Julia, that's about what it was like! However I ride the train to church so it was more like: run to the train stop, hide behind whatever was available, and wish the train would hurry.
Dear NG. He's not terrible or anything, at all...just truly clueless while being the nicest ever. Actually, we're probably a lot alike in that respect. I never have any idea what's going on and people always claim that I'm sooooo nice [they have no idea what's going on inside my head! haha], and I'm 100% sure I sometimes accidentally say things to people that really freak them out too.
Maybe that's why I like-hate him...
And the giraffe feeding was great! It was somewhat disillusioning cuz we were just feeding them through a chainlink fence - wasn't like I got to touch one or anything...but they had to keep us safe!
We did get to see giraffe herd dynamics though - one was really dominant over the other two and, instead of biting/kicking like a horse might, the dominant one just lowered his shoulder into the shoulders of his compatriots and body-slammed them away! It was really interesting!! And I could really see why they didn't let us get real close.
Haha, gross, Sue!!
We didn't get that close.....unfortunately?? hahaha the fence between us and the giraffes was probably 20ft tall so no giraffe-breath for us.
And SUCH A CUTE PICTURE!!! AHHH.
Things are going pretty well with Mr. Fabio!
He's really settling in pretty well. We have had one very minor setback - he started getting massages on Monday and the massage-lady pronounced his neck to be "a huge mess." So, in the interests of healing his neck, we have been commanded to avoid small circles and doing much work above the trot for about a month.
It's basically because he holds pretty much alllll his body's tension in his neck so he 1. needs to relearn how to stay loose [and since walking is his only "relaxed" gait] 2. until they're healed, needs to avoid stressing those muscles [via tight turns] unless they're fully warmed up.
SO, since I really want to help his body heal, I'm sticking to this plan like a fly stuck to flypaper. He'll be getting regular massages for the next few weeks, until he's figured out how to relax himself more effectively, and I'll be doing mini-massages on days he doesn't get a "real" massage.
It's actually kind of cool - I learned how to do a number of the techniques on Lacey and now I can put them to good use on a horse that really really needs them! I'm, of course, nowhere near as good as the massage-lady, but the massage-lady is always impressed with the results of my work so...I guess I'm not bad??!
Anyway, no tight circles and trying to stick to a walk kinda puts the damper on somethings..but it also means I have to be more creative with what we do! So that's probably good.
We've been working a lot with the tarp, stepping over small things, and hills. I figure that hills will build up his muscle, make him think, AND not add too much tension to his body.
Today we took it over to the far pasture where it hasn't been grazed much so the grass it REALLY long - that was great for him because all that grass brushing his belly was, apparently, super intense. I hadn't even thought of the grass being a factor, but he was mentally exhausted
in about 15 minutes. He was physically tired too, but it was more mental than anything.
I tried adding in the tarp, but that was just toooo much. He's really funny - I can see it so clearly when his limit has been reached. I'm kinda glad that he's so open about his limits. It was more of a guessing game with Lacey, but he's just like "oh, hey, guys? I don't think I can handle this anymore...help plz??"
I'm hoping that his limit will stretch as life becomes more natural for him, but, for now, I'm glad he shares his limit.
I'm going to start stretching what I expect of him, as well, once he becomes less "fragile" [in the sense that he'll do things over his limit if I ask, but he'll get more and more tense with each over-the-limit repetition = exactly what we don't
want right now], but, for now, we go one repitition past his limit to say "hey look, the human listened. She asked you to do it once, then you got to not worry about it anymore".
We're getting there!!
Hazel: "you left me here with these clowns and literally ALL they do ALL. DAY. Is SLEEP??!"
"But iz teh comfiest!"
Gerald, one of the buck deer, last night. [he's Baby Girl's -the skinny doe from earlier- twin]
"'da tall grasez make me sooooooo tired."