Saturday, October 29, 2011

I think I fixed my horse

It's sort of unbelievable and I have been putting off posting about it because I assumed that I was mistaken anyway.
Here's as short as I can make it.
Nina has always been TENSE.  Even on her best days, she can get into a lovely forward, back swinging trot and still there is an underlying tension.  On her not so good days she gnashes her teeth, pins her ears and glares over her shoulder a lot.  Most of her training issues are described in the last million or so posts so I won't repeat all of them here, just accept that TENSION has been a large part of our training relationship.  Tension that all the saddle fitting, massage, reiki, etc etc etc cannot fix.

A week ago Friday I put red raspberry leaves in her beet pulp and every day since.  I had never tried this because she does not act like the typical Jekyll & Hyde hormonal mare.  But I did a little research a couple of weeks ago and found that it works on all sorts of behavioral problems that apparently are connected to hormones.
So 4 days later I get on Nina and we walk around for an hour, on the buckle, circles and spiral and leg yields (which are worth WWIII) and she is just ambling around with no TENSION, none.
So I assumed she had a tough night and the next day prepared for my mare back.  Nope, did a little work, she was a little pissy about several things but without the underlying tension that makes her hum all the time.
Fast forward to today.  She hasn't been out of her pen for two days because of the weather.  She was higher than a kite and close to crossing the line to rude behavior.  She was spooky and silly, it was cold and windy.  When I got on her she was still silly and spooky but all that tension wasn't there.
She used to radiate a clear message  'I hate you and I am going to kill you.'
then that tapered off to 'I hate this, I hate this'
That is what is gone.  It's hard to explain.  It's not like she suddenly became well trained and perfect but is is like riding a different horse.  It's like everything came down to normal size. 
I'm excited about this.


  1. That is great! It is SO much more fun to ride a horse that wants to work. Glad it helped so much.

  2. Whoohoo! Are you going to be able to find those year round!! ;)

  3. This is great! How exciting - high spirits yes, tension no. I'm glad you found something that works.

  4. Wow, a real miracle cure! Cool beans!!

  5. Rita, yes, it is dried raspberry leaves and it is available in several forms at my local Vitamin Cottage. It is also in a horse supplement that cost 3x as much, I will stick to the human version.

  6. I've heard good things about raspberry leaves. I haven't had a mare in years so no personal experience but sounds like it is helping!

  7. That is really awesome! I used to feed Page raspberry leaf with good results but it didn't seem to have much effect on Dee, which is a shame because as far as supplements go it really is an inexpensive solution.

  8. Interesting--Nina sounds very much like Izzy's mom. If/when I get her back, I'll have to try that out.


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