Christina Cline came out for her first visit this morning, and Tonka's hooves were trimmed for the second time in three weeks. Christina described him as "very cooperative" despite his desire to sniff her, her apron, her boots, her stand, her tools and her pen. Overall she seemed positive about his prognosis, but found him guarded around his hind end -- possibly due to pain from keeping his weight rocked backwards during laminitic episodes. We'll see if she senses any difference in another four weeks. My sense is that I can learn an awful lot from this talented and experienced lady.
The sun came out later this morning, so I walked Tonka down to the tracks to test his reaction to the sight and the noise of a train blowing through Deroche. He took it fairly well, dancing around a bit, but maintaining most self control. I plan to do this every few days, and to edge him closer as he gets more comfortable. Given that trains run near to many of the places I would like to ride it only seems prudent and fair to sensitize him as thoroughly as possible.
After that I zipped out to Agassiz to help three burly men load 150 bales of low NSC (non-structural carbohydrates) hay onto a flatbed trailer. Tonka was very excited by the hay truck, and serenaded his new food with genuine enthusiasm. We unloaded it into the garage with the help of Russell, who's headed back to his more urban life in sunny California tomorrow. I ended the frenzy with a cracking headache and put myself to bed for three hours, leaving the hay cleanup for the morning. Let's hope it's sunny again!