Friday, April 8, 2011

lunatic on a string

All week I have been restricting Nina's exercise to give her foot a chance to grow out and not crack and fall off.  So she has been walked and worked a little in the round pen in deep sand.  The pole in the round pen was to slow her down so she wasn't tearing around and damaging things.  She is still healing on her right rear where she stuck it through the fence, her right front where the abscess is nearly grown out and the fragile left front.  I think her left rear is ok, maybe I should go check.

Trying to be gentle on her foot can cost both of us our lives.  Today I was going to trot her around the round pen and then just get on and do a little work at a walk.  We did that - 3 hours after I arrived at the barn. 
First she would not walk into the round pen and stand still with any semblance of manners so we spent a while walking in and out with her adrenaline level building.  I finally went and got a whip and threatened her into standing still. 
She cantered around quietly, not at all loony, did some trot work and we were done.  (insert hysterical laughter here)
I tacked her up - sort of.  Standing quietly until I had saddle on and bridle on BUT no straps fastened on the bridle.  Her head shot up and she started trotting in a circle around me - bridle only staying on by gravity.  I walked her into a hitching post, a wall and a fence to no avail, trot trot trot head up in the air.  Look mom, I'm a (faded) black giraffe. 
Honestly, there is really no stopping them when they don't want to stop - that is something to keep in mind. 
I finally tricked her into a difficult position where I was able with lightning speed to actually fasten the bridle on her head.  Slapped my helmet on and walked to the arena surrounding by a trotting (faded) black giraffe. 
We walked around for a while and I put some poles out to work over and she gradually defused and seemed fine.  So I headed for the mounting block and suddenly I was in the middle of a whirlwind of galloping horse.  Now it was starting to get a little dangerous.  I was out in the middle of the arena and she was trying to take off at a dead run.  I managed to drag her head around and put a stop to that but now I sort of have her head pinned to the saddle and I am on the ground.  This is not working. 
I got her attention enough to lead her out of the arena and took her to the turnout, which is probably a half an acre.  I tied the reins up and let her go.  She probably ran about 20 laps, reaching, stretching, taking longer and longer strides.  At least she was paying attention and slowing through the turns. 
When she was done she came to me with a cheerful look. 

None of this, by the way, was pissy.  Ears up, happy expression, literally exploding with energy and feeling good.  Either that or she is a meth addict and took a double dose.

I got on her and had a very short but nice ride, she was obedient, we worked on leg yielding which is hard for her since she thinks that I should not be allowed to touch her with my leg, she tried hard and did fairly well.   She was totally calm and quiet in the wind. 

Two things - she had WAY too much time off, to hell with the foot, get her out and moving around.
AND  - I wonder if she was skinny when I got her because the only way anybody could ever ride her was if she was sick and skinny and had no energy. 

This is going to be an interesting summer.


  1. Sounds like she's got spring fever and just needs to celebrate. Don't horses need to run? Or does she have time to run about all the time while you're away? Maybe she just needs to race off her high pent-up energy before she can focus to get down to work? Seems like she thanked you for it. ;)

  2. You handled that very well. Good job making sure you eventually got in the saddle! :)

  3. Oh Nina. I know what you mean about the no stopping thing. Cadence`s least favourite thing to do on the lunge is trot to walk, but she`s generally pretty good aobut it


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