dancing horses

dancing horses

Monday, August 31, 2015

So How Was Today's Ride?

I'm sure you're all dying to find out!

Apparently I'm still on a post a day kick so I'll keep this short.

First of all, last night I realized that Carmen was in full heat. She doesn't demonstrate a lot of the signs but I noticed in her stall she was 'winking' a lot. This is not typical. I'm noticing a correlation between the stickiness and her heats and I'm wondering if she is in discomfort and if I should do something about that. She is my first mare so I am a bit out of my depth on these issues so feel free to weigh in.

Today I had to wait to go get the last bit of hay so I decided to work her this morning. I almost decided to just lunge but I was curious to see if our work yesterday made any difference in attitude so decided to tack her up and play it by ear.

On the lunge she was a bit lethargic but perked up when asked. I decided to ride. Before I got on I spoke to Carmen:
Now I'm just looking for this to be a relaxed and supple ride. We're not going to work on anything big and I'd like to keep it short. 

She watched me intently so I was hoping that she agreed. She stood still while I mounted. I found her to be a bit tight and stiff - not nervous tight , it felt different. So at the walk we did lots of gentle loops and circles with me asking her to bend and switch. I could feel her begin to loosen and her back began to stretch. She was a little 'looky' but not that bad. We probably spent a good 15 minutes on this. I then asked her to trot. She picked it up nicely enough but as we passed the gate she started to get sticky. Our conversation went like this:

Forward *squeeze*
Suck back
squeeze, squeeze, chirp
really suck back 
*tap* (and it was a tap, not a smack)
pins ears, kicks at leg
GROWL, squeeze
yes ma'am

And forward we went. There was no further discussion. I kept to the same gentle loops and changes of directions. She began to give me the loveliest trot ever- it was forward, over the back and into contact. I could feel her hind end engaged and we were floating. She couldn't maintain it long but it came back easily enough. After 15 minutes of this work I ended it.

I think we both were pretty pleased with it.


  1. I should have read this post before commenting on the last one. LOL. I don't ask as much of Lucy when she is in heat so our sessions are short -- but I do insist on the basics - forward and responsive. When Lucy is in heat, in addition to being sticky and pissy under saddle - she is usually fidgety while being groomed and she gets nasty gunky stuff on her hind pasterns that I have to scrub off with a warm wet rag.

    1. I don't mind asking less when she's in heat but my concern is that I also plan to show and I have no control over what I'm asking of her.

  2. I have never done anything to about mare seasons & managed to successfully race a lot of them back in the day as well as ride them year round. Mind you, I never have had a mare that was so bad as to need intervention - mine were able to be set right mostly by vigorous exercise (which I always found helpful as a woman too), but that's just my experience.
    Some people say their mares are SO bad that they turn to veterinary intervention, such as Regumate or the implants, but there are side effects to consider with those as well which may be more bothersome than letting nature take it's course.

    It's so nice to read of how well you & Carmen are progressing.

  3. Mares can be that way . . . Perhaps just a little discomfort and also more distractible. I've had some success using raspberry leaves as a supplement - there are also some nice teas for people. Dawn used to be unrideable when she was in heat before I started doing this. Two brands for horses are Mare Magic and MareBerry. Seems to help a bit to keep things more even.


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