Australian Brumby Challenge ©
This has been an interesting week for Scarlett. She has learned to quietly walk all the way into the float and stand for a few seconds, before she needs to back out. While she is doing all I ask of her, she is not relaxed enough about it to put the divider in or contemplate doing the chain up behind her. At this stage, I feel that would stress her too much and be a backward step. We have a couple of short practice sessions each day and she is becoming more relaxed each time. To help her experience the feel of being enclosed, I have been using Tellington wraps, which are a series of bandages wrapped around her body. The one I am currently using is a figure 8 wrap around her chest and girth with a bridge wrap around her hindquarters, attached to the figure 8. I also use a head wrap, to help her stay focused and calm.
Sometimes a training opportunity presents itself when least expected and that happened to us this week. Somehow, Scarlett managed to injure her fetlock. It is only a small cut but is causing some lameness and has become swollen and infected so she has learned what it is like to have her legs hosed down. Initially, she was naturally wary of the water running out of the hose, however, I gave her time to investigate it and when she realized it was only water running, she accepted the noise and movement. She does like to have a drink straight out of the hose and does not mind standing in the puddle it makes. I think the cold water is soothing on her swollen leg and she appreciates it taking some of the heat out. For the first couple of days, I applied a clay poultice to her leg, but I wasn’t happy with the progress, so Scarlett had to also learn about having her leg bandaged with a poultice. I use minimal bandaging, in case she played with it or pulled it apart. I didn’t want her to have a long bandage trailing around chasing her. The “minimal” bandaging wasn’t a great idea as it didn’t take long to slip down onto her pastern, becoming at best, useless so I took it off and reapplied the clay. I will retry a bandage over the weekend, if necessary, this time, making sure her leg is quite dry before applying it.
She is taking her oral antibiotics well, although she thinks they taste pretty ordinary, pulling faces each time I give them to her. I opted for oral rather than a course of injections as I felt twice daily needles might be a bit too much for her to cope with, at the moment. She also had to endure having a tetanus anti toxin, which she took with good grace.
In the coming weeks, our focus will be firstly, getting her leg healed and secondly, increasing her confidence in the float, so we might soon be able to go for some short trips.