What kind of day has it been?

It seems like all I do lately is try to get back into work. Between time off for ulcers followed by coming back and being lovely before time off due to random puffiness near Nay’s fetlock followed by crazy heat, we’ve had more off time than on.

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doesn’t everyone adjust tack while working?

And things have been a little rocky lately. Honestly? I feel like I’ve made a few too many changes in terms of bits and I’m tempted to go back to my copper mouth loose ring, but I don’t think the bit is the issue (though HATE is a word I’d use to describe the full cheeks we’ve tried). Something is going on…I’m not sure what. For now, bit wise, we’re just sticking with a double jointed d ring. No one is offended so that’s progress?

I rode Friday and Saturday and while I considered Sunday, thought 3 days might be a little hard given that I was sore and tired. Today (Monday) would be perfect but I’m iffy as to if the barn is actually open on Mondays…

Friday was… interesting. We longed first in the indoor in 100% humidity. The left was OK but immediately Nay said nope, I can’t do this to the right. It’s hard, I don’t know how, I just CANNOT be asked and did the stupid longe evasion tricks (thankfully not Subi’s turn and bolt of yester-year—story for another post—but turn and stop and face me crap). Unlike last time, I got angry. Maybe he’s sore, maybe longing hurts, but I’m literally asking him to move forward at any gate so he CAN walk he just nope out of it. I became mean mom and suddenly? We longe again… I think all the time off in leading to some boundary testing (but also some other stuff). We halted and moved off at all gates 4 or 5 times without issue before I ended that session and hopped on.

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So lucky he’s cute…

I got on and? Power keg. Despite the energy on the line (no bucking, just energy), trotting was like this forward moving thing? He was forward vs up/down at the trot and my arms hurt from reminding him pace every x number of strides. After a million circles, eventually we trotted without as much enthusiasm… despite thunder in the background.

Yet to the right? he’s just not there. So weak. So, I don’t know if there is something bigger going on or if the time off just exacerbated his weakness to the right? We worked and tried staying straight but it’s so damn hard!!

Then the canter. The left was… electric until he realized that being stupid meant circles which are hard and tiring. Then the right? Didn’t exist. I let him canter wrong at first then eventually did get the correct lead and as able to hold it once around with a circle. It’s weak and slow but it feels physically ok.

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There’s a reason Nay Nay’s top stall door stays closed 90% of the time

Saturday? We restarted on the line where in the first minute Nay thought about trying ‘nope I can’t’ but a quick reminder to the left shut him up for good. Then we were fine.

We finished up our ride outside where he decided to react to everyone who came near us. So we trotted and trotted and trotted. It wasn’t the forward trot of yesterday but rather a more up and down one that required leg and focus. Eventually the popping when horses came near (all 3 of them…) ended and we trotted more for good measure.

I found the outdoor exacerbates his right side weakness as there is no fence so I push out with inside leg and don’t have and outside rail/wall to help. Plus the deeper footing… either way, we made it through the trot.

The left lead canter was lovely, some of our best in a long time. Right lead? Gone. Couldn’t find it. I gave up before we both got frustrated. He picks it up on the line without issue I’m struggling so much riding. I’ve come up with the following possibilities:

  • hocks
  • stifles
  • saddle fit (he’s changed a lot physcially since I bought this saddle–I did notice on Saturday that the THIN memoray foam half pad I was using does seem to be causing some tightness so I’ll pull that for our next ride. The pad was necessary, now it’s not)
  • weakess
  • poor riding
  • combination of several issues
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Nay Nay this weekend

So that’s where we’re at. I’m not sure if more is going on than just weakness or something listed above… I’m seeing my trainer Thursday and we’ll talk more then.

Nay Nay this winter… NOT the same body shape… Wouldn’t surprise me it saddle fit is starting to come into play. There’s a reason I didn’t spend much, but bought an OLD well made saddle… Granted issues are one sided. 

10 thoughts on “What kind of day has it been?

  1. oh man, the hardest thing with such green horses is how much everything changes so quickly… good luck isolating all the things and working through them!

    • Exactly. My brain tells me there might be something physical, but the question is, is it physical pain or physical weak? LOL. Clearly he’s NOT dying so we can rule that out. And he’s not acting like he was when he was in pain re: ulcers/stomach/allergies. So, the rest remains to be seen. But, physically he’s changed so much.

      Obviously the saddle fit is something I’ve expected to have to deal with. It’s just not fun if it’s time.

  2. He looks like a different horse. Don’t you wish he could just talk and tell you what is wrong is plain english? I hope it is a saddle fit plus weakness issue that a different saddle and some strengthening exercises can fix.

  3. So many things change with these guys in such a short amount of time, you can make yourself crazy trying to guess. Hopefully your trainer can help you narrow down the list and set you on a good path!

    • So I think a huge part is weakness. Maybe there is more, but weakness is a lot of it. We worked at home (so rare!) in the round pen and spent a lot of time at the walk to the right and honestly? It was HARD. When it got hard, all he wanted to do was trot because trotting easier than walking. And cantering (er pretending to gallop) on the correct lead when the going got really tough. There is a lot going on here, but strengthening his hind end at the walk (which, it turns out he doesn’t actually know how to do) I think will help. Right now I wish I sand in my round pen…

  4. Pingback: On the line | Three Chestnuts

  5. Do you have a body worker you could call? I’ve found that on some horses (not all) it helps tremendously with one sidedness like that. Either way, good for you for not letting him make the decisions!

    • Thanks! I’m starting to think it might be a lot of things. While I hate the idea of saddle fit, I went in to this saddle purchase knowing that this was a temporary saddle. And he’s changed a lot. I never really considered saddle impacting one gait over another, but there was definitely some pressure points when I pulled it off on Saturday. More tightness due to some extra muscle/tightness/weight gain. That plus weakness could cause problems.

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