Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sensitivity to Change

I am still enjoying memories of meeting/riding with my new friend
" HORSEMOM"  above, on her QH  mare Cassy.

While she had mentioned that her mare was able to go ahead or behind and was pretty good overall- as we got closer to the weekend away together, I worried about my mare's attitude for the change of having new horses. And a PONY around, humm,  she can be somewhat frantic about making herself clear and  I have learned to expect her to make her opinion known to all new horsefaces-don't mess with me!

My mare was totally GREAT, aside from the antics she pulled when Romeo was not wanting to move, and I asked her to go on and she bucked ..that was NOT related to change I speak of. Wa was just great with Cassy..and never looked sideways at her. It was breakthrough stuff. But then, she does love a horse that knows who they are, and doesn't make a fuss over her.

Now here is something that is currently baffling me tell me what you know or think about this.***

I try to notice what gets my mares ire up, and usually, it is CHANGE. She and I share this confounding emotional bond- to not liking the unannounced wind of change.
For the record..this is not day to day normal changes... now that would be down right controlfreakish weird! I am talking about much larger changes..the ones you take time making- because they should take some consideration of facts and feelings and ramifications involved.
..anywho...sometimes, even when I know change is coming, I go through the loss feeling of what will be lost in the differance, with the new thing appearing. My mare, She gets told by me (you tell your horses things too, right?!) that something will be happening, and that does seem to make things smoother.
 But, I had no idea that there was a change coming when we arrived to "homestable" from our 9 days away -WOO-we got home and IMMEADIATELY the mare was on her upright stance of something's new going on!
We walked into the stable, and through the back door we saw him at the same time, a new horse has arrived while we were away.

No matter what I did to console her, or to  get her attention..she lost it and could not listen or stand or even turn her back on the horse- that was outside! I put her into her stall and run...she ran down to the end frantically.
I set to unpacking from the beach trip...and came back to check on her every so often. She absolutley would NOT come into her stall. I knew I wanted to ride, she had had some time off since our return and it was a fabulous day.  I needed the time out in the woods,  and now, I thought, SO DID SHE!

My PBO came into the barn from a ride shortly after my unpacking had begun. While I longed for a solo calming ride I said, "Wanna go for another ride?" She answered," YES, I will ride Willow."  She has 2 Paint horses an often rides them consecutively.
Now- what was I thinking??? Another NEW horse to Wa, as we had never ridden together, save last year on the beach. We had  been trying to ride together and had  planned some rides, only  to have something come up each time.

 Okay, my mare does see and smell  Willow, so she may not be all that new...but with the way she was right now, I did not know how it would go. I was  game for it as we MUST ride with many different horses and get a handle on this freakish behaviour, to some extent! PLUS, we have plans in a month to go on an all  STABLE OUTING to an INN near Joeseph, Oregon!

I had to groom the mare facing backwards...she would NOT stand with her back to the outside-WHERE HE WAS, this new gelding. Ready to go, my PBO was closing the gate and I walked on ahead, to mount up, out on the trail as there is a makeshift mounting "thing" there. I was maybe rushing  somewhat, to get on before my riding partner got there...I totally FELL OFF that stupid D----?!xx*=+X#-! mounting thing...ripped up my right shin and turned my left ankle (it is ALWAYS the left ankle) POP it went and I cussed something fierce...but somehow, she did not hear me - good. I don't like to loose it and have anyone hear me be profane.
I just got on and lumped the least my ankle would be steady in the stirrup.
Wa was jittery and jumpy. I thought it was the new horse but later, as she and Willow settled so nicely to trotting and walking next to each other- it was not her my mare was unsettled by.
AND...***check this out*** we were headed back home an hour or so later, approaching the long hill home, my mare took another direction. Eventually, we went up that hill, but as we neared the top, she slowed and wanted to stop. We got to the top finally and she turned the opposite way! Away from the barn and a way, by the way-she dislikes to go! And then, turning towards home again, she ACTUALLY TURNED, and went BACK DOWN THE HILL!
I dismounted and walked a reluctant horse back to the barn.

I arrived at the stable yesterday and could NOT see my mare anywhere. Horses had been put out in differently (normal) but I thought, she'd be with her turnout buddy...I could see him clearly. I set out to find her...I thought maybe she was in the far corner of the front pasture..I walked into Maddy's pasture to see the backs of both turnouts she could be in...I called a few times. I noticed Maddy shaking all was a drizzly, cold day from having 80 degrees the day before..that is turing out to be normal for this day warn/nice/next few crap. I knew I'd take her in to fleece dry her in the stall, but I had to find my mare first!
OH! I saw her finally!
In the farthest reaches, of the furthest point, of the back pasture ( am I getting across here??!) She did peek her head out of a fir tree covering...
these are all phone camera images

She always runs to the gate when I come. Not this time! I had to almost pull her out of the field...HE WAS STANDING THERE ..watching! I had to tread all the way to her, getting thoroughly drenched, to find her standing shivering too. Big changes in weather and personal environment. I would take her in and  put her fleece on to dry her.


When stuff like this happens I get concerned with her water consumption. She wouldn't come into her stall, the day before where the water is and out in the field, where she is, the water is closer to where HE is. I tested her skin recovery. This day, it was fine and I also noticed, she had consumed plenty the night before, but she pooed all over her stall and not in the customary area.
 She is clearly  UN-SETTLED with this change to her environment.

My ankle and leg were really hurting so I decided to just allow the fleeces on the mare's to work drying them off, and let them warm up with a flake of hay. I cleaned my salty, sandy tack more, from the beach rides last weekend. I also watched the little video I took  of Wa  mare in the arena as I had thought she may like to roll before she went to stall. She did roll then trotted about and was really forward,  as if someone was asking her to move out.  Hind legs and front legs extending forward. Really pretty stuff. But only at the FAR END of the arena. She would NOT go down to the end where HE was, just outside the walls!
*** SO I am wondering how long this will last, her pensive, awareness. As some friends and savvy horse folk have told may be permanent he could be proud cut and I will just keep her away from him and hopefully, she will settle into trusting her environment again , and be calm and settle.

I noticed this Robin's egg, as I went to fetch the mare in. Springs "New Life" is all around finally, though the sun is still too shy. Hoping that your weekend activities are full of smiles and family times..and of course...horses!


  1. Is WA always like that with newcomers to the barn? Poor girl, she clearly is not happy about the new guy. She sure doesn't hold back her feelings. I hope they can reach some sort of an agreement soon.

  2. Tssss, women! hehe

    I think the new guy fancies her. He looks cute.

    When Naloma was stabled in the barn, before we got her home, I once arrived at the stables and she was standing in hers, sweating and shivering all over. I thought she was really ill. But they had put another horse in the stable next to her and she had been trying to climb over the walls (so to speak) all day long. She was sooooooo mad! And in stead of taking into consideration her sensitivity towards changes in horsey neighbours, I almost felt the barn owner made a point of putting different horses next to her every week. Since she's at home, with Willem and Evie, she's so much calmer. So I know what you mean ;-)

    I hope Wa relaxes soon and I also hope that your leg heals quickly. And please, in future, watch where you're going will ya?!!

  3. Hmm. I notice with our dogs that they HAVE to smell and greet others in "dog" fashion" before anything settles down. If they were in a herd the horses would nose each other and establish a hierarchy right away.... right? Maybe the new "herd" doesn't have the pecking order established? Just a guess.

  4. AHS, I feel that perhaps your horse is exhibiting the standard fears and worries of being usurped in her own environment by a far more powerful horse.
    In that I meen she is wondering how to behave to this superior horse. As she would have to in the herd. But dont worry too much, she will settle, when her position is established.

  5. I think Margaret and Cheyenne have a point. In the artificial environment of separate stalls and runs, it's difficult for horses toy behave naturally.In a herd situation they would settle into their places quickly, and routine would be established much more quickly. Perhaps she could have a meet'n'greet with the new boy?

  6. Good thoughts to consider...

    I'm not sure how is is with other horses yet, they are very careful at stable with that but, he stands and stares, nickering to anyone who will listen. I think it makes my mare nervous-he is insecure. She always acts like that with the insecure or young horse...usually geldings.
    He is fearfull and pensive, with handlers...seems like he may have been hurt, hit or?

    I spent some time with him today, just taking to him, hand greening him bites of grass, as I walked to and fro. I'm calling him "Ready"like Reddy. He now will come to me with a hand gesture..but of I move funny, he's gone.

    My mare is watching, from afar. I untacked her outside, I'm front of him today. It'll get better...too weird to have her slow down, from a mile away, as we turn towards home!

  7. That is strange... I sure hope she calms down soon.

  8. KK, LOVE LOVE LOVE your awesome header!
    great job.

    As always, you make me smile with your stories of Wa and you. it doesn't sound much like fun right now. Goodness. There is something heavy going on inside her. Have you had a sit down talk with her to figure out her reluctance and obvious dislike or fear of this new horse. She does talk to you, doesn't she?

    Maybe if you knew this new horse more - you could understand what to do to help Wa adjust. Do you know the background of the horse? I don't know much about horses but I know that horses understand people.

    I do hope it gets worked out soon. very soon. I will pray to that end. I am praying for your weak ankle to be restored to full strength so your ability to ride will not be hampered.

    God bless you girl!

    Patrina <")>><

  9. Kacy, Wa Mare is a sensitive soul. She just needs time to process the new guy. He seems to have his own problems, and she knows it.

    My husband likes this quote - "between the stirrup and the ground he sought mercy and mercy he found".

    Terry Moondance (sign-in problems)

  10. I hope your injuries heal up soon. When we introduce a new horse they always get a chance to meet each other properly, and by properly I mean nose to nose in the same paddock, I think it would help your mare to sort out her problem with this new guy, but I would say this can end up with one of them getting a bit of a telling off by the other. I really like the photo of the egg. Oh and yep I sure do tell my equines stuff if I know what is going on and I feel that they don’t I normally take the time to let them know what’s going on.

  11. You inquired about the "sunset profile" photo I took if the horse was a TB. He isn't. I inquired and the owner said he is a 17.2 Westphalian, a German Warmblood.

  12. Patrina,
    Hi you! I am doind all I am able to do with allowing her to look at him but not forcing her to meet him..she REALLY^ does NOT want to..she wants away from him..I have never seen anything like it..he seems mellow but the owner said he is becoming agressive..maybe he is Proud cut and Stud like. No girl wants unwanted affections or advances and my mare is so like that too!!!


    Yea...if I had a "HERD" of my own, that would be good..but as stands, I board and my mare does NOT have to greet anyone but her own pasture/turnout horse. She is a rearing-striker when she is fearful with another horse. My common sense/stable management for keeping her sound tells me to just deal with this and not force a meeting.
    When we did intorduce Wa to her now pasturmate, his owner and I took great care with that. Firstly, they were stalled next to each other for 2 mo and then we started to ride together then...turn out. It has gone well so far..just one kick when she was in season when another horse was turned across a single non-hot tape line from her.

    you are right- time and more time is what is needed. It is NOT just my mare, I just heard... her turnout gelding is very uppity with the NEW horse too..
    I did not notice it the day before when the two were TURNED OUT IN THE GRASS. But yesterday, I turned them out in that SAME field they had turned out previously.
    I guess when they went to get them Wa's pasture mate started to herd and guard Wa and the new guy became agressive somewhat-I just heard.
    Well, HOT/& DOUBLE fence separtion is SAFE and for him and ours till it settles or he sells and leaves!

  13. Sorry to hear about your injury, hope you feel better soon.

    Guess Wa mare just has to get used to the new guy. It might take some time or they may become the best of friends overnight. You never know what horses are really thinking.

  14. Arlene, it is so truly NEVER knows..we are human and they are animal. The body language is speach to us..and man, the mare is not having good days there..knowing he is around. Darndest thing, truly.Think he may be proud cut.
    Healing is happening, thanks!

  15. My darling dog Sweetpea has an enemy in the neighborhood. She - a dog true to her name almost always - would like to kill poor Rocky, and tried to once. He is not allowed within 25 feet of us by her. Rocky is a very unfortunate lowest in the pack dog who has had a hard life - abandoned after first owner passed away from cancer.

    I think some animals, just like some people, aren't ever meant to get along.

    Maybe you can help Wa mare by visualizing very positively about the new gelding... that's how I keep Sweetest Pea from demolishing Rocky ;)

  16. Christian,
    I'm doing that! Good advise..we have taken to having positive sessions, within sight of him...just to transfer some positive air!


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