Well, we have been training for 12 days without incident. No sore feet on anyone. Hopefully all Chance’s foot problems are behind him.
For what it’s worth, Chance has stopped making faces when I go to do up his girth. He just maintains his normal sweet expression. I really never thought much about it, it’s very common at the track for horses to make faces or bite when the girth is tightened. But now I have to wonder if it had anything to do with his feet. Have his feet been bothering him even when he was not noticeably off? Was something else bothering him? I suppose I’ll never know, but it’s one more thing to consider.
Zola has been good. She now walks around the track with minimal steering issues. However, she is still a stubborn and opinionated girl! On Sunday we had gone around 2 times, I then turned her around and walked back up the track the wrong way, toward the point where I normally dismount. She stopped before we got there. I clucked and she stood there. I tapped her on the shoulder with my crop and she raised her head, put her ears back, turned her head to the right, looked at me, lifted her nose and gave me a dirty look. The message was clear!
I have never been a rider who gets in fights with horses. I have no desire to engage in a rodeo. I was not going to push Zola by giving her a whack with the crop. But neither was I going to let her decide what we were going to do and where and when we were going to do it. Huey has taught me that waiting a horse out can be very effective. More effective than resorting to force. So I replied to Zola by just sitting there. Every once in a while I’d cluck or tap her on the shoulder. She ignored the clucks and repeated her “comments” when tapped with the crop. Fine, I told her, I can sit here for hours.
In the end, she gave in. And it only took 10 minutes. Score one for me. We’ll see what she does today.