I figured it might help to start to keep a journal of what I do with my horse and the others at the rescue I volunteer at and others that I end up working with. As well as keep a tab on how I'm feeling these days.
Here's a bit of background on me, I've been involved with horses practically my whole life. I honestly believe they are one of the reasons I've been able to stay out of a wheelchair. R.A. For those of you who don't know is Rheumatoid Arthritis. At ten months old I was diagnosed with Juvenile Rheumatoid, many years and many things later I now have it through out my whole body, I have severe contractures, and was recently diagnosed with scoliosis. I have one joint fused at the moment. And am in some kind of pain every day. Yet I get my self involved in the things I love most, the horses. July of 2010 I got my filly Araya and for the past 6 or 7 months have been training her. We've come a long way and she's making great progress. I also volunteer at a horse rescue and work and ride some of their more difficult horses.
Went down and saw Araya on wednesday and thursday. Let her lose in the arena and watched her run and buck and play. After she got some energy out I started to work on desensitizing her to ropes. She has a thing about ropes and being haltered. Let her drag it around in the arena while I did some chores. After I finished one of the trainers at the barn helped me desensitize her to a towel. She did wonderful. Took her for a walk around the place and she started to get nervous the farther away from the barn she got. She would try and walk faster, prance a little, look around and started to call. Took her back to her towards her stall and she refused to cross a patch of snow in front of the stable. Took her around the back and managed to get her through the gate in to the neighboring stall. But she would not come out of that stall. Kept pressure on her till she finally stepped out and into her stall next door. Groomed her and let her be till dinner time.
The next day she had a fit about being haltered like usual. Once haltered she refused to step out of her stall. Managed to get her out of her stall and she refused to come out of the stable, there was that sheet of melting ice/snow in front of it. Told her to relax and follow me, which surprisingly when I told her to follow me she tried to before stepping up behind me next to the stable where it was dry. Let her lose in the arena but she didn't really feel like running today. At least right away. I let her observe a few horses and she would mimic them a little. After a few minutes I got her moving, and she got some energy and her bucks out. She did really well when I told her to change directions and come in. Best she's done in a long time. I worked on the rope thing again and was able to toss it all over her without a fuss though she tried to bolt sideways and rear a little. She even tolerated it being tossed over her head and touching her face and under her belly and everywhere. I was very proud of her. Took her to a different round pen today and on the way there there was a blue tarp she had spooked at the other day, she didn't even flinch when walking up to it and I made it move, she was more interested in the hay it covered. In the round pen I let her run around a little and watch kids playing/yelling on the playground and the cars going by. Then I desensitized her to scary plastic bag. After rear, sidestepping, walking in circles she accepted it to being put all over her body. After her lesson we went for a walk and into another arena she had problems with before. She was really cute on the way there. She would stop suddenly look around at where we were going then she would look at me and keep walking after I asked her to keep going. In the other arena there are barrels and two small jumps. She got all huffy at one jump then when I walked over it she walks around then tried to walk over it too. She was not in the least bit afraid of the barrels set up for barrel racing. She figure out she could push them over and move them with her head. She thought she was funny when I tried to put it back up and she pushed it over. She doesn't like the fast cars on the road next to that arena though so I'll probably bring her over there more often till she gets used to the cars going faster than they do in the stable grounds. Took her around some trailers and she did good as usual.
I'm feeling pretty good today, no soreness that I usually get after working with her which means I'm getting stronger or this new med is working better than I think it is.