Subi and the big, tall, terrible, awesome, scary, wonderful… tarp.

I’ve alluded to having issues with Subi lately. Sometimes he’s fine leading to and from the barn. Sometimes he’s a rearing mess. I cannot for the LIFE OF ME figure out what sets him off. Maybe it’s being in a stall for the night and he just has more energy? Maybe is that there are big, tall, terrible giants in the sky scaring him to death and only he can see them? I don’t know. But honestly? I’m sick of it.

I’ve been swapping back and forth between leading him in a halter and chain and a rope halter. For a while he was overreacting to the halter/chain so the rope halter was better, but then post OMG CRAZY HORSE incident, I swapped back to the halter/chain combo as I had better control. I had been backing/halting, but I’ve limited that some as Subi has started to anticipate the backing once he misbehaves… So, he rears, halts, and then backs himself. Stupid thoroughbreds…

Anyway, I ordered some ground training books and I’ll start posting about those later. BUT Friday night I basically melted down. For no reason what-so-ever he was stupid. He hates the dark and soft ground and that combo is a perfect excuse to misbehave. So we spooked at Batt, we spooked at the giants in the sky, and we just were stupid and poorly behaved in our walk to the stall. This was AFTER we stood in the howling wind with no halter or lead rope changing blankets (WTF? I can’t do that with either of my other 2). I finally dumped him in his stall, started crying, and told him I’d sell him if I could find someone who wanted to buy him. Then fed peppermints to Jiminy and Batt… Not my finest moment.

But, I started fresh Saturday morning. The ground was frozen and he was a perfect gentleman to turnout. Prior to turnout (post reading 101 ground exercises), we working on dropping his head for a few minutes based on poll pressure (with halter assistance if needed), releasing at the first sign of compliance. He picked it us really quickly. Then turnout.

Later that day, I dumped him in the round pen and did some basic lunging. Just walk-halts for about 15-20 minutes. I reintroduced change of direction too and we worked on that for about 10 minutes. We did some turns on the forehand (both ways) which were hand with his arthritis, but I accepted effort, not perfection, and he was trying. One side was easier than the other. After a while, I realized I needed something else since there were no fireworks and decided to grab the tarp in my car.

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My plan with the tarp was to introduce it over the course of several sessions/weeks. Except, I walked it over, folded, and Subi looked at me and went back to grazing. So I dropped it by his head and he gave no shits. So I made it make noise and no response. Thanks horse. SERIOUSLY????

Next, thinking I might as well risk my life, I tossed the thing on his back and he continued to give no shits.img_9509

Then his neck. From his neck it fell over his head which was not a problem until it blocked the grass, which just required him to push it out of the way.

WHO IS THIS HORSE?????

So, I decided to make him stand on it. This took about 30 seconds mostly because he didn’t see the point.

Then we walked and lunged over it. Caveat. He was only willing to lunge to the right over it and had to be led to the left over it, but since he had no issue walking over it, I’m assuming he was tired/sore by that point.

We have 3000 problems, but tarps aren’t one of them.

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I planned to work him more yesterday, but I was tired and well, day off. Today we have snow and my university seems to want to avoid closing despite the city closing offices…

WW: a nice change from rain?

Nothing real to update… Subi is working on ground manners. He’s been nicely behaved since Sunday as we halt and back every day walking to and from his stall to the field. It’s cold, it snowed a little, but it’s nothing here compared to the midwest. Everyone is fine. Batt and Jiminy don’t understand why I turned them out this morning. Tonight and tomorrow will be super cold. Eventually I’ll get results from my chest x-ray (too little, too late as I’m finally feeling a lot better).

 

Only interesting thing…

Home vs work. A grand total of 22 minutes apart. Granted, it was only ~3″ but still… NOTHING at work.

Snowless patch on left is under a large tree where there is almost NEVER snow…

Defeated.

I haven’t written in a while. It’s just been a long winter with good and with bad and with vets. Since we all love a good vet bill or 2…

In a minor update of the vet bill related stuff, sometime around Christmas, Subi stopped eating on me. Well, minor correction, he stopped eating grain. This isn’t all that abnormal, especially since he hasn’t loved the grain he’s been on. To make a long story short, last winter, I switched him from Purina Senior Active to Progressive Senior Sweet after the Purina formula changed and Mr. Picky stopped eating it. He loved the Progressive and ate regular meals, licking his bucket clean. Then, 5 bags in, my feed store stopped carrying it. Said feed store also served as the area distributor so all other area feed stores that also carried it, stopped. They also couldn’t special order it. So, I contacted Progressive and found a dealer about 90 miles away and bought from him, 8 bags at a time. But paying cash and driving really far took it’s toll and I stopped around November. So, instead, we tried various feeds. He doesn’t like Triple Crown Senior (too much beet pulp), didn’t like Pennfield. He sort of ate the Safe Choice Senior so we stuck with that. Then he didn’t. He didn’t like Buckeye either. Then he just stopped eating grain.

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Thanks to the lovely workers at my other feed store, I tried the Purina Omalene 500 which he actually eats, semi enthusiastically. Thankfully we only went through 5 different 50 lbs varieties that he wouldn’t eat before settling on the 500. I don’t like sweet feed, but honestly, the best feed in the world means nothing if my horse won’t eat it.

But, during all this drama, I decided to schedule a vet appointment and get Subi’s teeth done and blood pulled, just in case. After a couple reschedules later, the vet finally came out and floated his teeth, which weren’t actually bad at all. He had some swelling around his lower incisors, but that was pretty much it. Vet liked his condition, approved his feed even though she doesn’t like Purina, and we held off blood. She did warn me that they picky thoroughbreds out there tend to get pickier as they get older. Great, just what I need…

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Then, later that month, my Marble dog was diagnosed with happy tail. Several vet visits, wrappings, $$$, 2 cones, and a blizzard later, her tail went necrotic and we had to amputate part of her tail. She’s a chocolate pointer now that her lab tail is missing. She doesn’t care and she’s happy and healthy. Though she was never actually unhappy. And unlike Subi, she never missed a meal.

Then there is my idiot Batthorse with whom I am currently not speaking. He had a great winter and a fun blizzard ride, and emerged from winter fat and happy. Then spring came early and I found myself dreaming of field trips and trail rides.

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This past week, after spending some time driving the trailer and all that, I started Remedial Trailer Loading 101 with Idiot horse. After some initial work, I got confident Batt would pass with flying colors. He was loading without issues. So I made plans to haul out on Saturday for a fun day at Marsh Creek after I finished teaching. Which is way he decided to scare himself to death on Saturday morning (after a minor scare Friday that he seemed fine after) and refuse to load. At all. Ever. I finally gave up Saturday and tried again yesterday and he was even worse. Shut down right from the start. When he shuts down, you can’t get anywhere with him. At this point, I’ll give idiot horse a couple weeks off and see what I’ve got but I think I need professional assistance.

Which is why, after Saturday morning, I decided to immediate reach out to a local trainer know to be great teaching loading. Trainer is happy to work with us and asked that I drop  him off. Which would be fine. Except I can’t get the damn horse on the trailer! If I could get him on, I wouldn’t be in need of assistance. A few others said the same thing. So now I’m left with a trailer, a horse who won’t load, and several miles between me and the trainers who can assist. At this point, I really just need to send him to someone, but I can’t load him and I’m pretty sure that won’t change. So what do I do?

I am so completely defeated. I don’t know that I’ve ever felt this way. Ever. I’ve had frustrations, things haven’t worked, I’ve had fears, but not defeated like this. I am so completely frustrated I can’t  even explain it. We’re also hitting idiot horse’s annual colic season… AHH. So frustrated.

And because I can’t not post a picture of Jiminy…