Friday, April 1, 2011


Two rides to report on - Wednesday and Thursday.

P had a few days off on Wednesday, so I was expecting her to be somewhat off the walls (which she was), though I was pleased that her outbursts were contained and totally manageable.

Instead of bucking, she just sorta hippity-hopped a few times in the canter

Instead of taking off while "bucking" she responded immediately and positively to a strong half halt and firm "bad mare."

Instead of being a total nit-wit with her stickiness, she kept moving (albeit barely), and worked through it.

It wasn't our best ride by any means, but it was a productive one given the excess of energy we were dealing with.  I was disappointed that the stickiness seems to have resurfaced or at least increased significantly - But the fact that it is showing up when she's hyper and feeling naughty, along with the fact that it's always near the gate have me thinking that I've been too lenient with my corrections.  O

nce we were through the sticky portion of the ride, she was decent.  I didn't get total relaxation, but I did manage to get P firmly in my outside rein, and she was more responsive to changes in bend than she usually is, which was fun to play with.

She was trying to freak out at everything in the ring (branches, mirrors, shadows...) so that was obnoxious, but I got after her each time and she seemed to accept it and move on.

The really fun part of the day was when I let her free lunge a bit before tacking up.  Maybe it was the extra day off, but holy LORD she looked like a million bucks.  I've never seen her move that well, or with that much freedom in her shoulder.

Her trot was stellar, her canter was really uphill and light... it was all very, very pretty.  Maybe we're on a good path physically? I certainly hope so..

Thursday.  Thursday the farrier came again.  I was lucky enough to catch him still at the barn so we talked about P's feet.  He's still not happy with her hinds or her heels - but things are progressing.  The right hind is starting to even out, though it still has a bit of flare on the inside edge which I'm anxious to grow past.

The good news, is that P didn't try to snack on the farrier when he put her away today.  The bad news is I was terrified she would come out with her little baby-mincing steps again.  We tacked up (she was bratty), and got ready to go. I think she was all out of sorts because getting her toes done meant she couldn't play with her slow feeder non-stop like she has been, but who knows ;)

I threw her on the lunge and yup.  Mincing.  This is the second time she's been short post-trim.  I can't tell if I'm imagining it, or if it's real, but I don't like it.  I know the farrier is really highly respected, and P's feet weren't abnormally warm.. so I can't think of a good reason for her to be backed off on the lunge.  She worked right out of it (like usual) after some cantering, so I kept going.

I hopped on and decided that if she felt short under saddle, we'd just walk for a while and stretch her legs for 45 minutes.  When I asked for the trot, she moved right into it, but then stopped.  The Sticky was back, and even bigger than before.  Chest bite, hopping on her front legs and pinned ears.

Not what we've been dealing with.

So, two thoughts.  Either A) her feet hurt and they made her stickier. or B) the sticky has been on a progression for the last week and this was just the next step.

Regardless, I didn't want to let her get away with it entirely... so we worked through it with more difficultly than there has been and got about 15 minutes of decent work in.  Little bit of canter, little bit of trot, some stretcy trot and a few lenghtenings then DONE.

Now the mare has the weekend off while I zip away for a bachelorette party for a friend.  Her regumate should be running out today or tomorrow... so curious what will be there when I show up next week :)


  1. Sounds like a foot issue to me. For it to come on that strong right after a trim, when she was looking footsore, doesn't seem like a coincidence. I would look into how her feet are being trimmed/shod and investigate other options. Obviously something is not quite right, and soreness never helps with attitude.

  2. I agree with Meghan.

    My thoughts: Horses deal with pain/discomfort differently. Some ignore it, some fuss a little, and some holler until you take notice. I believe that your mare is the hollering-type. I would be careful about "not letting her get away with something". If the something she is trying to communicate to you is discomfort and you push her to work, then you damage her trust in you. She may also escalate her communication strategy to try to get your attention. Sound familiar?

  3. I agree about the feet. Can you get pictures for us to look at? I know some of the horse blog owners are really knowledgeable about hooves and trimming and might be able to help you. Also maybe check out the Barefoot Horse Blog if you haven't been there before.

  4. I second (fourth?) the thoughts on the feet. My gelding is totally sticky and will not relax if his feet are a little tender. Something's not right...

  5. I'm on board with you guys. There's something going on. consulting with vet this week and will report!


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