Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Taking a bite out of crime...

...and by crime I mean Denali.

Ran out to the barn to see Ms. D. I've felt really guilty not getting out there very often. I know that doesn't help me either. I've ridden 7 or 8 times in the past 6 months. That's sad. Really sad. I don't have any really good excuses. Here are some of my favorite:

It's too cold
It's too hot
She seems cranky
I'm cranky
It's raining (and during Seattle's winters that's every other day)
It's windy
I'm too sore
I'm afraid that she's still sick (EPM)
She's lame (which feels like every other day)
I'm lame
The arena's too full
The arena's too empty
The horse next to the arena is making her nervous
She's too hyper
She's too much horse...
and I have about a million more...

I could go on and on. Seriously. Maybe I should add that to my list of excuses. Between her being sick with EPM, me hurting my knee (which STILL isn't fixed, but is livable), my foot (toe healed up sans one toe nail) and now my hip (fall from her last weekend) I am a walking disaster. It's hard to get back into riding when I'm totally out of shape. It's hard to get back into shape when my knee kills me and my hip burns. Sigh. More excuses. I know this.

Anyway, back to the barn. I've been really nervous about her in the cross ties ever since witnessing Ms. Ophelia freak out twice. Doesn't make a lot of sense since it wasn't even Denali. I still don't like putting her in the cross times with her rope halter. I ordered a replacement piece for her break away, but it's not in yet.

I'm ridiculous. I know that.

I've been doing work with her in the round pen for a week or so. Nothing ground breaking. Working on transitions, getting her to listen to me, and most importantly getting me to work with her.

I love her. I really feel like before I went to Denmark we had a really good relationship. A mutual respect. Now, some days I do and some days I don't. Ugh. I'm sure if I rode daily, I'd feel better.

Sorry. I think it's pretty ridiculous that she makes me so nervous. I know this.

Back to my title. When I got Ms. D, I noticed that she has a big old bite mark on her neck. I put some medicine on it and gave her a good grooming. It's impressive. I've never seen a bite mark that big on her. She seems to be getting more and more of them. I noticed also today that her big scare from her fight with Maddie (RIP) is less than a centimeter in size. Much better than the 3 1/2 inch open gash she had. I'd bet that anyone who didn't know here wouldn't know it was ever anything big. She's healed up nicely.

She had a big knot in her neck, I tried massaging it out, but I don't think I ever relaxed it the whole way. I think the girl needs a massage sometime. She is really tight.

Enough rambling, maybe I should change my title to "A crazy girl and her crazy horse." OH! Thank you Beth for the tip, www.justbridles.com SUCH an easier option! I've also e-mailed SmartPak and hope to talk to them about what to give the girl. Thanks everyone for the suggestions.


Beth said...

Your welcome. I have not tried Just Bridles yet, but I have a hard to fit draft cross. I want to get some stuff from there.

I understand about the excuses. I started letting myself get away with excuses for 2 years and ended up not riding. Now all the excuses are getting more serious so I have to back track on my skills and my horses.

Having a relationship with mares is tricky. They don't always show they like you, sometimes you feel they are just tolerating you. I know, I have owned a lot of mares. You work with EBD student. . . they are not that much different :) (I have had the pleasure of working with several EBD student at the middle level.) This is an interesting article on mares: http://www.meredithmanor.com/features/articles/drm/training_mares.asp

Rachel said...

I had a mare who would often freak out in cross-ties, so I'll share a tip to calm your nerves. attach binder twine (you know--hay string-- whatever you wanna call it) to the end of the cross ties that way if she pulls they will break immediately causing no damage to the ties, her halter, and most importantly her head.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Oh those cross ties. I go back and forth with what I think. One place were I was HATED cross ties and wouldn't use them at their facility. Where I'm at now, we use them. Laz chews, head bobs and is nervous in crossties but for the most part, he's ok. I did work with him for month standing in cross ties but not actually hooked up. BUT I'm at a small private facility and mostly alone so I can do that w/o worrying. Even if he walked off, I could easily grab him. Now he is good in cross ties..doesn't test them but isn't calm/happy 100% of the time.
Now..being nervous. BOY I share that one. Part of being a OTTB owner, I think. You KNOW (and when I say you, it's collective) your baby is capable of being a total idiot and that brings up a lot of scary situations.
I struggle with it daily and do find the more time I'm with him, it's better for me. Now, we'll see what the future brings once I start riding again (can o' worms sitting on can o whoop ass).

Frizzle said...

Oh, just think of all the poor pony-less people who would love to have their own pony to ride! That should motivate you, lol.
It sounds to me like you still haven't found a trainer who's perfect for you. You need someone who is very relaxed and patient and willing to take as loooooong as you need to feel comfortable. Don't let anyone push you! If you do a walk lesson or a longe lesson, so be it!
Hopefully, Denali will be better now that she has someone riding her all the time.

Denali's Mom said...

Frizzle, my trainer is awesome. She's patient, and understanding. The problem is me. I keep making excuses up as to why I can't come out and ride. I'm going to take some lessons on one of her horses, possibly do a month's lease if I can find the money. Oh, if i could just get my head back in the game!

SprinklerBandit said...

I was riding my old OTTB yesterday, We went over trot poles, she pretended she saw something, and off we went. Mad gallop, a couple of bucks, then we stopped and she just snorted. "Oh whoops. Where were we?"

They do that. It adds character. I wish there was a magical way to gain confidence, but there isn't. You just have to keep getting on the horse and going, and it comes. Good luck!

OTTB-Little Big Red said...

I struggled with the confidence thing a lot this winter (after only getting 3 rides in in 2 months due to surgery and weather). I think you're on the right track with finding a trainer that understands and Denali is getting ridden regularly so you don't need to rush things.

One more word of advise I got last week at the show from a 17 year old, is even if you're not confident, fake it - your brain is bigger than you horses.