...... flymask wins!!
Poor Bay Girl. I introduced her today to the torturous flymask, something I'm 100% she has never had to deal with before. Now that summer is in full swing (no, really...), the flies have become unbearable, and I wanted to give the poor girl a little bit of relief from the neverending swarm. She is pretty sensitive to bug bites, and has a number of little welts all over her. A good spritz with the flyspray was no cause for concern, but the flymask? Would she let me get it on?
Barely, but we did it. I rubbed her casually all over with the mask, letting her sniff and get accustomed to the idea of the weird meshy thing before attempting to rub it on her face. She didn't seem to mind much, pulling away a little when it touched her forehead, but she soon relaxed into it. When it got onto her forehead, she pulled back, alarmed and unsure of what was about to happen. I couldn't reach out to her while she was scooting around at the end of her lead rope with the flymask half on, so I had to just talk quietly to her and let her think it out. This has worked well for her in the past, and this time was no exception. Bay Girl's consistent response to anything she is unsure about is to skitter around at the end of her rope until she realizes that whatever she is concerned about is not going to eat her, and then she stops and thinks about it. This time was no exception, and after a moment, she stopped and waited for me to help. When she stopped snorting and flailing, I was able to talk gently to her and pull the flymask up onto her ears and attach the velcro. After that, she was fine.
Following her dinner, I was watching her mill around for awhile, and I became a little concerned when she started doing the flehmen response repeatedly (AKA the stinky smile). Since horses tend to do that when they are a bit colicky, I was pretty worried, but decided instead to try taking off her new-smelling flymask and see if that was the problem. Sure enough, she stopped when the flymask came off... maybe it really did just smell weird. She was not amused with the removal of the flymask either (oh god, it's touching my ears!), so we will see how she does tomorrow with the mask.
I was also able to do a better hack job on her mane than the previous hack job that I had done. Poor thing was sporting a horrible bowl cut... I had to do something!
It's not great, but it is better than it was! She's looking rough right now... no topline, saggy mom belly, somewhat empty demeanor. I'm not sure she really enjoys her mom job all that much... it's taking a lot out of her to keep that colt fat and well-fed.
After me walking in repeatedly to check on her after I took off the flymask, I think she was a bit tired of me at the end of the day! On my final check, she moved away a few steps like, "please just let me take a nap! I'm fine!" All was forgiven with a good scratch and a facerub though. Sweet girl.
Donations have now reached up to $468.20!!!!!! That is almost halfway there!!!!! :D