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June 8, 2012: Hrimmi – A Progress Report

I generally fret between 10:30 and 11:30 p.m. Then I read for a bit before falling into a fitful sleep. Last night I fretted about Hrimmi, wondering if we’re doing right by her. It again occurred to me that she’s leading an unconventional life. A conventional life would be one in which she and Signy were running with a herd, in a huge pasture full of mid-sized grass. She’d be cavorting with other foals, and learning life lessons from other mares.

Instead, she’s living in a sheltered area, with her dam. She gets out 2-3 times a day, and has become incredibly trail savvy.

She’s been around people, dogs, 4-wheelers, and yesterday, a motorcycle. I’ve been handling her some; brushing her and having her give me her feet.

But Hrimmi has not yet worn a halter. I decided last night that we should begin work on this, and so I first did an internet search, and then did some reading. I subsequently discovered that there’s plenty of information out there on what to do after the halter is in place, but little information on how to get the halter in place. I mentioned this to Pete, who said that we’re doing just fine by Hrimmi.

Pete’s right. Hrimmi is doing very well, and her life lessons are progressing. For instance, this morning I tied Raudi to the hitching post, and put Hrimmi and Signy in the large paddock with Siggi. Hrimmi and Siggi then exchanged brief hellos. Mom, of course, remained watchful during this brief interaction. Then I put Raudi on lead, and let her to finish her breakfast in the pen. It was back to the pre-foal era. Signy chased Siggi away from his breakfast, and Siggi then sauntered over and ate with Raudi. After a bit, I released Raudi, and put Hrimmi and Signy back in their pen. Hrimmi, who was hungry, followed mom back into the smaller enclosure.

After breakfast, Pete and I attempted to introduce Hrimmi to the halter. I put a body wrap on her, and stroked her with the wand. She was really concerned about the halter being put in place, so we wisely ended the session on a good note.

Then we all went for our morning walk. We cleared the trail we named after Hrimmi, so we have yet another loop to traverse.

We returned home, and I reread the section on haltering a foal in Christine Schwartz’s The Joy of Icelandics. I am going to chunk things down a bit more, and then try their very non-adversarial approach. Pete rightly said that the most important thing of all is at all costs, to avoid stressing Hrimmi out. I’m so very glad that we see eye-to-eye on this, yet another huge venture.

Next: 183. 06/9/12: Ever Ready Raudi