I didn't do as much at the barn this past week as I was out one day, but a few weeks ago I got a chance to learn a new task - mineral cups. Just like it sounds, these are cups full of different minerals that are given to the horses with their feed to supplement their nutrition. It's really helpful to have a bunch of these made up ahead of time, so the person doing the feeding can just grab a cup and add it to the feed. This is the kind of extra care that I love to see.
A lot of care is taken at Wings to make sure that each horse is getting exactly what they need to be healthy. I'm happy to be able to help with this task as I know it makes life easier for the staff and it's something that doesn't take a lot of training. Also, it's nice and cool in the feed room, so it's been a nice break from the heat!
I had to add this picture of me and Brighty that I look a few weeks ago. This is what happens when you try to take a selfie with a donkey - they just might not be interested! I try not to take my phone out of my pocket very often as I have noticed the horses and donkeys don't seem to like it when you point the phone at them to take a picture. But it does help to be able to put pictures on the website and social media.
The other fun thing I've been doing is watching those Clinton Anderson videos. I highly recommend them if you are interested in learning more about handling horses. He talks first about horse psychology, which is really helpful if you don't have a lot of experience. The thing that stuck with me the most is: whoever moves first loses. In other words, you need to make the horse move and don't let the horse move you. This one concept is really helping me when I'm handling the horses, even just haltering them, leading them and getting them to stand in the barn. Good stuff!
Laura Weise is a Wings volunteer who lives in Stevensville and will be bringing you stories of life at the barn.