I spent some time with Venice today for the first time in nearly a week. We had a few very rainy days, then my surgery, then a couple more days to shake off my rather extreme reaction to all the anesthetics, painkillers, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, etc. (apparently morphine is NOT my friend!).
She has reverted to her feral state a little bit. She was back to being highly suspicious of my motives. So I brought King in again. First I left him with her for an hour so he could scour the entire paddock for leftover wisps of hay. Then I went out with a pocketful of cookies (roughage chunks – basically ground up hay with some probiotic stuff. King thinks they are delicious… of course King thinks everything is delicious…). We played a super simple clicker game of ‘follow me’. He followed and I clicked and treated him every few steps. It was very elementary for King, and I think he found it sort of boring. But Venice was fascinated and followed along surprisingly closely. We did circles and figure eights, and an occasional reverse. She kept up with it all and even cut in front of us a couple of times to get a little better view.
Eventually I ran out of cookies and sat down. King stood over me and licked my hand for a long time (an odd habit he’s had since he was a yearling – I think it’s actually a stereotypy… a stress behaviour like weaving or cribbing in horses, or nail-biting in people). I don’t usually let him do that for too long since he would lick the skin right off me eventually. But today I thought it might be good for Venice to see that he thinks of me as his ‘safe’ place. She was certainly interested. I hope she’s getting the right message from it.
My elbow is a bit achy, but the surgeon told me that the procedure went well. He put in a plate and several screws. I am not allowed to do anything for two weeks. And I am off work for two months. I am already desperately bored. Typing is very slow with one hand. So I can’t even do anything productive on the computer. But I guess the bright side is that I won’t be tempted to rush anything with the little mare!