Friday, August 27, 2010
Itch Fit Diagnostics
My plan of attack was to grab P, give her a good grooming and inspect for any new signs of skin irriation, dryness, etc. Then tack her up (using the BO's saddle) and put her to work. THEN, if she threw a fit, I was planning to pull tack and replace the pad with a surcingle to see if she was objecting to just a pad, or if there was something specific about the saddle situation that was triggering her.
Of course, the mare decided that today she was not itchy, and had no interest in any antics of any sort. Her only "exuberance" came from her increasingly predictable pattern of free lunge- lunge- ride. So when I started tying up her reins she started dancing the two-step.
In my head, this was unacceptable, so we changed up the order of operations and lunged first, then free lunged, then lunged again (with side reins the second time).
P was a gem. A little rowdy without her side reins to discourage ridiculous head tossing, but she stayed fairly responsive and showed no signs of the irritated, annoyed itchy mare who showed up on tuesday.
On one hand, I was thrilled (Yay! my horse isn't busted!!), on the other hand, I was frustrated. How am I supposed to figure out what's wrong if she only displays this behavior once a month!??
Tuesday was August 24th. Hmm, (check calendar to see when saddle fitting was..) Dawn came out to play with the Prestige's on.... July 23rd.
In theory mares are supposed to cycle every 25 (or so) days. But P's mystery itch fits certainly look like they might be right on top of a lunar cycle to me. I already circled the week of Setember 22nd with a big red pen and wrote a note that say s "WATCH OUT FOR DEVIL MARE." Just in case we see a third repeat of this weird display.
We ended our day yesterday with a nice long grooming session, some coat conditioner and the first emergence of our cotton sheet since we moved barns. Per P's Super-Mom's suggestion, Pia is back under sheet until further notice. She spent all last summer with either a cotton sheet, or her fly sheet on her back and maybe that helped?? Who knows. All I know is that I'm trying to eliminate variables until I can get a better understanding of what's going on..
I also boosted P's grain rations back up a bit, adding in her Rice Bran and Veggie Oil. Nothing like a nice shot o' fat to help lube up her skin. I mean why not.. it can't hurt at this point, right??
Hope everyone has good weekends! I'm crossing my fingers for a calm, happy mare and some good rides!