Today was a plan “B” kind of day. Jess is in the last stages of a running cold, so instead of going to work, she tagged along with me. Our first stop was the market (don’t worry, we didn’t leave germs, didn’t use a cart). We found everything quickly, but while we were shopping, Jess started to walk funny. She has her own way of walking, yet this was different. If she were a horse, I’d say she was lame in her right front. When we got back to the truck, she took off her boot. Sure enough, there was something in it, a pair of socks! I guess it didn’t bother her at first because her one foot is a size smaller due to an orthodic she’d worn when younger ( It didn’t allow her foot to grow normally. By the time I realized this, it was too late, the damage had been done). If the socks had been in the other boot, she wouldn’t have been able to walk at all. Problem solved. Next stop, the barn.
Due to melted snow, it was muddy by the pasture gate. Jess played it safe and waited by the truck. As we all walked back to the barn, George would flick an ear back and forth, his way of keeping an eye on her. The even clip-clop tempo encouraged Jess to dance around him and he didn’t seem to mind. There’s something comforting at the sound of a horse’s shoes on pavement. His company was enough of a distraction to stop her from thinking about her runny nose. It’s been awhile since she’d been able to go to the farm and she enjoyed the change of pace.
We were greeted by one of the mares as we entered the barn. Maybe the mare expected treats, or maybe it was Jess that caused her to nicker. The horses tend to notice her, even those with attitudes soften when she nears them. My best guess is the attention was focused on her.
Once George was groomed, tacked and ready, he and I walked out the big doors, Jess went through the side door. She made her way to the mounting block where she sits. She knows the routine. I wish I could put her up on George, but the management is more comfortable when I have another person walking along side her too. I know they are being cautious and are extra wary because of her special needs, but I know that Jess has very good balance. She would be fine without the extra hand. While Jess has poor balance while on her feet, she has exceptional balance when she is sitting. People with movement disorders benefit from being on a horse. The motion of a horse walking stimulates the same muscles a person uses when they walk. Jess loves to ride, the bigger the horse, the better. Unfortunately as she has gotten bigger, it is harder to get the giggly girl up. Hopefully, baring the cold, she will be able to ride this winter.
George was a good boy. In fact, he’s been a good boy for quite some time! After we finished working and he was cooling down, I handed Jess the reins. I wanted to get my camera out of the tack room. For the longest time, if I gave her a lead rope, she’d only hold it for a few moments before letting go, so I didn’t know what to expect this time. At least if she did drop the reins, the worst that could happen would be he’d walk around the indoor ring, however, the reins were knotted and around his neck just in case. This time, Jess followed directions had maintained her composure and was all giggles when I returned.
It was starting to rain as we headed home. The plan was to make soup. Jess was eager to help. Pinch me, is this my daughter? I let her choose the part that she wanted to do. It still is challenging for her to peel carrots, but she made a good effort. While the soup simmered, she’d check on it and stirred. It seems Jess is ready to do more cooking. Looks like I may get a day off sooner rather than later!