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.