Friday, March 27, 2009

Day Two ~ Freshening Up

Day One was all about Baby and catering to his needs as he developed a routine and learned the basics. How to Get Up, Where to Get Food, and the all important How to Get Back Down. Since he has now mastered that, and has apparently turned his attentions towards training himself for the upcoming Derby, I thought it was time to turn my attentions to giving Copy back a little of herself.

I arrived at the barn on my lunch break. Ace has already done several miles round and round his patient Mama and was napping in the middle of her lunch. I grabbed a curry and brush and began to clean up my disheveled mare. As I groomed Copy, she groomed Ace, wiggling her big ole lip up and down his neck. And Ace groomed his front legs. After the basic grooming, I got a towel and a pail of hot water and began to wash the milk and afterbirth residue from Copy's haunches and hind legs. After two years, I have come to understand her language. She is an aloof and stoic mare, a cynic by nature, and she tries to appear unimpressed with most of my behavior. But, she does enjoy her grooming time and if I watch her expressions, she will tell me how I'm doing.

Today she was extremely vocal. As soon as the hot towel came out, she completely forgot about her colt and focused completely on her spa treatment. Her communication was loud and clear.... low nasal groans for the tender spots, nickers of gleeful approval for the itchy spots followed by expressive airy wuffles of sincere gratitude as I found the spots that really needed attention. I dipped the towel again and started on her udder. She waved her long neck around, leaning and squatting as she took full advantage of the washing. We finished off with a good polishing all over her coat and she looked and felt like a Lady again.

In the meantime, Ace had noticed he was no longer the center of attention and was running laps and seeing how high he could buck. He is built on springs like a tigger. My mother thought he needed to be held a bit so he doesn't turn into a complete wild thing. She suggested putting a halter on Copy, since all the grooming had been accomplished without one, but I knew if I kept her colt against her and didn't get between them she wouldn't get too worried about my messing around with him. I caught him up with one arm in front of his chest and one behind his haunches. He struggled and nickered and tried to fight off his attacker, but I just held him gently and Copy talked to him, touching his face and telling him to "be still Little Boy everything is fine". He soon relented and relaxed into my arms, and Copy stepped forward and laid her head in my arms along his back and neck in a horsey hug.

When I left them, Ace was napping, worn out from his efforts, and Copy was watching over him. Her window faces North, and is covered with a layer of plastic left over from winter so she cannot see out of it. But she can hear the geldings in the paddock right outside so she keeps a close eye on it.

The vet came later in the afternoon for a check up. They got tetanus shots, and he drew some blood to take back and test to make sure Ace got enough antibodies from the colostrum. Tomorrow we plan on some exercise in the indoor arena. The paddock still needs a little harrowing and it rained all day yesterday making it muddy again.

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