Sunday, August 9, 2009

I am thinking. . .

. . . That this riding adventure with my strong willed mare is taking us back to an enclosed arena for the winter with accessible trails.

I was dislodged AGAIN yesterday....and after a very nice session in the tree grove, consisting of long and low, light contact walking, to collection- without trotting in excitement by the time the reins are drawn up. Asking for trot from the long and low position without raising the neck or head up, but keeping the contact where it is. Upwards and downwards transitions on contact without hollowing or becoming an accordion, without air.

We even practiced some very nice collected walks to extension, every 8 strides or so. She was really fantastic and listening to my core movements. I had tons of audible praises for her and also her fav...the wither rub.
We halted, and she allowed me to square her up with only a "tickle "of heel jiggle on the side of the offending leg. We backed off my seat and repeatedly made the corner around the trees, as I simply looked to the next one to circle.

Though she was very unnerved and looking for the exit towards the barn for the first 20 minutes, she settled down to be a relaxed mare for me.
I think she is still very sore from her fence tangling of last weekend . Since the owners husband did NOT debrief me on the details...I have no clue if she went down or kicked a certain hind leg for 10 minutes or???!!! I have an appointment for her this Friday for therapy.

As we started, She was holding her breath and grunting, as if walking on I knew I had to be light and relaxed with not too much happening this ride...pain is a recipe for disaster! I was going to keep this session to a minimum anyway, since I have not ridden Wa since last Monday and she refused to go down hills, I know she is out and I have been giving her massage daily and stretching her as well.

We had finished and I wanted to cool her some..I should have gotten off to do this.....(Should of -Should of-Should of!!!) but I decided to walk to a trail head across the street and then turnaround and go back to the barn. She balked...I persisted, and finally got off her and smacked her butt, making her go into the trail, which is up an embankment. She went up and in. I remounted, turned her towards home and as I lifted my foot and leg away from a close tree at the trails entrance...she just flew up and up and down the embankment...I was still in the air and then suddenly--on the paved street, on all fours- OUCH! As I watched her fly down the driveway, away from me..I got up to feel this very unusual burning in both my heals and ankles.

I knew I probably landed on my heals then to fall forward. She ran for a moment, then came on back...I was in the direction of the barn after all...She looked sheepish and slowly walked to me as I asked her to with my arm motion. She put her head to my feet and we walked...well she walked, I hobbled back to that trail head...normally, I would get right back on. I could not. So I sent her into the trail a few times and asked for her to come out..just- one-slow-step-at-a-time. She amazingly, did exactly as I asked and with no rushing...even when I asked her to stop mid step on the embankment...leaving her hindquarters in the air and fronts in the ditch..she stopped till I asked for another step.

Seems like I can't be too mad at her...knowing she was sore, I asked too too much...but, I fear, the pattern is set now.
I have to have an arena..she can not be allowed to get away again + with no one on is getting dangerous for me as well.

I called one arena near some trails..they will get back to me after they contact 2 folks about winter boarding again.
I will call another today...the one in the pictures . My only fear is...I do not think there is turnout..which may lead to her misbehaving in the arena too.



  1. you were just cooling her out outside the arena, right? then i don't think you asked too much.

    but if she is barn sour, oh dear. that is the worst. last year i leased a TB mare who was barn sour, and spent 6 months trying to get her over it, trying every trick in every book. i totally failed.

    i really have to blog about my TB experience sometime!

    oh yah, i also worked at a TB yearling sale at longacres (before emerald downs there was longacres). what an eye opener.


  2. Sorry to hear about this. Personally, I would not even consider a barn with no turnout. Who wants to spend 23 hours a day in their bathroom? It could lead your horse into being more anxious just to get out. And then there's her quality of life....what's in it for her in return for doing work for you? Also, are your certain that your saddle fits properly...there are times when the position you are in can be very painful to the horse. It sounds to me like you have had a lot of experience...Usually horses do this for a reason...generally it seems to me that she has been great with you. Being caught in a fence can cause legitimate soreness. You know more than anyone else and will have to do what you think is best.

  3. Aww, I'm sorry you fell! That stinks; I fell of last week, too.

    You really considering a place without turnout?...I could never do that, no matter how bad I needed an arena. Horses are meant to be outside; technically NEVER in a stall, although my mare is at, like you say, if they're in all the time, they get restless and "hyper" and won't behave as much when you ride...I hope you find a solution!

  4. Gail~ feeling that way as well

    Lytha~ there is a bit of that, yes.I have no arena enclosure where I am and that is getting me in trouble with a horse that dislikes work...and acts out sometimes

    Lori~ I do think the hill bothered her and she anticipated it comming forsure... her saddle fits well..but I am having my therapist look at it, to make sure.
    It was my bad choice to continue after she gave me what I asked for.
    I am not going to choose the no turn out... but have not called them yet to hear them say- one way or another..think I will drop by..I left a bucket over there anywho.

    Mellimaus~ no way..I am just thinking out loud and If I find it does not..I won't do that to her..she will not be happy and I would be miserable with that too!

    My perfect local would be a grassy field...pea gravel run in front of the out-door dogs to chase her, no loud Shooting next door.
    And a nice horsey fenceline neighbor, for her to feel at home with! Oh, and an arena to ride + trails.and an owner that cares for boarders and the horses...does this exist?

  5. Oh, so sorry your and Wa got hurt. Did you sprain your ankles? Ouch! Hope you both are on the mend soon and back to riding!

  6. Hope you're feeling better - sounds like a nasty fall!

  7. Wow, what a day for you both. I agree with not going with a no turnout facility. Horses do need to be in a herd situation to be their happiest. Sometimes they don't get enough turnout and socializing time and that can really affect them. Hope you get it all worked out and find a place soon. I would take a breather....take some time to mend both then start anew....but that's just me. Best to you Kac.

  8. SCARY - I so hope you are alright and mend fast! Things can happen so quickly and the fall you took sounds pretty unnerving (er, like there is such a thing as a fall that isn't?). I had to read your post a second time and this time what caught my attention is what a great ride you had before the cool out problems. Gotta say I'm with most other folks on saying - oh, keep the turnout at all costs. Also want to say how I have so enjoyed your blog. Please accept this "I Love Your Blog" award! To pick it up, stop by

    If you don't want to do the entire "pass along" piece, don't . . . just enjoy the award without the hassle.

  9. Ouch! Not only a blow to the body, but sounds like a bit of one to the confidence. But you have plenty of summer/fall left to work through it. Don't make to hurried a decision--you seem so happy where you are now (I couldn't find the fence incident...)
    (btw, would you consider an invitation to your expose blog--I was curious a while back about your move--I assume that's the story.)
    (also bte, thanks for your comment on my cute boy, Jackson!)

  10. KC - Skoog Farm could offer you what you are looking for, but you're too far away. Got the run-ins,the indoor, the outdoor 90x200 fenced sand arena, pasture, no shooting next door BUT! I do have those two dogs...and I don't have mountains and an ocean nearby. Many beautiful parks to ride in and a Lake 20 minutes away...

    I'm sure you will get back to the and your girl are a team!

  11. Lori~ I would LLLOOOVVVEEE to board with you...wonder if my man would find a job there, so we could relocate!You are sooo sweet..we are TEAM!

    Jane~ it happended so blame fast..not like Nuzz Muzz almost fall whenre she had time to thnk and act. I msut have re injured my ankle(rt)and heal now is swolen and ick! Ice-arnica-advil-massgae-rest! I need to buy a lunge line ..think I will focus thata ways more now.

    Breath~ Thank you chillin'

    Lu~ yea, I am trying to shill and make better decisions..this local is a result of no place top go in a hurry..mostly okay, no arena and inconsistant care, sometimes...but I love my PBO sooo much.I am praying.

    One Red Horse~ Hi there! thanks for the words of encouragement...I meant to let everyone know of how she totally tried yesterday and did all I asked after she is hard being my mare I think and I tell her that all the time...I try to understand her and yet let her know I care. She responds well to the love.I would not put her into a terrible situation of no turn out...!!

    THANKS for the sweetest award! It has made my downer day...better!

    Even~ Thanks...I am trying to take my time by letting some go by without a decision in haste...good point. My confidence is shaken.

    I will come over to tell you aobut the other "Expose" blog. The fence was from last is at the end of the Fence "Sunday Stills" post.

  12. Aw man! Tough day. :( We all have 'em though & I'm sure you guys will straighten it all out. Good luck with your boarding dilemna. I hope you find your "Utopia" facility. Hey, that would be cute name for a boarding place...or a play on that word at least. Hope you're feelin' okay...go take some Ibuprofin!

  13. wow.. you remind me that when gazi 's being good, i always preface it with "in this moment" you're being great... dont go there with the "shoulda's".. i do that too..

    you learned... as well am i sometimes you have to give up your agenda and listen to what the horse is trying to tell ya... LIke i said.. i'm speaking from more than my fair share of unforced dismounts :)

    my tb mare went thru barn sour phase albeit briefly.. you can either try taking her out and if she's heading back... say okay make it her idea.. take her back and work her sorry butt off in the arena.. then let her relax and her reward can be a nice walk OUT.. works well.


  14. Oh no! I hope you are doing ok. I know how hard it is to find the perfect boarding situation. One (affordable) place just never seems to have it all. I really hope you can find it though!

  15. Ouch!! And on pavement - double ouch!!!!

    I haven't had a chance to read the archives of your blog to know any prior history, etc. But completely understand you wanting an arena for schooling. Especially during winter - important to keep rides on them.

    Enjoy your blog vacation. Hopefully I'll get a chance to read your archives & will be up to snuff when your return.

  16. Ouch Kac. If you need anything..don't hesitate to call. Things happen so quickly when they go bad (just like my trailer incident). Don't be so hard on yourself...take a break...and take the time to heal up. Miss ya.

  17. Oh no, Kacy. As I was reading my heart tightened and I could barely breathe. I hope you are ok today? I hope you haven't injured any ligaments or tendons. Soft tissue injuries are the worse and take a lomg time to heal. I am very worried about you, but it does sound like you got off relatively easy as far as injury goes.

    I hope she's not barn sour. That's quite a challenge. My mare is a barn sour alpha mare and when I was able to ride her 3-5 times a week we were doing much better. I would take her out and then make her work in the round pen or around the barn when we got back. Then I would take her back out again...just walking, so she felt like she was getting a break.

    But still, every single time we went out, she played her cards: drunk sailor routine..weaving towards the barn for the first 15 mins, a few crow hops and ears laid back attitude. Not fun. It took some of the joy away for sure.

    I hope one day to have a more willing horse. Wish me luck.
    For now, Baby Doll is my own and I love her all the same.
    But there is always room for improvement.

    Stay safe, my friend.



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