Thursday, June 16, 2005

Tomorrow's the Big Day

It's been a slow week with the horses. I have been extra busy and also paid some attention to the dogs. I am excited about one accomplishment this week. Fred and I have been certified as Delta Pet Partners. I attended the handler training workshop on Saturday (8 AM to 5 PM!) and Fred was evaluated (and passed!) on Sunday. It was fun and now Fred and I can visit nursing homes, schools, hospitals, and other places a therapy dog may be beneficial. We get an official badge and dog tag, and we are covered by the Delta Society insurance.

The people in the workshop were all women, which is pretty typical. For the most part they were nice, but one in particular rubbed me a little the wrong way. It's hard to pinpoint why I felt that way. I guess I didn't really like the way she talked about her dog. Of course everyone wants to share stories about their beloved pet, but she just told strange stories. For instance, the dog loves small children but has some other behaviorial things that, to me, made it unreliable. I don't know if the dog passed the evaluation or not. I saw the dog waiting for the evaluation and it was a fluffy border collie mix. Supposedly it is a laid back dog, but breeding would suggest otherwise. Anyway, I shouldn't judge. I hope they were successful and they bring happiness to people's hearts when they visit.

So that was my weekend, meaning that there was no time for riding. I spent a lot of time at the barn cleaning the strange scrapes on Jimmy and Zoe's hocks. Luckily the scrapes are healing better now that they are being cleaned regularly. I was worried that it was some kind of fungus or something, but it appears to be just some similar scrapes they got from somewhere in their paddock. Scrubbing with Betadine and spraying with Blue-Kote seems to be doing the trick.

The other things that took my time away from the barn:

I took a vacation day on Monday and spent the entire day and evening cleaning the house. Really. And it's not that noticeably cleaner either. Argh. I'm trying to get the house in shape for when a friend comes to visit at the end of this month. I need more vacation time to prepare for vacation!

Tuesday I had to clean 4 stalls and feed the horses then go to the last agility class of the term with Fred. I couldn't miss that! Fred loves agility. When I got to the class I was sure I wouldn't take any dog classes for the rest of the summer. I took Fred to 2 classes this term and assisted a class. It was too much. It kept me from the barn on Mondays and Tuesdays. I'm trying to prepare for the shows and keep Zoe on her training schedule. The horses win out over the dogs in priority.....

I had to work late. Didn't leave the office until 8 PM. :-(

Pilates until 6:30 PM. Then I got to ride Jimmy! After almost a week off, he still warmed up well and did everything nicely. I was worried about making him sore, so I didn't work him too hard. We have another clinic this weekend.

Pre-Clinic Cocktails. I'll drink instead of ride! But the BIG NEWS is that at lunch time on Friday, I will officially buy Zoe!

Oh, I also want to record that I had my second solo ride on Zoe last week! We only went off into the grass once. (that's an improvement) At first I was worried she was going to be difficult because when we walked along the edge of the arena by the grass she really wanted to eat it. I didn't let her eat and she was shaking her head and shaking her head. We kept on, and eventually she started concentrating on riding forward with me. She still feels like a drunken sailor underneath me, but she is so sensitive and floaty. It is a blast riding her. I'm looking forward to riding her in the clinic this weekend and cantering for the first time!

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