Over the weekend, TJ got an intensive education on ground tying, more haunch yielding and lateral flexion. I am not riding and haven’t for quite sometime because his feet are too bad and honestly I am trying to keep his exertion to a minimum. There is a seemingly huge shortage in farriers in my area and it has been a real b*tch to schedule an appointment before the end of June. Thank god the stars aligned and TJ is scheduled to move to my boarding barn on Wednesday, and our barn’s farrier worked it out to come on Thursday. I will be writing up a full farrier post later this week with pics!
But as I said, TJ and I have been bonding, grooming, and working on more stationary skills. Good news! He is now yielding his haunches to me consistently on the ground, backing readily (although not as prompt as I would like), and picking up all hooves! The back hooves were our tricky ones, but now he is perfect about them! It’s the front ones that are being troublesome. He does a stupid walk step thing when I pick up his foot… don’t worry soon we will knock that habit out!
Today, the equine dentist came out on a pseudo emergency call- I swear there are almost ZERO equine care professionals. Last week I FINALLY tracked a reliable dentist down. I am adamantly against using vets as dentists for my own personal reasons. I was not disappointed! B was a fantastic individual to work with and I will definitely make a note to use her again! She felt TJ’s face and jaw musculature thoroughly, watched his mastication as he ate grain, and got to work on teeth floating. All the while, B explained to me what she was doing and how TJ’s teeth will change after the service. She told me his 6s- the very front molar set- will always overhang slightly because of his jaw conformation. She said she did not want to file them down because it would change the alignment of his jaw and would need to be almost all the way to his gum. I said if it doesn’t cause him pain, do what you deem good for him.
We found a lump under his tongue that looked like a calcified puncture wound or a scarified hematoma- I should have gotten a pic while he was knocked out. But I didn’t. B said that this scarification won’t affect his eating or performance. If it does cause problems I can get it surgically removed. Of course I think cancer… but I will keep an eye on it over the next month to see if it enlarges or changes pigment.
After rinsing TJ’s mouth, B and I had an excellent conversation about equine dentistry and Arabs. I am very grateful for having found her, and was more than pleased with her work and interaction with TJ and myself.
After she left, I guided doped up TJ to the arena side where a lovely gentle cross breeze would hit him. He was very sweaty from the sedative. I gave him a long brushing, braided his tail, and read to him for 45 minutes. We read The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Even when I was certain the sedative had worn off, TJ stood calmly. He only began to fidget when I stopped reading for whatever reason. It was a nice feeling to glance up and see TJ watching me intently. It made me feel that in his world, I am important.