Well, if nothing else this mare is showing some consistency in my posting threads anyway...
Monday I went out to face the beast and attempt to get back to where we were last week. I discounted the fact that she had two days off and opted out of lunging again. Mentally I decided that we'd walk for at least 20 minutes, and not move forward until we were happy and accepting at our "working" walk
I almost didn't even get on, because when I got there, the mare had a HUGE left hind leg. Apparently she cast herself on Saturday, and no one bothered to tell me. All in all, that's fine, no heat, no lameness, but still - HEART ATTACK when I first saw it.
It reinforced that I didn't want her to go crazytown on the lunge, so I hoped on and crossed my fingers.
Things were good. We got our walk going GREAT. she was being mostly good, stayed between my legs, and after about 10 minutes, she was supple and bending nicely. baby leg yields were a go, 10 meter figure-8's were great. Splendid. I started testing her "go" factor by collecting and extending her at the walk, and she wasn't stinky at all.
Then we tried to trot. TOTAL STINK BOMB. sticking, grumpy, chest bitey. But as soon as we rounded toward the barn, she perked right up, scooted forward into a happy decent trot. Ater 5 min she was loose, swinging and working nicely. Dare I say she even reached for the bit! Her lengthenings were a-w-e-s-o-m-e. Really nice push, and really nice collection back. She was light, responsive and had almost no breaks or dumpster diving.
Then we worked a few leg yields (not awful) and some shoulder in (pretty great!). We walked, she chilled out, then we picked up our trot again (less stinky than before). I got her forward and in front of my leg again and was working on getting that soft fluid feeling when she FLIPPED OUT AGAIN.
This was a new move. This time, we turned the corner (Pia took over), and started a bucking gallop rampage across the diagonal. (Usually our tantrums at most travel a few strides). I must say at this point, I damn near fell off. The mare had her head shoved between her legs (BYE REINS!) and was full on inverted bucking in very gallop stride. I had visions of my going off over her front, and was just trying to figure out how to "dismount" to the side when I snagged a rein, snagged her head and really got my balance back. Then my attention turned to how I planned on slowing this steamrolling runaway train enough to not totally-eat-shit-and-die at the rapidly approaching end of the arena.
Thankfully she tossed her head, I took advantge to get some decent contact and we whirled in a circle just about the time I was preparing to go head first into the mirrors.
I got some nice kudos from the only other lady in the ring.. Which always feels nice, but I am getting less enthusiastic about "feeling great" about how well I'm riding a bucking monster and having that be the best thing about a ride...
After the fit, we walked (on a loose rein no less) for a few minutes before I attempted the trot. Mostly I had to locate my phone somewhere in the arena (it LAUNCHED from my pocket during our "diagonal") but I found it, grabbed it (I'm convinced that some day I will end up head first in the mirrors and be desperately calling for help from it..) and got back on for some trotwork. She was a twit and by no means relaxed. The other mare left the ring and I felt P starting to really wind up. I'll freely admit that my neck and back were killing me from getting whipped around and I was shaken up enough to not want try that again. I barely eeked out some okay circles and promptly called it a day.
I'm really, really frustrated. I don't scare easily, but this is starting to unsettle me. I wasn't phased by her fits that I saw coming. With those I knew I was picking a fight and I understand her very alpha responses. These are different. These are unpredictable, mean, and HUGE. I don't like them one bit.
Today I went out to meet our barefoot trimmer for a pedicure, and P was all over the place. Sweet and droopy one second, but even grazing my hand over her sent her into a squealing, kicking seizure.
I had visions of Denali's massage experience and kindly warned my trimmer "uhhh, careful, she's a little kicky today" and crossed my fingers that no one would be decapitated.
I was supposed to have a lesson after, but P was so uncomfortable in the crossties I just booted her up and turned her loose in the arena to blow some steam off. She only ran for about 10 mintues before she joined back up with me and we had a great halter-less groundwork session. There's something super rewarding about a horse following you around the ring, stepping towards and away from you as you move. I'm glad she was an angel on the ground... made me feel like it isn't all totally useless. I needed it.
I don't know what to do. I can't sell her (even if I wanted to), I wouldn't trust very many people on her at this point, I can't tell if she likes her job or not, and I can't figure out what I want out of the deal. Mostly I feel ineffective, cowardly and a little at a loss. Do I start invesetigating things like Kissing Spine? Rip her ovaries out? beat her senseless? drug the crap out of her?? Send her to a cowboy?
It's been nine months, we're right where we started, and have nothing to show for it aside from $6k in vet bills, two trainers, and a small scar from the one time she did actually get me off.
Did I bite off more than I can chew with this one??