Thank the Gods for Hetja. She is the best mare ever – kind, considerate, gentle and easy to work with.
Therefore, her son, Hjalti, who is not particularly sociable, follows his mum everywhere and lets me dress his infected fetlock.
We have a routine.
I catch Hetja, She makes wuffley noises when she sees me (ok, I have a carrot) and then I lead her over the hill to the stable with Hjalti bouncing along beside her.
I would have no chance of catching Hjalti in his field – he is very uncooperative but Hetja is amazingly helpful.
Once in the stable, I put out two buckets of something and leave mother and son to relax while I boil endless kettles.
Once Hjalti has lost interest in his bucket, I sidle up to him and catch him. He tries everything not to be caught but in a stable, there is nowhere to run and I succeed.
Hetja watches and does not interfere.
My OH then come in to help. After I have tied Hjalti to the gate, OH entertains and diverts the front end, while I unwrap the bandages and remove the dressing. Then I put Hjalti’s foot in the bucket to soak in the hot water for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, OH is introducing Hjalti to the hard stuff – carrots!
The abscess has burst but the area is still inflamed and smelly. I redress the fetlock with animalintex, vetrap with a covering of gaffer tape. Then there is the antibiotic injection.
OH leads Hetja and I lead Hjalti back to their field, over the hill. On some days, Hjalti leads nicely and on others, I am flying a kite.
So thank the Gods for Hetja. Without her, Hjalti would never let this be done.
It is good for him. Hjalti has learned to be tied up, caught and to not make a fuss about his leg being dressed.