dancing horses

dancing horses

Thursday, October 8, 2015


Carmen has been on the PRE supplement for over 2 weeks now and I do notice a difference. She much calmer to handle. She's not always calm under saddle but she's more likely to increase her forward momentum then to balk. I much prefer energy to channel.

Today in our session she was good on the lunge with a few spooky areas. I had to giggle at her suspicion of the wild asters that have suddenly bloomed. She views plants that are green one day and then flowery the next as falling into the 'not-to-be-trusted' category. I did try to explain about flowers that adorn competition rings but I'm not sure she appreciated my point.

I got on and she was excellent at first. We were working on our warm up when she gave a huge spook and scoot. She turned to face the tree, trembling slightly. I think it was a squirrel but I can't prove it. After that she was a ball of nerves. I thought about dismounting but it didn't feel awful. I decided to see if we could work through it. I focussed on keeping my seat quiet and following as well as my hands. I did shorten up the reins though. We had moments where she was 100% with me and times when I had about 20%. But there was no huge melt down and no more big spooks. We were able to work on transitions, shoulder in (it sucked but we tried), leg yield (we rocked them) and turns on the forehand. That exercise was fun we trotted, halted, turn on the forehand and trotted off. She seemed be intrigued by this new exercise. There was a moment in the middle when she was no longer scared but seemed to figure we should be done. We worked through that and she settled again. We finished with her trotting into the scary corners and I dismounted.

I find that I'm more confident dealing with 'I don't want to' then 'I'm scared' so I have to work on that. I think it's because the fear feels more unpredictable. After I gave her a nice groom which she quite enjoyed.

On a sadder note there have been a couple horse deaths in our area that are suspected to be due to Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE). I vaccinated both horses in the spring when the vet came but it needs to be done every 6 months. I called the vets to order both West Nile and Triple E (to be safe) and had Ed pick them up. After my ride, Ed came out and fed her an apple while I gave her the injection. She barely noticed. Irish got his next. He's so used to needles that I could have done it in his stall but he wanted his apple too.  I feel so much better now that it's been done.

keeping a lookout for mosquitoes...


  1. You may know all of this but....there are some mineral imabalances that can have a big effect on a horse's spookiness, especially a magnesium deficiency. I do some nutrition consulting and if you would like to get an in depth look at Carmen's mineral balance, I can help with that. If it is something that you think might help, get in touch at aerissana at gmail.com.

  2. Funny, I deal with fear better than "don't want to" -- probably because obedience was such a huge issue with Winston.

  3. Those darn suspicious blooming plants! :P Very sad to hear about the EEE related death. A horse not to far from my barn was found out to be a carrier last year, which was very scary.

  4. Ditto on Dancing Donkey's comment. While researching after I got Val, vet shared with me a hay analysis done on 10,000 samples here in the U.S. On average, hay provides at most 30% of the rdr of magnesium. Most horses don't get enough. Lack of vitamin E also affects the nervous system. Supplementing these two items made a big difference in Val's calmness. (hope you don't mind the unsolicited advice!)

    1. I don't mind the advice at all! I find it all so very useful to hear these different perspectives


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