So since last week’s post, Marty has moved back onto the livery yard where we keep our horses. This is a shame as I felt that set-up was ideal for him, but it can’t be helped and I am trying very hard to replicate his routine as closely as possible. It’s not that I believe New Mellow Marty is a direct result of his environment, but I do think that the environment helped.
It’s made me look at the way we keep our herd and reassess things. Keeping equines on rented land prevents us from some projects, but we can certainly work to expand their enrichment as much as possible. Last year’s track is slowly being reborn, although this time we will try some new approaches to hold back the mud for as long as possible! Our landlord understandably did not approve of us trashing his hayfield.
Either way, Marty seems quite amiable about the change. I think he rather likes having his sparring buddy back.
“Not the face!” / “Not the ears!” / “Nooooo!”
Our dentist, Bee May, came out to see Marty on Thursday. We were trying him without sedation again. Last time, he wore the gag and had hand tools used a little; this time he not only wore the gag, but had a proper dental examination and had the power tools used! I was so unbelievably proud of him. The hardest part was putting the gag on and off, but I showed Bee how Anna had taught me to approach things like this and, working together, we were able to achieve our goal. He backed up a little but that was it. Bee was keen to allow him to move his feet if he wanted to. No hysterics, no throwing himself around, just a good, brave mule. It’s enough to make me think this mule stuff might be easy.
Unfortunately neither Bee nor myself thought to take any pictures, although Bee says she will have to get a photo of his mouth next time because it’s one of the best she’s ever seen. Well done, Marty! I knew you were perfect at something. 😉
“Look, Cash! Look! Look at my perfect teeth! LOOK CLOSER.”
I really am quite astounded with how much he’s changed since coming back from Anna’s. There are still plenty of Martyisms showing up, but they’re no longer as big a deal as they used to be. Anna gave both of us the skills needed to handle it.
To help further this improvement, I have started taking lessons with Jenni Winter of Flying Changes Coaching. My confidence has taken a real beating over the last year or so, and as a friend wisely pointed out to me, I no longer believe in my abilities. I’m hopeful that it will not only help me with Marty, but with any mule I take on after this.