse blankets. I don't look forward to the "Mission Impossible" aspect of this task. I have to sneak into a local laundramat to use the big machines that hold rugs. When we lived in Virginia, there was a very official metal sign over those washers saying "NO HORSE BLANKETS". I was always afraid I'd get caught and thrown into the street with soapy wet horse blankets. Here in Connecticut, I try to go at odd hours when it's quiet. I'm usually the only one in the laundramat. I've got a new blanket wash made by Eqyss with Microtek in it. I'll let you know how it works. The sun is supposed to come out around noon, so I can hang the clean but wet blankies over the corral fence to dry.
I will also clean the horses' feet and put some Keratex on their hooves this afternoon. It's great stuff, and I go through a regime of applying it every other day for a week at this time of year. It helps keep their feet hard and protected for the wet winter weather. Once I do the initial treatment, I continue to brush it on their hooves once or twice a week. It's expensive, but I only go through one bottle a year.
I will also put Borium shoes on their front feet in December so they don't slip on the ice and snow when I turn them out. Siete loves to play in the snow. Our first winter, I didn't put the shoes on them because I didn't know what could happen. Poor little horse slipped and fell and really knocked the wind out of herself. Last year, she was able to run and kick up the snow without sliding since the shoes have little cleats on the bottom. RIght now, they're both barefoot. Siete is recovering from a nasty bout of Lyme Disease, so she's not being ridden until we're done with the antibiotics. More on that in another post....
I think I hear the theme for "Mission Impossible" - - must be time to stuff those dirty horse blankets into the black garbage bags and stealthly head for the laundramat.