Friday, 4 July 2008

Making progress

Dee and I have made even more progress. This evening I started out on a hack alone to see how far we could get with our new counting technique. Many things were in our favour. Being Friday evening, there was no noise from the roadworks on the motorway as work had already stopped. Several people had headed out on rides before us, including Jane on Red, although they were well out of sight by the time we got going. Dee was in a calm, relaxed mood.

I counted her footfalls out loud as we progressed down the lane - 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4 - until we arrived at the point on the track, close to the gateway into her field, where usually she will not go any further. As expected, she stopped. I ceased counting, waited a few seconds, and then recommenced, simultaneously gently tapping her with my legs. Eventually she started walking on again, at which I immediately stopped the tapping and praised her. I repeated this again every time she stopped. At first she would only take a few steps before stopping again, but eventually Dee picked up an even walk and made it all the way to the end of the track. This is only the second time we have ever achieved this on our own.

Having made our way through the gate, she stopped again, so I recommenced the procedure. She walked on a few steps and stopped again. I was now aware that her demeanour had changed. On the track she had not wanted to move forward, but was pretty relaxed. Now however she was quite tense, and I felt it would be inappropriate to urge her so much as before, so I did not start tapping with my legs again this time. I counted and kept asking her to 'Walk on', and also encouraged her, telling her that she could do it, that it would be fine, that she'd walked up here many times before. It was extraordinary how different this experience of Dee not going forward was to our previous times. She did start stepping backwards a little, but it did not have the feeling of wishing to force me to back down. It actually felt as though she really did want to go forward for me, but just couldn't make herself do it.

We did eventually make it half way up the road to the entrance to the horse trail in Coed y Wenallt. We have never made it this far before on our own. At this point another horse from Wyndham Livery joined us, so I tagged along and let Dee follow this horse up onto the trail. We carried on for a little way and then I turned Dee and rode her home on her own. She was absolutely fine going home - as I had thought she would be. I am so thrilled and so proud of her. I really believe that this is progress that we can build on. I am confident that in time we shall make it up to the horse trail on our own. I'm sure some of the change is in me as well as in Dee. Simple, subtle changes in my relationship with Dee over the last few weeks have made this progress possible. If we have time on Sunday we are going to take her out again, with 'ö-Dzin on foot, and hopefully make it all the way to the horse trail.

6 comments:

Victoria Cummings said...

It's so great that you're helping Dee work through this with kindness. I'm sure you'll have success. Thanks for your advice about the apis - what dosage would I give Silk for her itches? Same as human?

Nor'dzin said...

Thank you. Unfortunately our progress is on hold for a while as the yard is in quarantine for 3 weeks. Yes use the same sort of dosage as for humans. You could make an urtica solution to apply directly, as well as giving as a pill. I should tell you that although I am qualified as a homoeopath to treat people I am not qualified to treat animals, so my comments can only be understood as suggestions.

Victoria Cummings said...

Why is the yard in quarantine? That's not good. I will try that dosage. It can't hurt, right? I understand what you are saying. My vet is very open to homeopathy, although she doesn't really know enough to help me - so I will start to research to find someone who works with animals near me. I appreciate your advice!

Nor'dzin said...

We have a suspected outbreak of strangles - not yet confirmed. In my opinion homoeopathy will do no harm. Most likely it will not act if the remedy is wrong, rather than cause an aggravation. Stick to the lower potencies and do not repeat the remedy many times without any indication that it is acting. If no improvement is seen after a few doses it is unlikely that the remedy is the correct prescription. Arsenicum is also the classic horse remedy so this may act as a constitutional support - but do please talk to your vet.

Victoria Cummings said...

I hope it's not strangles - what a complicated disease. Please let us know how you're doing. I did give the girls some Rescue Remedy and let them sniff my hands after i rubbed some lavender oil on them last night. It was so hot here even at 9 pm. Today, it's a tiny bit less oppressive, and I'm off to get the apis. Thanks again for your help!

LJB said...

I'm sorry to hear of the quarantine but you 'ended on a good note' with your trail riding, and you are likely to resume on that good note. Horses have such amazing memories, and they include the feeling part of our time together, probably more so than the activities.

I don't know if I said this before, but it is such a treat to be inspired by someone -- you in this case -- who has been inspired by something I've shared. I find this in my students regularly. I suppose I should stop teaching if ever I stop being inspired by the wisdom of my students.