Fly Spray, Stirrups, and Hooves.
Standing at the tie pole tacked up.
It has been a long time since I have not needed to rush out and buy fly spray and gear. My previous horse Spring Break AKA Snooky (Salle Francis x thoroughbred cross, and NO, I don't watch the Jersey Shore) was allergic to flies. Every year it was a battle we waged. Fly spray, fly sheet, fly hood, fly boots, fly pants (yes, pants), fly mask and even fly predators. She would go through 2 bottle of fly spray a month, and with her light coat and thin skin she was always getting chewed up. My first Mustang Ehawee isn't bothered by flies one bit, but she gets a fly mask and fly sprayed as needed. Opal is following in Ehawee's fly treatment footprints.
We have not had to use much fly spray this year, in fact I have not polished off one whole bottle this season. Mostly because its always windy or breezy, so the flies have not been bad....unless we don't get wind. Then they are all up in your face. BUZZZ BUZZZ BUZZZ! Argh! Pesky flies, meet fly spray and leave us alone. Now horses being introduced to fly spray don't mind the the actual fly repellent, its the spray sound and something tickling them. Ehawee is NOT a fan of the spray sound. I needed to give Opal some relief before our ride. I started spraying away form her, letting her hear it first. No worries on her end so I went right on spraying her whole body, minus the head.
We had a smooth ride. I have been sliding on her back via a mounting block not using the stirrups. I have been slowly putting some weight into the stirrups each time I mounted, but on this day, I put my foot up in them and settled right into the saddle. A few moments after mounting, I needed to dismount to adjust the tack. Using the mounting block and stirrups again. Opal didn't seem phased. Have I mentioned how much I love her mind?
All tacked up, ready to go.
Opal's hooves before the trim.
Opal has a pretty big day. Its her first hoof trim since coming home form BLM. She was letting me hold her front feet for about 5 seconds, how would she do with getting her feet done? Part of the problem I have had up to this point is I don't always have someone with me who could hold her while I mess with her feet. We have a wonderful farrier who trims our domestics and mustangs. He's really good with spending time with them, working with them, but getting what he can done as well with what the newly gentled horses will let him.
I had Opal in the round pen to give her some room to move but keep her confined as well. We started with her front feet. Opal is more willing on her left side vs her right. We managed to get all her feet trimmed, but it took about 40 minutes. It took 3-4 attempts of just letting her know it was ok to have her foot held, and 2-3 tries to fully trim, clean, and rasp each hoof. She would occasionally stomp her foot in frustration. I would just talk to her, rub her face, and let her know she was ok. She gave one kick with her hind leg, but a quit form the both of us stopped her from keeping that behavior up.
After she was done, I gave her carrots and some alfalfa for a pretty good first time around.
During and after her trim.