dancing horses

dancing horses

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Feeling the Heat

This is an up and down sort of post. Which is a bummer giving how well things have been going.

I gave Carmen two days off this week and then rode her Wednesday late afternoon. She seemed perfectly fine until about 5 minutes into the ride. She had started a bit tight and tense but that is not unusual. But over time she completely disintegrated. It started with a few spooks and that got bigger and bigger and would not settle.

I tried everything I knew but she was becoming dangerous- I was sure that she was either going to launch me or fall down rather than stop bolting. So I hopped off and trudged down to the barn. I was feeling very very frustrated. On the way down I had to get quite firm about her leading manners. Like 'get out of my personal space and you do not get to run me over' firm.

flashback to the show debacle last year

 I put on side reins and lunge line and we headed back up to the ring. I don't normally lunge her in side reins but I wanted something to stop her from flinging her head so high.  After a few times of trying to bolt and/or change direction her brain finally began to return to her head. I worked her through all the normal spooky spots just like I had in the past. Once she seemed rational I took off the lunging equipment and got back on. She still never settled but remembered her manners. We worked mostly at the walk, a little at the trot. I figured that physically she had already worked enough- I just wanted to make a point. I did not dismount until she was listening to me- not the voices in her head.

After the rides I had been having I was quite bummed. However, I did know that she had started into heat- I can always tell by the strong smell of her urine (it will make your eyes water). There was nothing new in the things that startled her but the degree of her reaction was over the top.

This morning I rode her again. I was a little wary and brought the lunging equipment with me. But I didn't need it. While she was obviously tight and The Carmen I had been riding was back. We were able to practice actual things like 'transitions' and 'leg yields' rather then 'steering' and 'brakes'.

I much prefer this ride

So I'm not sure what to think about this. Is it hormones? If it is what do I do? I've tried the supplements and they have never worked (at least not in any way I could tell). Is it behavioural? Was Mercury in retrograde? Was it one of those things? I don't care (much) if I have this ride every now and then but if it happens at a show I'm screwed.

Any suggestions?

Or wine?

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21 comments:

  1. Will she drink the wine ??? Might work!

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    1. Now that’s the best idea- we can both drink it.

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  2. I'm not really sure what supplements you've tried, so forgive me if this has been a strike out for you, but my girls do very well on Mare Magic, and it's inexpensive (especially if you buy bulk organic raspberry leaves like I do). I had a mare who would turn into a rocket launcher when she was cycling and after she put me in the dirt a few times I tried MM and never had another issue with her on her cycles again. Obviously your mileage may vary! Otherwise, I guess just cross your fingers her cycles don't sync up with any shows? :-/

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  3. Wine for everyone is always the tight answer. People in my area have been talking a lot about getting mares spayed. A few have that I know of and are very happy with the change in their mares. Hormones sure can add unnecessary spice to things.

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    1. That seems like a drastic step. I. Also not sure that I don’t want a foal from her.

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  4. Mercury in retrograde is my guess. I made a firm commitment not to own mares after the last one I had. Nilla isn't very marish so she's the exception. My husband loves mares though. We did Raspberry leaves, but I don't know how much it actually worked. When I rode at a fancy show barn, most of the mares got Depo or Regumate. That really did seem to work, but it's pricey.

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    1. Whenever I can get my vet out I will ask him. The problem is that when she’s good she’s very very good.

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  5. I was always lucky that Gem was typically better behaved during a cycle than not. I know I’m a pretty big, well you know, during that time of the month and I can’t imagine being made to exercise and getting bossed around during that time. I’d talk to your vet about what supplements she/he recommends and not worry too much unless the behavior becomes more frequent.

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    1. That is excellent advice. Thank you.

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  6. Hmmm, it could certainly be any combination of things. I love LOVE LOVE my mares (and have always owned mares, actually), but sometimes they certainly can get a bee in their bonnet. I do think the first heat of the year can wreck havoc for some mares because it always did with a few of mine. I have had great success with chastetree berries (bought in bulk online) as well as the supplement Evitex by Emerald Valley (pricey which is why I switched to the herb itself). I am willing to bet this will pass. So for now, break out the wine and know things will get better! ;-)

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    1. I'm hoping that is really is because it's the first heat of the year.

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  7. hmm, yea that would frustrate me too :( maybe some chardonneigh, for you AND the mare? lol.... but yea mares are hard, esp when there's such a spectrum of behaviors to contend with. seems like by far and large you've gotten Carmen to such a good place now, even with these few raw moments still peeking through. hopefully tho they grow less and less frequent or intense!

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    1. Of course I always go to the place of 'oh no the good parts are the aberration and of course it will always be awful'. Which is stupid. But I just cant' seem to help it.

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  8. Hi wouldn’t over think things. She was just probably having a bad day and wasn’t in the mood😏

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    1. Who me? Overthink? I have no idea what you are talking about! :D

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  9. I may be trying Mare Magic myself for my girls.

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  10. Bad rides are so much tougher after a good streak :(

    I'm going to second the Regumate/Depo suggestion.

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    1. They always do seem tougher. It's like a car accident on a good day.

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  11. Hormones, man. As we all know, they are the pits. Give her some time and wait for her to come into her next cycle before you think too much about it <3. It is a good sign that the next day was better.

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