The kids from the neighbor's place wanted to come down and see me work with Princess in the round pen.
It is really not a spectator sport but I said sure they could come and observe.
Princess was not pleased to be inside a building in a round pen away from her buddies.
Interesting. When I walked away from her she paced like a high strung horse. When I was with her she was pretty quiet.
After a bit of lunging, I put a saddle blanket on her.
Next a saddle.
Just a light one to see how she'd react.
She really didn't care.
Being smart I decided to fit a bridle on her also.
I was monkeying with the headstall when Princess spit out the bit.
I didn't think. I knew better. Really I did.
I used my finger to push it back into her mouth.
Her teeth clamped down on the odd sensation in her mouth. Which happened to be my finger.
Now I know this fact:
It has been said that horses can bite down with 80 thousand lbs per square inch.
Normally they cannot release the pressure until their teeth touch.
I figured the only release was to 'skin' my finger clean to the bone.
Not a happy thought with a 7 and 9 yr old girl standing and watching.
So I said through clenched teeth, without swearing, cursing, or crying...or fainting, that I'd gotten my finger in a very bad spot.
I lifted her head and showed them.
I then tried like hell to figure out how to get my finger out of there without skinning it or breaking it...or getting it bit off.
I can't say how long I stood there before I was able to use my other hand and shove my fingers up in the back of the mouth and dig with my fingernails on the roof of her mouth.
Meanwhile she was grinding those powerful big teeth.
By dumb luck she may have gone for a better grip on the strange item in her mouth...or it may have been my fingers digging into the roof of her mouth...
but she moved her teeth slightly, and my finger was out.
I showed the girls my slightly mashed finger and told them that this was a great lesson to learn.
Never do what I did.
They nodded in solemn understanding.
I did fit the bridle properly and then worked some more with her.
I did some limited lunging and put weight in the stirrups on each side of her.
She was curious and not alarmed.
If I laid across her back for several moments, she did take a few steps which was okay with me.
I know spots on the lens, from dirt and dust. This is after the finger incident.
Ambrosia took this for me.
And this one.
Princess did everything right and I think we will make good progress.
I did put her back after the girls brushed her.
And the first thing they told their mom when they got home was...*Guess What Val Did!*
And they said they NOW understood why never to put their fingers in a horse or any other equine's mouth.
I guess I went through some real pain to get a point across?
The finger is swollen but I can use it.
Painful yes, broken, I don't think so.
But a lesson was well learned.