dancing horses

dancing horses

Friday, October 11, 2019

Chicken or Egg

Fall weather

I gave Carmen Monday off this week. Not that she needed it but I had other things I had to do (like work) so let her be. Also, when I came home I found our cat, Chester dead in the barn. It was a shock and first I thought he was sleeping. He was young and I don't know what happened. It is possible that he ate a rodent that had been poisoned (not that we use but there might some in the neighbourhood). Or he perhaps had a health issue that we didn't know about. Either way I felt horrible to find him laying there.

rest easy little one
Tuesday I squeezed in a short ride and she was awesome- soft, listening and easy. I wanted to continue to work on using my seat for transitions. She really tuned in and when I asked her to do a trot-halt using just my seat she responded beautifully and I hopped off.

I rode again on Thursday and it was less sunshine and roses and more clouds and thorns. The wind was up and so was Carmen. I focussed on staying soft but not letting her get away from my aids. She felt tight and stiff and was quite spooky. But we got some good work and then I stopped. While she was being a bit of a tool about things (like spooking at the trot poles piled outside the ring that have been there forever) it didn't feel out of control. I chalked it up to a bad day due to the wind and cold.

When I was grooming her I felt how tight her poll was. I don't know if she was reactive because of her poll or her poll was tight because she was so reactive. I spent some time massaging and it and she relaxed. It was much tighter on the right.

Today I had a lesson booked with Shanea. Again it was a cold and blustery day with a storm forecast for later. I went up early to do some ground work and lunging. When she was settled I got on and we began to walk around. Shanea came up and I brought her up to speed on the clinic. Carmen was a hot mess. She was tight and coiled. When I asked her to walk down towards the far side of the ring she flat out refused. She began to back up and then spun and bolted.
not a horse picture, I found this cool bug on my screen the other night

I sighed. So that's how it's going to go.  I rode her into a circle with Shanea being super calm and deadpan, despite being in imminent danger of being trampled.  We worked Carmen through her feelings until I could find her brain.

After that bolt it was just a lot of her getting tight, me focusing on my seat and not on writing sales ads. She would relax and we would start again.  I wanted to work on transitions so we spent the latter part of the lesson doing those.  I was actually quite happy with the trot-halt-trot transitions.


After a few she felt a bit anticipatory and like she was getting frazzled so I asked her to pick up a canter to change the topic. It was a nice canter and felt good. We switched directions and we got a few good transitions to the right. It felt that we had gotten as much as we could without starting to go downhill again so we called it.

When I was grooming her the vet called to confirm that she was on her way. I had arranged for her to come and check Carmen's teeth and give the West Nile/Triple E vaccine. In her exam she noted that Carmen had some back soreness. I wonder if it was because she was so tight or was she tight because her back was sore? Also, I was correct- she did need her teeth done. Especially on the right side. The same side her poll was so tight.

I will be curious to know if things improve now that her teeth are fixed. I know that I will monitor her back and poll for a bit to see how they feel before and after our ride.

I also had the vet look at Irish and give him the booster. She spent a long time listening to his heart. She noted that he has an arrhythmia that he hasn't had before. She let me listen: instead of a ba-dub, ba-dub it was a ba-da-bub, ba-da-bub. She also told me that every so often the beat would skip. She told me to not worry but just monitor it.  So I will. Having an older horse with health issues is not for the weak.

still the sweetest of horses

18 comments:

  1. I'm sorry to hear about your kitty:(

    Phantom, being the princess that she is, has no problem letting me know when her teeth need to be done. I just have to listen when she tells me (which she states by swapping leads behind at a canter if I touch her mouth and being super tense). I hope it makes the same difference to Carmen as it does to Phantom!

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  2. It would be so much easier if horse socials speak English. Or we were better at speaking horse. I hope she feels better with her teeth done and the weather calms a bit for you.

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    1. It would be nice if she could tell me how she feels. But then again, maybe not! ;)

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  3. So sorry to hear about your kitty. I hope that her teeth may have been part of her problem. Then again you never know, it's always ups and downs with training and horses. Some good days some not so good days. That's what keeps it interesting. Irish is just so sweet with a great attitude. Fingers crossed he'll be just fine for a long time.

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    1. Thank you. Irish has a number of health issues, none of which are devastating but they do add up. He's a sweet horse for sure.

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  4. I'm so sorry about chester!

    I'm hoping Carmen is feeling better. If only horse's could talk... Then again, maybe not. If only horses could talk when something SPECIFIC was bother them. Not all the time. Because I don't really want to hear about how terrible of a mother I am and how little food I provide Batt... Because my guys likely would complain ALL THE TIME. But when they're hurting or not feeling well, PLEASE LET THEM TALK! Otherwise? One complaint a week is all I can take!

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    1. LOL this made me laugh so hard. Because it's sooo true.

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  5. I am very sorry about your cat. What a sad thing to find. I hope the teeth floating helps Carmen. I imagine it will by the sounds of it.

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    1. It was sad. I wish he was still with us but I am grateful that I know that he is deceased. I hate it when cats disappear.

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  6. oh no, i'm so sorry about Chester ugh pets are so heart breaking :( here's hoping Carmen is happier with her teeth done and that Irish doesn't have any serious side effects with the heart irregularity!

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  7. So very sorry about your barn kitty. That's so sad!
    Hope Irish's new heart rhythm is nothing to worry about. Poor buddy!
    Fall is the worst for our spooky horse friends! Hopefully having her teeth done will help though.

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    1. LOL fall is hard on everything. So many things blowing around!

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  8. Oh goodness, I'm so sorry to hear both about your cat and Irish's new heart arrhythmia.

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  9. I am so sorry about your kitty :( about 10 years ago I found my childhood barn kitty near death in the barn and had to call the vet to put him down. It was so sad and I'll never forget it.

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    1. oh that is so hard. I actually got out my stethoscope to make sure that there was no heart beat. I didn't want to prolong any suffering.

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