Sunday, May 3, 2009

Broken Trust

I had schedule the Natural Balance Dentist, Krystin Dennis to come and check Jeeps and do Casey. I don't know how long it has been for him, and I've noticed his jaw motion is just to the left. I also knew he would have to be sedated so I also schedule Kendyl.

I've been practicing poking him in the neck for months now. I sit on the rock in his paddock and put his halter on. I then quietly bend his head toward me and first pat then poke then pinch his neck. He has gotten soft and absolutely fine with this. I am so excited to show Kendyl what an angel he can be.

Well Krystin arrives, then Kendyl. Casey takes one look at Kendyl and all the softness is gone. Back to that old hard eye. I told her about what I've been doing and she is willing to sit on the rock and see how he does. He does up! She just touches his halter and he goes up. I am so dissapointed. She assures me that she believes me about all the work I've done. Its just a matter of Love/Hate. She loves him, he hates her!

But she does take the time to sit with him and stroke his neck. I show her his most favorite spot to scratch, armpits and after a little while, while still sitting she quickly gives him the shot to sedate him. He only goes up off the ground in front a few inches.

Now we wait. His head starts to droop and he is a bit unsteady on his feet. Krystin puts on knee pads and positions her tools and herself in front of Casey. She winds up sitting down on the ground and puts her knees up so that she can place Casey's head on them to work. Kendyl reaches over to help put on the speculum and Casey is awake! So she gives him a second shot - now he has received the sedation of a full sized horse.

At one point I noticed that he was standing with one hind leg cocked and crossed over the other. I was worried that he might fall over, so I gently reached under to just place the relaxed leg squarely underneath. Well this horse drugged mini kicked at me as soon as I touched that leg.

Krystin works slowly and carefully. It takes about an hour before she is finished. At any point during that time if Kendyl came close, Case lifted his head. And when all was done he looked over his shoulder to make sure that Kendyl had really and truly left the paddock!

The next day I could not approach him with the halter. He would have nothing to do with it. So I put it away and just sat with him. He would come to me as long as the halter was not around.

Its now three days since the dentist and Casey is still leery of the halter. "You put that thing on me and then bring in evil people". He will still come to me. And stand and let me groom and scratch him. But pick up the halter and he stays just out of reach. Does not run away. Just not within touching range. When I stand in front of him with the halter, he backs up. Hmmm, how interesting. Quiet, straight back LOL. At the side with the halter, nice disengagement of hind end. At the side of his head, moves forehand.

So the trust we had is not completely broken, maybe cracked a bit. I'll just take the time it takes. No need to rush. Since he is not not avoiding me I know we will work through this.

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