I woke up with a start at 3am and was up almost all night. The weekend had been rough on me. It was predicted to be a sunny and warm 55 degrees on Sat and i was finally going to be able to ride both my horses. I was pretty excited about it. I got to the barn and both my horses sheets had been removed for unknown reasons and they were covered in the thick wet deep mud that covers their field right now. Other horses in their field had their sheets on which added to my utter and complete anger over the situation. My one day to ride in
two weeks 20 days had turned into a day to give both my horses baths. I ended up being at the barn until after dark because i needed to wait until they were both dry, groomed and with sheets on so that they same thing wouldn’t happen on Sunday. The plus side being they were both pretty good in the wash-stall. Which isn’t always the case. I cried and cried when i got home covered in mud and dirt because this winter is just killing me emotionally, and this just pushed me over the edge. I’m sure i’m a nightmare to live with and be around. I know I shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up for riding my girls, but fuck man its not like i live in Alaska i should actually be able to ride once in a while and if i cant it shouldn’t be for something like that.
Sunday Michelle was coming to work with both girls. Jez was up first and after filling her in on what the vet said she got on board and Jez was really good and looking beautiful … at first. She spooked about 10/15 mins into her ride and and then trotted into a rear. Yes you heard that right she fucking TROTTED into a REAR. Then she was terrible for the rest of the session. Anytime she was engaged with leg and asked to go forward she would rear or threaten to rear. For a while there she decided she would just try to rear at the gate anytime she was asked to go by it. The ride was supposed to be short productive and happy but we couldn’t even get her going nice for long enough to call it a win and put her away. It dragged on and on and on. Eventually we put some trot poles out and they got her engaged into something new long enough for her to behave with out threatening to rear long enough to call the session over. I was devastated, my hear sank. Luckily Michelle is more positive then me. She thinks we can work her out of this. Today im not so convinced. I was up half the night trying to figure out a plan for her moving forward, trying to pinpoint what the issue is. I love Jezebel and i want her to he a happy horse that has fun. She used to be so willing and brave under saddle. Not so much any more. Reading everything i can on rearing horses im at the ragged edge of my horse knowledge. I’m asking every person i trust for their thoughts, insights and input. I’m desperately trying to figure this out and I’ve made a few decisions.
1. No more alfalfa. My farm owner buys it and feeds it on the regular. For me its always been a treat food. I’m going to become the alfalfa police its too rich and could be contributing to excess energy and i don’t want her eating it anymore.
2. Get Jez out of the ring. I’m not sure how im going to make this happen but it needs to. Maybe getting her on the trail will help to distract her ease her mind and make her happier. With the manic up and downs of the weather IE footing this is almost impossible until spring. I will talk to Michelle about this tomorrow.
3. Give Jez time off under saddle work. If i cant work out the trail/footing/weather thing i will give her the rest of the winter off of working under saddle. I will do lots of things with her from the ground. Poles, hand walks out on the bridle path, games, trick training. To keep her engaged and listening but until i can get some consistency, i think she might need a break. I know that i do so she must need one.
4. Continue with the vet, chiro, fitter plan. Stay on target with all that stuff. Slowly and steadily start knocking those issues off that table by addressing them one by one.
Other then that i don’t know. I’m trying to muster the energy to go to the barn today but i want to do is hide under the covers. M texted me to meet her down there and i’m going to try to put on a brave face because even though i dont have answers to my beautiful horses problem others have more pressing problems. One of M’s horses is having a Laminitis flare up and i need to be supportive and not all wrapped up in my own horse issues. Its one of the things that helps me get out of my head, a trick i employ in other areas of my life when i get wound up. Focus on helping others.
Circe was a good girl on her ride, shes still not terribly balanced at the canter and needs lots and lots of transition work but she went over those trot poles like a champ. Were expecting more bad weather in the next week and i can already hear the wind howling out there which always makes for spooky horses. I need spring to get here in the worst way.
8 thoughts on “Baby Besos”
Don’t blame the alfalfa. 🙁 It gets such a bum wrap!
I like alfalfa for specific reasons and on occasion. If you could see the copious amounts that get thrown into my stalls ….
Argggh, I’m sorry you’re having a tough time with the winter. I am too, this has been the absolute worst winter in all my life to own a horse. I just want to hibernate. I’m so happy it’s almost March, because it means it’s almost Spring. We can’t get pummeled with snow/cold forever, right?? Giving time off to Jez might be a good idea, and doing stuff on the ground with her would be good for both of you 🙂 She might be just as miserable with this weather!!
She very well might be as miserable as i am! Im going to make a giant list of things to try and just start going down it and crossing stuff off. Thanks for your support, i really appreciate it as i know you have your own pony troubles these days.
Has she been in heat every time this has happened? These rearing episodes seem to be coinciding with warmer weather, which is notorious for making mares go into heat in the wintertime. It seems like training-wise you and Michelle are doing everything right; other than pain/discomfort or a hormonal issue, I can’t imagine this being a behavioral thing. Have you ever seen her rear at liberty? When I’ve seen her and Circe playing, I’ve never seen her rear. This just seems so out of the norm for her.
She hasn’t been in heat, Circe was thrown into heat with the hot cold hot cold but Jez wasn’t as far as any of the obvious signs with her goes. The vet and i did discuss it, I’ll bring it up again on visit two. Shes been a complete doll on the ground and when shes is in heat i can usually tell as her ground manners tend to disappear some. Ive never seen her rear at liberty either.
Sorry to hear Jez is being a brat! I’ve gone through the same thing with Misty for almost six years now. I, too, made list after list. The only thing that even remotely worked for us (and only from May to September) was putting her on the depo shot. Have you considered that? When not on the depo, Misty is willing approximately 10% of the time. On the depo, she’s willing and happy about 75% of the time. But my vet only wants her on it for the warmer months – once she’s off – forget it. Acupuncture last summer seemed to help too. I say give her some time off and the start back up in late March/early April. If she was willing and happy before, you’ll be able to get back to that once you can get into a routine. I’ve lived here my entire life and never remember a winter as crappy as this one. Hang in there!
Thanks for the support! Acupuncture might be on the list. I spoke to a alternative vet today and im making plans to have him come out and work with big bossy. This winter is killin me but im happy to hear this is the worst of it and its supposed to be like this year after year! Give Misty a carrot for me 😉
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