...and did We revised our strategy for getting Okidokie into the therapy pool: we'll take in a horse who he knows in front of him - Anni. Now don't laugh too much at this. Horses, after all, are herd animals and like to stick together. When we take Oki with Lily to shows he'll call for Lily and gets very agitated when she leaves him behind. Now yes, Oki didn't follow any of the Standard-breds in, but he didn't "know" them. We were fairly certain that Anni would go in - she's a driving horse and also is a good girl. Anni does what we tell her most of the time. However, we didn't want to chance it, so today L&L (Leanne and Len) took Anni over to the harness track pool for a "wet" run. What follows is second hand (but from a VERY good source) account. I've got to say, I just LOVE my little mare! Please pardon the blurred pictures - it's hard to get pictures in the ramp area because the lighting is very poor and the horse is moving.
Well, Anni lived up to her full name: Anni STAR. We forgot that we never had Anni on Leanne's horse trailer. I own a big modified stock trailer and its roof is too low for high-headed Mr. Okidokie. So we use Leanne's trailer: an extra tall two horse trailer with a ramp - mine has a step up. Anni walked right on and Leanne had to quickly move so she wasn't between Anni and the hay in the front of the trailer. Haflingers - they'll do anything for food - no questions asked. When they got to the track there was no one there and Anni sat on the trailer hollering for other horses and eating hay. A note on Haflingers. They are a very vocal bred! Anni is no exception. She hollers for other horses in an ear-piercing scream.
After an hour the fellow showed up and opened the pool. Leanne said Anni looked so delicate standing in the cross ties with the Standard-breds next to her: they are quite a bit taller. Anni went into the water without much fuss. Len didn't even need to use the pony-go-stick. He just hit her on the butt twice with his hand. Anni apparently was swimming with way more movement than she needed, so she got LOTS of exercise. She also snorted a lot - they didn't put an inner tube around her neck and her nostrils were close to the water. When Anni got to the ramp to get out she stopped once she "grounded." Leanne had to get in front of her and call her. Anni stood happily for a warm shower (we have only cold water in our barn) and she got a cookie. All is well in Haflinger-land.
The entire "pool" evolution of picking her feet, brushing her off (both required before swimming), getting her in, swimming a lap, taking a shower and eating a cookie took about 10 minutes. The guy there said she got in better than a lot of Standard-breds who do it on a regular basis. We are proud of her. How much did it cost? Well, last week they wouldn't take the ticket because we never got Oki in. This week they didn't take the ticket because Anni was a "newbie" and gets the first one free. So next week, we'll use the ticket for Anni and if Oki goes in we'll buy another - for a whopping $4.
I can just imagine what the guys at the harnass track are thinking. Last week we bring this big horse in to swim and 3 people couldn't get him in. This week we bring a short fat yellow pony. They thought she was a polo pony - NOT. The track guys are probably wondering "what are those crazy ladies gonna bring in next?" Next Tueday we're bringing Oki and Anni and see if we can get him in. Perhaps we should bring in Gizmo after that. The only way we'd get Gizmo in would be by throwing her in and we'd have one really angry wet goat! She hates even a little drizzle. Well, lets look at it this way. Even if we don't get Oki in next week, we'll have provided lots of free entertainment to the guys at the track! Wish us luck! Yes I know I ask that once already - but we need all the help we can get!