Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Horses and Puppies, Part 2


Today was an excellent day!  We spent about half an hour to forty-five minutes playing with the pups, then brought Orion and Kit into the barn (it was pouring the rain).  













Kit "reading". lol  (If I'd caught this just a few seconds earlier, it would have been better - she was very intently looking at the book.)

Jake: Poke! 
We didn't ride at all, since it was so nasty out.  One way out to the road was out of the question because of hunters, and the other way, through the yard, was out too - the paving stones that make the walkway were super slippery, and both horses had enough trouble on them yesterday that I didn't want to risk taking Orion onto them when they were at least twice as bad like today.  

So instead, we played and groomed.  I dried Orion somewhat and squeegeed him (that term sounds so funny! haha), then did some aromatherapy/massage stuff.  Yesterday I put a little bit of diluted lavender oil on him.  He had liked the smell of it and tried to grab the bottle out of my hand, but once I started putting it on him, he wanted no part of it.  Today, I mixed 3 drops of lavender and 2 drops of peppermint (which he loved when I let him smell it - he was stretching to try to reach it when I took it away from him) with 10 mL of sweet almond oil as a base.  He ended up spilling the container with the mixture onto the towel that I had with his stuff, so I just used that part of the towel to wipe his nostrils and muzzle, which put the oil on him that way.  He stood quietly and breathed it in and relaxed within five minutes. He seriously went from freaking out about the fact that we had chased Jake away from him (so that I could actually move around the stall) to standing quietly with his head down and his back leg cocked, ears drooping to the sides.  I've never seen him so relaxed.
A few minutes after I finished with the oils, he did this:

I don't know if you can actually tell from this pic or not, but he had his head resting on my shoulder.  He stood like that for about five minutes.  Just quiet and chilled out.


  
This is where the pups live; Ed and Linda fenced it in so that they couldn't get into the barn.  The horses sometimes fight over space, so it would have been dangerous for the puppies.  Orion really seems to like them.  It's cute. :)






We also figured out that Kit loves, and I mean LOVES, peppermint oil.  It makes sense; she's addicted to these peppermint treats that Chelsea gets for her.


This is how chilled out Kit was after about 15 minutes of just standing and breathing in the peppermint dilution.
The following pictures show what Orion's attitude toward Chels has been like for the past two days.  He doesn't seem very fond of her for some reason...:









Now, when Orion put his head on my shoulder, I was surprised.  He's never done anything like that since I got him.  So, imagine how much greater my surprise was when I sat on the manger railing and he came over to me; I started doing little T-touch circles on his ears, and after a couple of minutes, he put his head in my lap!



He stood like this for at least fifteen minutes.  I was sooo happy.  It really felt like we bonded a lot more today. :)


Woody (aka boss horse), mad at being kept out of "his" barn.

Staredown
So, after everything today, I found out that Orion was a bit possessive of me.  I was still sitting on the manger, he still had his head in my lap - although he was more alert to his surroundings and not quite as relaxed because Chels was walking around and trying to keep Woody from coming in.  While Chelsea was busy, Kit came over to try to pick on me (nudging, lipping, nibbling, that sort of thing), and Orion was instantly stretched across my lap and in her face.  He wouldn't let her anywhere near me...

This was one I snapped while he was warning her away.  You can't see it because they were so close (he literally was stretched across my lap to get to her), but his ears were flat back against his head, like "No, mine!" 


I felt kinda special after that. :)