Well, I spent too much of my day trying to figure out how to get her onto the Theraplate and keep her there.
My best idea was to feed her on it.
So, I did.
First, I put on her halter and led her onto the Theraplate on a very low vibration. I walked up onto it with her.
She followed easily.
While we were both up there, I reached down and brought to her a fabulous mash I had prepared of medicine and vitamins.
She ate it in about 3 minutes.
…And then I was out of stuff for her to eat and she was looking at me…
Tess: Well?… What are we doing up here on this odd, vibrating thing?
Me: Uhhhh. Stay there.
Me: I’ll get more food, just hold right there.
Tess: You said food was involved?
Tess: Good food or healthy food?
Me: Whatever keeps you up there.
Tess: Gimme some pellets and some of that yummy stuff in the garbage can in the tack room.
Me: If you stay up there, you can have some more.
Tess: I will, I will, I promise!
Me: OK, here is a bit more…
And so it went.
I kept giving her tiny bits of her mash and she stayed on the Theraplate .
Finally, I stuffed hay in her bucket.
But, I had to come up with a better plan… I had given her all of her dinner and it took only about 10 minutes… and she needs to be on this for 20 minutes, 2-3 times a day.
HOW TO KEEP HER ON IT FOR 20 MINUTES…
I read through the instructions and they indicated that if you make the Theraplate the ‘happy place’, fairly soon the horse will not only get on it easily, they won’t want to get off!
Clearly, for Mama Tess, making the Theraplate the ‘happy place’ would have to involve food.
Since I don’t have a way to hang hay in front of her while she is up on the Theraplate (for now) I ended up putting hay on it against the far wall and letting her eat the hay off of the Theraplate with her two front feet up on it.
…not exactly textbook… but she was on it.
I guess for the first day, two feet for 20 minutes is better than all 4 for 10 minutes.
Anyway, she wasn’t afraid of it at all.
Except when I turned it up…
I mean, I wouldn’t say she was afraid, but she did have that “Whoa, what the…?” expression. So, I turned it back down. I figure a little bit of training each day is best. I don’t need to rev it up to 100 on the first day…
But the expression on her face was priceless!
My best observation so far is that she became very relaxed on the Theraplate.
The vibrations, even at the low setting, totally calmed her. She almost looked sleepy.
Hubby even laid down on it… he wants to give it a full 20 minutes next weekend.
HUBBY’LL FIX IT
Hubby watched me struggle to figure out a way to feed her while she was on the Theraplate.
(Theraplate sells a very convenient railing system just for this purpose… but I don’t have that.)
So, I have to be clever.
Or, better said, Hubby has to be clever.
He is in the process of making a single tie post so I can hang a bucket. It is curing in concrete now.
Tomorrow, I will have a bucket ring…
The next challenge will be to figure out how to stabilize my Portagrazer so she can eat hay while up there…
After that, we conquer the Theraplate!
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