Expecting an exciting delivery...

Ample Prosecco

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So we have a plan! 3 days turn out. 1 week long reining over poles and up hills. 1 week hacking in straight lines in walk. 2 in walk/trot. 2 in w/t/c. Review. And then hopefully good to go. Everything I did was ineffective (all that hot tubing 🙄) or actively unhelpful - box rest. Sigh. But we do our best with what we know at the time.

Anyhow I’m sprouting grey hairs: turn out was to get her pelvis mobile. But vet said if she was too exuberant put her in a smaller paddock. Hmmmm - best laid plans …. I popped her in a small paddock with horses nearby and loads of grass. Handgrazed her there then gently unclipped hoping she’d barely notice and just carry on grazing. Maybe have a roll. But she is far too clever and she basically exploded! Problem was that she was in a small space so every 3 strides she skidded to a halt, spun and galloped another 3 strides! Soon the entire yard was in uproar with every horse on the place galloping around, snorting, bucking and farting. Especially Lottie. Oh ffs! So anyway - bless her, she let me catch her and as soon as I had her she was polite and obedient again. Then I turned her out with Amber in the big field thinking nothing can be worse than what she was doing. She galloped the length of the field bucking almost every stride, pretty much doing a vertical handstand with every buck. Well she certainly mobilised her pelvis 🙈

A few thoughts:
1) I am so impressed at how polite and obedient she was being led into the field given how much she clearly wanted to run and play
2) She moves very very well!
3) She looks like she’s feeling very very well!
4) horses are idiots
 

Upthecreek

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Sounds good… but absolutely horrific watching them tear arse around when you first turn them out 🙈 I never do it in a small paddock as the galloping and skidding to a halt in a confined space is more than my nerves can take. Whilst you obviously don’t want them galloping laps of a large field, I prefer to risk a quick flat out gallop to get it out of their system rather than the galloping/stopping abruptly/turning sharply/looking like they are going to jump the fence in a small paddock. Hope it all goes well and you can crack on with her. She sounds lovely.
 

Ample Prosecco

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Long reining has started. Exercise 1, figure of 8 over 3 poles. So not exactly an easy re-introduction to long reining which I have not done in years. But she was angelic. Spend a while just getting her used to the lines flapping everywhere and draping them over her just in case it went horribly pear shaped but she was totally chilled about it all.

Back on board next week!
 

Ample Prosecco

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And we are back on board!!! Hurrah!

Honestly she was absolutely good as gold. She is so chilled.

Physio came to see her today. She is not evidently lame - if you did not know how she normally moves (ie straight, swinging and overtracking) , you might think she was sound. But she isn't tracking up and she is swinging over the midline with her back legs instead of flexing - so still guarding that SI joint. But all going in the right direction. And tolerated much more massage of that area than before when she was on the ceiling when it was touched.

Physio again in 2 weeks then vet check 2 weeks after that when hopefully we get the all clear.....
 

Ample Prosecco

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Just random musings but I was thinking how important intent is when it comes to horses. Lottie does not tolerate any kind of rough treatment even quite mild. She gets startled or she gets indignant. Until the other day I was tugging a haynet loose and the knot suddenly came free and my hand shot sideways and punched her on the muzzle 😱😥 . A bit like how I fairly frequently punch myself in the face when I’m doing up a girth!

She just gave a snort and a head shake then looked at he as if to say ‘that was silly’. No fear, no defensive. I love their intelligence x
 

BBP

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Just random musings but I was thinking how important intent is when it comes to horses. Lottie does not tolerate any kind of rough treatment even quite mild. She gets startled or she gets indignant. Until the other day I was tugging a haynet loose and the knot suddenly came free and my hand shot sideways and punched her on the muzzle 😱😥 . A bit like how I fairly frequently punch myself in the face when I’m doing up a girth!

She just gave a snort and a head shake then looked at he as if to say ‘that was silly’. No fear, no defensive. I love their intelligence x
I often think that when it comes to smacking and killing horse flies on them. If I was to smack him randomly at any other time being cross he would take it really personally (rightfully so!) but I can belt a horse fly on him and he’s not phased.

I used to groom for a huge TB event horse with a real sense of right and wrong. He was a troubled horse and a vicious biter (broke previous grooms arm and dragged her round by it) but knew in this home that biting was not the right thing to do but you had to be extremely respectful with any discipline. So he would go to bite and generally you ignore him and work round it, but if you slapped him once he would accept it with grace and quit biting and stand quietly. If you got mad and smacked him a second time out of pure being mad (or afraid) at him, he would come back at you like a tiger. I thought he was a great lesson in intent when handling a horse.
 

Red-1

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I use this intent thing when training horses not to be spooky. I just did this with my baby one, we got some foam trotting poles out the other day. He was scared of them, I mean, they are bright white, foam filled and blowing in the wind. Very strange. He was scared, I never so much as looked at him, although I could feel him dancing around at the end of the reins. I simply pushed him out of the way, not his business.

After a few seconds, he got it. Not his business. Get out of mummy's way. She is doing something.

No 'introducing' him, it simply isn't his concern. A good job, as the next day we were trotting and cantering over them, the wind had them and they were blowing away, flipping and flapping up the school! Not his business. Work continued.

I really think that this is about the intent too.
 

Ample Prosecco

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Yes! Great examples. In one of Mark Rashid’s books he talks about being out riding with his dog and seeing a coyote tracking her. He grabbed his gun and shot the coyote from the back of the horse. He had never desensitised the horse to guns or loud bangs but the horse simply understood that the noise was nothing to do with him and not something he needed to pay any attention to. I think that’s about intent too.

But maybe you need a horse that is used to communication/connection via intent? As plenty of horses react to air vest cartridges going off which are nothing to do with them either. And when I ride the RS horses they are often dull to my intent/energy even if they are responsive to my aids.
 

Red-1

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Yes! Great examples. In one of Mark Rashid’s books he talks about being out riding with his dog and seeing a coyote tracking her. He grabbed his gun and shot the coyote from the back of the horse. He had never desensitised the horse to guns or loud bangs but the horse simply understood that the noise was nothing to do with him and not something he needed to pay any attention to. I think that’s about intent too.

But maybe you need a horse that is used to communication/connection via intent? As plenty of horses react to air vest cartridges going off which are nothing to do with them either. And when I ride the RS horses they are often dull to my intent/energy even if they are responsive to my aids.
I think you are correct. For a while, I went annually over to America to ride with Mark. We did a lot of work. I was lucky enough to ride a couple of his horses, they really are dialled in to the inner story. I brought it home to my own horses, and my teaching.

I also think it is an explanation as to why I was so shattered in my riding while I have been going through a difficult time personally. My inner energy has been scrambled. My normal way of riding, reading the energy, using thought, was scrambled. I quit teaching, could no longer see the inner story of horse/rider interaction. Or, often I could see it, but didn't trust myself. I sold my mare, felt I couldn't keep myself safe as I could no longer read the situation. Hence Rigsby, he simply didn't care about any inner story. He is pretty safe, read him or not.

It took 9 months after mum died to re-gain some semblance of inner balance and quietness, and buy a new horse that is sensitive to the inner story.
 

NinjaPony

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I think intent is really important. Huge difference between a smack to tell them off for a specific reason and a smack because you have lost your temper, and they can always tell. It’s all about body language and tone of voice and they definitely know when it was an accident! If you tell my pony off because he’s been naughty, eg going to bite my sleeve, he will accept it. If I accidentally clunk him with something like a haynet he will give me a filthy look and carry on. If you lose your temper (which is what happened to him before he came to me), he will fly to the back of the stable and then come back at you.

Lottie sounds like a real sweetheart and very intelligent.
 

Ample Prosecco

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Quick update, After our colic scare on Monday she has been right as rain. Phew. And I am back on board. Hurrah. So far I have only hacked around the farm which was also my plan today, seeing as we were in a gale. But despite the wind she was really calm and listening so I decided to take her out into the big wide world for the first time from the saddle. (I have long reined her on the roads).

She was very relaxed, striding out but very responsive to cues to slow/stop. A car came past and she was fine, then 1 came up from behind which she was less happy about. I turned her to face it so she could see but then I was facing home and she started to jog. Got past the car ok and decided to walk just a few metres further away from home (not to reward jogging) and to keep her facing away from home even if cars came. Unfortunately the very next vehicle was a large wagon and she was again tense and trying to turn to see it. So I turned to face it again and we had the same jogging issue. I allowed the wagon to pass then decided we needed to address this immediately. So she was turned away from home and as soon as she walked calmly (which she did straight away) she was turned back towards home. (Unfortunately our yard is at the end of a mile long dead end lane. So no circular routes are possible.) At first she jogged the moment her feet faced home but after a while the penny dropped and she would walk a few paces before jogging again. By the end she was walking 20 + paces without jogging before the temptation got too much! So little and often doing that makes sense to me. We had a deal that she could march on as long as she stayed in walk. But I did not have her mind or her feet when she was heading home - she did not slow to weight cues etc. For today I accepted that as a good try - staying in walk was obviously hard for her so I took that. But in future I want her more with me even on the way home. Not something I ever achieved with Amber incidentally. But I live in hope!! So a work in progress for sure. But the positives are that she never felt unsafe, she never did anything except tense and try and turn when something was coming up behind and jog when heading home. I think she will be nice to hack. I might get a friend to drive past us in a small car a few times. She needs to get comfortable with vehicles passing her from behind.

Trot walk can start tomorrow.
 

Ample Prosecco

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And she is ....... SOUND!

Vet very happy with her progress. She has a tonne of work to do. She trails her legs behind as she does not have the range of motion in the pelvis she needs but that can be corrected with work. She is weak, unbalanced, 'upside down', so she needs canter work, poles, core work, gymnastic exercises etc. But I can crack on now with a winter of hacking, schooling etc. 2 weeks of canter work then I can start to jump. And no need to go back for another review unless anything worries me.

I cannot tell you how relieved I am. Fizz tonight!!
 

Zuzan

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And she is ....... SOUND!

Vet very happy with her progress. She has a tonne of work to do. She trails her legs behind as she does not have the range of motion in the pelvis she needs but that can be corrected with work. She is weak, unbalanced, 'upside down', so she needs canter work, poles, core work, gymnastic exercises etc. But I can crack on now with a winter of hacking, schooling etc. 2 weeks of canter work then I can start to jump. And no need to go back for another review unless anything worries me.

I cannot tell you how relieved I am. Fizz tonight!!
It really sounds as if she was produced too fast without getting all those things in place first.. good for you for sticking with her .. She sounds as if she's going to pay you back with huge dividends for the time and effort you're putting in.
 

Ample Prosecco

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It really sounds as if she was produced too fast without getting all those things in place first.

Oh definitely! Vet reckons she has never worked correctly in her life. She was good at showjumping when I first got her but green as grass in every other way and zero topline! I think being forced to rehab her from the ground up will actually help long term as she HAS to work correctly to protect the injury. and I have had to go back to basics with her and get the foundations in place.
 
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