Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Sports Psychologist

I honestly think I need to talk to a sports psychologist or someone... I have issues.

Ms. Slew was super excited to see me, that is where her enthusiasm for life ended.... My trainer and I discussed what it was we wanted to work on, and decided that long lining was the safest route for us. I agreed, 100% It is just so hard sometimes to figure out how to best rehab her. I wish I could have afforded to send her to Pegasus so she could burn off some of her energy. Needless to say that Ms. Slew was a tad excitable tonight.

A few of my theories.

  • Winter is here in the PNW! Okay, so it's fall, but you can't tell the difference. It has been raining, which in turn means that she can't move around as freely in her tiny paddock. That standing around adds that little bit extra energy.

  • The arena is nice and squishy! They've been working on it the past three days, and in turn it is much softer to stand on than before. Which means much nicer to run and play on.

  • She has to work now.

  • It was the first "work day" that another horse was in the arena.

I'm sure it's probably a combination of all the above. She always gets extra worked up in the winter because she just stands around and when she comes inside she just wants to go, go, go.

Denali! What part of you can't go, go, go did you not understand!

My trainer did the work since I'm clueless as to how to introduce long lines to a horses, and overall I would say that Denali did really well. Aside from the running around and falling down.

Mare face fell. Three times. My heart stopped beating three times..... Ugh. I automatically thought of EPM and all the "what ifs" filled my head. The problem with the "What Ifs" is that they breed like crazy and pretty soon my entire head is filled with them.

I won't lie. I didn't feel really confident tonight after watching her little bouts of excitment. Before we started working she wanted to roll with her saddle on. NOT a good idea. When we were done we I let her roll (BTW, good job Opheia for ignoring all of Denali's naughtiness!) Well, for the past four months she has been a good girl about getting up and not being a freak. Not tonight. She wanted to go! I have the rope burns to prove it. MARE!

Poor thing. ACE is our friend, ACE is our friend, ACE is our friend....

I'm sure Denali looked like she did fine tonight. I just start the "What Ifs" going in my head.

What if she get hurt again.

What if she never calms down.

What if I can never ride her.

What if I come off again.

What if she never gets better.

What if..... etc.

I have What Ifs.

And NOW for the crazy thing that happened to me tonight.

I entered some photos in the Western Washington State Fair (none of Denali, please don't tell her, and yes, I'm a massive dork!) On my way to pick them back up I thought I saw a slight traffic back up, so I decided to take a long cut (but less traffic.) After I commited to making the left hand turn I noticed that I Could have gone straight, but it was too late. I said outloud, " Well I guess I was meant to be 5 minutes later than I thought." When I got back onto the road, 522 for those Seattle people I saw that traffic was slowing down for a lawn company truck pulling a little backhoe. It pulled over and was driving on the berm of the road. Everyone went past, but I noticed what I thought was fire coming from under the truck. My first thought was that something was sparking. Then I noticed that nothing was sparking and that it was indeed fire. The truck was still driving, so I pulled my car ahead of it, threw it in park and jumped out of my car. The poor guys looked at me like I was nuts. I ran as fast as I could up and started pointing (at this point I was still in shock that I was running towards a burning vehicle) it only took a second and one of the guys saw what I was pointing at (I don't think English was their first language.) I offered to call 911, while the guys looked at the fire. Then it dawned on me. Probably shouldn't be standing right next to a truck that is on fire. A nice woman also stopped and came up with a fire extinguisher, but it didn't do much good. At that point I told the guys they needed to MOVE! I would have felt horrible if they would have gotten hurt. It was nuts. Not a good description, but here's a picture! There's a truck in there, I promise!


Miles On Miles said...

Hey, all it takes is a little cool weather to turn the most even keeled horse into a galloping maniac...don't even worry about that. She WILL calm down, as soon as she's getting the exercise and turnout she needs when she is healthy:)
Honestly, I think proper turnout for a horse (whatever that might be for the individual-for some horses it's 12 hours out, 12 hours in a stall, for others it's out all the time) will work WONDERS. You guys will get there:) Keep breathing, and being brave! She will thank you for it:)

Laura M. said...

Mine is a handful too now that the weather is starting to change (70s and 80s instead of high 90s). Doesn't help that she can only get a couple hours in a little 24x24 paddock. This horse used to gallop laps around the 5-acre pastures just because she wanted to.

I think I'm going to keep her on Reserpine though for a long time, at lesat until she's cleared to start cantering. Horses can blow through Ace, which who knows if Denali might do, but I wouldn't risk it for riding purposes, hand walking, absolutely. Panache is on daily oral Reserpine, it's apple flavored so she eats her pill straight out of my hand and we never got the diarrhea issue. Keeps her pretty mellow, alert and conscious to her surroundings but not reactive. Might be something to use again.

Anonymous said...

I live in the PNW as well. My mare is super quiet. Yesterday she thought there were monsters around every corner and just wanted to go go go! SO yes, either it's a dark bay TB mare thing or it's the weather ;)

Rebecca said...

The 'what ifs' are so hard to deal with sometimes. They worm their way into your head and then you can't get rid of them.

Y'all are getting cool weather? Still in the 90s here. =P

By the way, sounds like you were a hero for those guys! If you hadn't stopped them, and they hadn't noticed that the truck was on fire, I don't even want to think about those possibilities. Congrats, hero!

Anonymous said...

There must have been something in the air yesterday, Honey wanted to GO big time, and she is usually pretty lazy, lol. Try to stay positive and don't give up! Everything is going to work out with Denali.

As for that truck fire, that is nuts! Looks like you WERE ment to be 5 minutes later! You should be pretty proud, you might have saved their lives!

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Yes change of seasons brings out beastly ponies!! summer calm pony has been replaced by a proud snake necking stallion who wants to run and spook! Blah. Turnout is key though..can she get more? If not, use the time you have with her to work her on the ground-give it a good 30-45 (or whtever u are allowed) and see if u can end it by riding at the walk for even 5 minutes. It helps!!

goodtimetoreview said...

Reading that everyone’s ponies are being naughty due to weather changes makes me excited to ride tonight! I own the slowest, laziest horse in the barn. Maybe I’ll be in for a treat tonight!

What pictures did you enter in the fair? I entered a couple in the fair here. Got second and third, but then I realized when I went to see them…that almost every picture had a second and third sticker on them. Won a whole five dollars! Woohoo! Lol