Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weekend Update

Thank you everyone for your kind words. Okay, so I may have not ruined Denali, but I sure as the hell have made things more difficult for myself. I know that I said I'm not going to make goals for us, but I'm going to make goals for us.

1. Get a trainer. I need to move on from my other trainer. For a million reasons I need to move on. I like her and if someone was just getting into horses, or was young I would suggest her. I need someone else. My old trainer makes me nervous around Denali. I don't need that. The vet has someone she think will work well with us. The best part is that the trainer will come to the barn, so I don't need to worry about taking Denali anywhere.

2. More Groundwork. I feel like Pia's mom on this. Denali does great with me on the ground, but obviously something is missing. She needs consistency and that needs to be from me. We're to the point that having another trainer working with her without me involved isn't going to help me and her. We need couple's consoling.

3. Get back on. This one makes me nervous of course, but I know I need to do it. I actually have a plan for this. (I know, I HAVE A PLAN.)  We have a bareback pad that I'm going to use. I am going to just work on putting my weight on her (aka, laying across her back) and if she bucks or make any motion of bucking I'm going to move her feet, move her feet, move her feet. I'm going to put on her bridle but use a rope halter and lead rope for the moving the feet part.  I don't plan on getting on her the whole way for a while, but this is something that I know I can do. I have to do it, if she gets away with it she's just going to up the anti next time. I get nervous about making her move her feet if she's naughty due to the nero problems/suspensory/tendon issues. It would be so much easier if she didn't break so easily.

I think 3 goals are good. I guess I need a timeline.... eh, I'll worry about that later.

I got a very nice text message from the vet tonight. I will continue to kick myself for not using her in the beginning. She's amazing. She told me that she was impressed by my strength, resiliency and positive attitude. Ha! I'm glad she thinks I'm a strong person (physically I guess yes, who else gets kicked 10 times and breaks nothing, well maybe a kidney.) As for the positive attitude, getting down for extended periods of time isn't going to help. I know I can fix this it's just going to take time. Lots of time. (Those 50 miles between me and the vet barn make that a bit difficult.) Oh well.

In regards to my weekend. Saturday I volunteered at a Gelding Clinic at the center. It was really interesting and made me realize how much I wish I could be a vet. There were 4 horses who came in to be gelded. Only 3 of them actually ended up being gelded, one of them was a cryptorchid and was unable to be done. He was an adorable 17 month old grade colt. I am worried of where he will end up since the surgery is so expensive and his owner didn't seem very well off. The three who were done were perfect patients. I got to go over paperwork and escort them to their stalls. Denali took and hour and a half to go into heat. I guessed 20 minutes. She was flashing her butt and peeing everywhere. Keep in mind she was at least 100 yards away from the barn. That's her talent of going into heat at a moments notice.

Bones waking up from his surgery

Mmmmm.... I smellz boyz!

There is another gelding clinic in a month that I'm also volunteering at, next time there are more horses.

Iz notz naughty, Iz misunderstood. More carrotz helpz mez to understandz.



Barbara said...

Sounds like a good plan. And No, Denali, you are not misunderstood. lol

Minus Pride said...

I like your goals!!! I can't wait to see how it all pans out. I know you can definitely do it, I'll be waiting for pictures! lol

summersmom said...

Denali sounds like my mare when it comes to going into heat. My mare will go into heat when a new horse moves into the barn, when she moves to a new barn, when a horse moves to a different stall, etc, etc. The nice thing about my mare though is that she doesn't act "mareish" besides the squatting and peeing. I keep her on Mare Magic just in case though. I've seen it help other horses with mood swings.
Good luck to you and Denali, setting goals is a great idea. You don't always have to set a time limit, just know what you want to do and get it done.

Kristen Eleni Shellenbarger said...

Goals are great to have. Get rid of a timeline...patience is key. :)
I'm SO happy you can get a vet recommended trainer to come to BO just got her gelding back from a 'highly reputable' expensive trainer that beat the shit out of him and he came back 200 lbs lighter, totally dehydrated, and with 30 whip marks. WTF?!

Lacey said...

This might be a long post. I read your last post and definitely felt empathy for your situation. I have an OTTB gelding who is 6 years old and who I just can't seem to move forward with. Every time we make a little progress we just fall right back to the beginning for the entire two years I've had him. This culminated in him severely biting his chiropractor a week and a half ago. I felt horrible. Why couldn't I handle this horse? Why wasn't he getting better and of course is this all my fault!?! I'm not new to horses, I've been riding for 20 years and have worked on and off in the horse industry. I really felt helpless. We'd cycled through trainers, through supplements, saddles, you name it. Grrrrr...
After the chiropractor had a little time to recover from the bite, had worked a little more on Rusty he declared that there was something "wrong" with him. Not sure what, but something... Great.
The vet came out last week and within the first five minutes diagnosed ulcers and a stifle issue. Now he has seen the vet a lot, even just the week before, but never with the target of addressing his behavioral issues. He started on Gastrogard and a muscle relaxant last Thursday and I swear I have a new horse. We did week two of groundwork training group lesson and he was incredible, best horse in the class. The week prior he had been mouthy, biting me, grabbing the leadrope, wandering around, not listening and dull. This week he was responsive, attentive and willing. It was incredible. I have two points here... One is I have faith that you are doing a good job. That you are looking in all the right places for answers to her behavior and sometimes you just never know what might show up and change things. Two is that groundwork is a great confidence builder. I know that even just the one day of great groundwork made me feel like he and I were finally communicating on a level we never had before. And afterward I got on him and rode him bareback all over the barn property, something I absolutely would not have done the week previous. Things will get better, I know it. You don't actually have to post this, I would have emailed it, but I don't know your email. I just really wanted to share this with you.

Ms Martyr said...

I think having goals is great and helps to keep you on track. You and Denali have been through so much together. Having a positive attitude goes a long way towards eventual success.

Annette said...

I think your goals are very good. It will be interesting to see how she is with you just laying on her back without a saddle. If she's good with that, maybe it's the saddle causing pain. If not, plan B -- whatever that is! I figure that's where a trainer is helpful. I'd be lost without mine.

Denali's Mom said...

Thanks Lacey. I wonder too if she has ulcers. I treated her before for Ulcers, and didn't see much difference. I guess that I should talk to the vet again about those if she starts to be a B*tch again. I tried Mare magic. No luck. Now I use Smart Calm Ultra. I don't think we can live without it. I posted your comment so I can go back and read it! :)

Dom said...

Sounds like a solid plan. Good luck :)

allhorsestuff said...

You made me laugh so.."couples Counseling"..a yea, we too resemble that remark!

Good for you. You are on the right track with going with the vets advise..hope the trainer really takes thier time with you and she.

I was just reading an interesting piece I found while putting my horsey books on a new bookself.
W. Museler(German dude) in his book "Riding Logic" has a whole chapter on "Disobedience"...
oh man, I thought, I not the only one! The topics are such:
Pressing against the Wall
How does one correct bad habits?

The bucking one said there are different kinds of bucking(talking from in the saddle) and how to keep from being on..but he said that "Horses with tender backs are prone to buck right after they are mounted"..."It will be evident that ther is tension in its back when the horse is being led out to be mounted, for it's back will look rigid and is best if the horse is lunged initially and walked around for some time, untill the stiffness has eased."

He goes onto say that care in saddling and girthing gradually, helps.
I'm trying this next time..and each time..since mine evil eyes me too right when I get on and does more than one on that list!
They are only using the language they have to tell us how it is going for them, is what I figure.

I am also doing the Bareback pad riding these days.
GOOD LUCK and Your vet is so awesome to encourage you and tell you your strong traits!Everyone needs someone like that!

achieve1dream said...

Those goals sound great. Also I think you should add general mounting block exercises to it (if you use a mounting block) since that's where she lost it. Teach her to stand still by it and then do lots of stuff. Walk around her, jump around, flap your arms, desensitize her to a whip, plastic bag, etc. Do everything you can think of around the mounting block. If she walks off make her work (she does hate work right?), but if she stands still and is calm I'd give her a treat, but only if treats don't make things worse. It works well for me because I use clicker training and Chrome understand the rules. Anyway its just a suggestion. You can disregard if you don't think that was the problem. :)

I'm glad you're trying a new trainer. A new perspective can be sooooo helpful! Keep us updated on your progress. I don't know how you drive that far. My parents are about that far and I see them once every few months!

Good luck!!

Susan said...

Goals are great. If you set a timeline, don't be too down on yourself if you can't reach that time. It's just a guide, and it's better really if you set something that's really reasonable and just work to a general time.