Monday, February 25, 2013

Horse camp, Sharp Objects, and Training Holes with Sensitive Emotional Mares

It was a stupid move on my part. I know better, but I was in a rush , wasn't wearing my gloves and wasn't paying close enough attention and had bad aim. My right index finger paid the price. Since my husband  insists on keeping everything surgical sharp around here, I didn't feel much at first. Then I saw the blood. I had no idea a finger could bleed that much.  I mostly tried not to look at it, just enough to make sure it was still glance and nope, a bandaid wasn't going to  fix this little mishap. I got a few papertowels, applied direct pressure and went about getting myself on the way to get some help.  I was home alone but not dressed for the day .  Dressing yourself with a gushing finger is no easy task without making a mess.  I got myself in the car and made the 25 minute drive to Urgent Care.  They got me right in but I managed to panic the girl behind the desk because apparently  I was "too calm" for the amount of blood coming from my finger.

It's a terrible thing to be in the middle of your own trauma and then have to reassure the staff who is supposed to be taking care of you. She turned a shade of what I would best describe as greyish white  but quickly paged someone to come get me before she nearly passed out and was escorted to the back by her coworker. Thankfully, the male nurse who arrived was not squeemish about blood.  Or atleast he didn't let on that he was. It was a 3 hour process between arriving, soaking the finger m  numbing the finger (that was the worst part) so they could sufficiently irrigate  and clean the wound  and assess  the damage. The Physicians assistant  was going to send me  to the ER if I had severed any tendons or liagements. I got lucky and missed all that, somehow. She did quite a fine job stitching it even though part of the cut was resisting the lidocaine injections. I had to suffer through some of the stiching without numbness. Stitches don't come out for 14 days. Fantastic....

I am no longer playing with sharp objects,  atleast not for a while.  I have this gigantic bandage and splint on my finger. It's been pretty painful, especially at night when it seems to want to start throbbing. The antibiotics are pretty heavy duty and not playing nice with my stomach. Most of all it's irritating because it limits what I can and can't do. I am left  handed and the injured finger is my right hand but as with  most left handers, I am more right handed dominant so it's been awkward.

Maggie is officially moved to the boarding facility but I told her she was going to horse camp. I thought it sounded better.  It has been a long time since I have boarded a horse somewhere and it's very strange to not have her here. To be honest, it makes me a little nervous to have someone else responsible for her daily care but it will give me the ability to work her consistently.  I also have direct access to miles of trails which is a bonus.

Ofcourse my riding for the next couple of weeks might be a bit limited given the injury. I had to cancel my jumping lesson this past weekend.

Now that Maggie is at an arena where I can ride her.. the timing is a bit maddening but the boarding facility could not hold my spot for another 2 weeks and I wouldn't ever expect that. I didn't want to cancel and risk losing my spot. The facility is full so I threw caution to the wind and kept with the plan. There is still alot I can do with her on the ground. In fact it's exactly what she needs.

It was nice to have those couple of days of riding last week but it really made me reevaluate a couple of Maggie's training issues that I have not been able to completely address. There are training holes in her and as her trainer, it's maddening but humbling to admit that. The first few spring rides are frequently the roughest and that is to be expected but Maggie still gets so mad at the slightest things. I have never known a horse with such a quick fuse. It's been a challenge in her training progress. A thorn in my side that has yet to quite go away. I have learned that meeting her for the challenge in a full frontal attack will not work. She will not relent or acquiesse at a certain amount of pressure. No, she will just increase the pressure. She is too strong willed. She has taught me to remain calm no matter how upset she gets. If I get mad or frustrated things go south at a high rate of speed and I may as well just put her away for the remainder of the day.  A good horseman once gave me the advice that when a horse up the presure like that, sometimes the trainer has  to follow that pressure up, in a persistant but calm manner, until the horse drops the pressure. In other wordsm increase my pressure as she increases her pressure. I have tried that. It does not work, or , more likely, I am not doing it right.
I  have instead attempted to  redirect her in different ways , to find a way to slip in the back door. She often wants to buck, throw her head or worse,  attempt to rear  when she is upset and this softer approach seems to work to diffuse her mad and allow us to move on . Over the course of time , persistance and consistency have lessened her temper tantrums .They are less frequest and less severe but still they creep up.  I am not getting through to her like I need to or want to.

 Our time at the arena will hopefully allow me to continue to work her through these issues. Ground work  and work on the lunge will become her main purpose in life . At the end is this very simple goal : be able to apply a leg aid for a quiet leg yield  and /or canter depart without the explosive transition.

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