Friday, June 27, 2008

blogging for advice and to vent. about horses.

The very sporatic summer showers of Florida are now a constant. The round pen is pretty much under water and the grass tends to be slippery footing for someone with no health insurance. I try to ride Dusty at least four to five days a week. About three weeks ago I didn't ride him for five days straight, a few due to the weather and a few to my busy-ness. He had five days of pretty much hanging out eating butt loads of green, green grass. But he was "in " during the day...

I got to the barn and noticed that the mare he lives with (pretty much his only friend) bit him on the neck AGAIN. She's a cute mare and for the most part pretty nice- to people. When she wants a treat. She will act real nice to Dusty and then she will very cheaply strike him usually resulting in a nice hunk taken out of his neck. This time she got him pretty good, ripping the hair out and leaving a cut about an inch long right under his chin. MY HORSE HAS FIVE BITES ON HIS NECK AND NOW THIS ONE. "I need a minute, please" I had to say when someone tried to talk to me.

You see, I know that she is kind of mean to him, and he's VERY submissive. He's never even tried to get her back. He scrambles away. But I don't know what to do. I figure that its better he's with her than if he's always alone in the barn, and in the pasture. But not anymore.

The BM owns the mare and went out the next day to get her a grazing muzzle. I didn't want to make a big deal out of it, but also I knew that I really couldn't let my horse get treated like this anymore. -then I also couldn't bare to think of him always being alone, like a little kid that wants to go play with the others. And NEEDS to do just that. There are some pasture board only horses out there and Elijah that big old perch in HIS pasture. A friend did me in by telling me "Thoroughbred horses tend to bond stronger with their horsie friends, especially other TB's." ugh. Is this the belief? Is this what "they" say?

He's developed this mild "snakey" thing to me on the ground. I noticed it exceptionally that day. He's acting just like her...pretending to nuzzle me and then snapping. He's obviously more nervous when I start to groom him. He was falling asleep before, now he's got ADD. It's a constant "no. backup. Dusty. NO." and a series of "BBBBBAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH" 's as he does less than minding his manners on the ground.

The snapping. OOOUUGGGHH the F'NSNAPPING. He got my hand pretty good the other day and a few misses since and the reaction is the same pretty much every time. If he GOT me or almost bit me he will get wide eyed and raise his head and take a few steps back. He KNOWS he shouldn't be doing it. It's like he's saying "OKOKOKOKOKOK!!!" What should I do? Should I pop the shit out of him? because I REALLY WANT TO, but sometimes it takes me SO by surprise that I miss those three seconds of their short term memory. And really, I don't WANT to hit him. He gets really nervous if I get excited.

Here's the deallie-o.
On the ground: He's starting to get pissy. REALLY pissy. Threatening to kick out (he hasn't actually KICKED, but he will instead kinda wave his back leg in the air for a second) on the ground, manuvering his butt towards me at times...he seems to calm down about 10 minutes after I am with him,and he's back to normal DustyMan.

Lunging before riding: He HATES the round pen. The footing has been wet in an area and he will stop, look over at me, STOMP both front feet on the ground and pin his ears. He wants to canter, but he hates the footing, not to mention he takes the wrong left lead and knocks his feet on the posts sometimes. I put him in there today and as soon as I asked him to trot he was pinning his ears. what to do...what to do...shit...what should I do? So I decided no lunging. I will just get on him.

Under the saddle we have entered a new phase: The phase is called "a stuck" horse. Refusal to trot. Refusal to accept leg. Kicking out. Mild bucking. And this is just the stretch warmup phase. I was alone in the arena riding him last Sunday, as soon as I asked him to trot he started getting really antsy and JERKISH, ears straight back. Then he started kicking out. Not bad, nothing I couldn't handle, but I remember wondering if it was going to stop before I squeezed his guts out of his butthole with my legs trying to get him to GO FORWARD. He did. I made him do two good walk trot transitions and backup once. I got off. Leggs rode him three days in a row and stretched him out real good. She said it's important that he doesn't get stuck in his head. I love watching her ride him, I greatly hope to ride so quiet and effective someday.


This is not my horse. "Who has stolen my horse and replaced him with one that looks just like him?!?!"

I have noticed a reaction in him when I curry or brush his left shoulder, wither area and after reading on the internet I wonder if he could've injured his withers in the conversation he had with the fence in October.

The day after he acted like a jerk I thought I would let him go over some poles, he seems to like that in the round pen. I also lunged him in the arena for something different.

I have ridden him every day this week. He is absolutely fine until I want a trot. He starts squirming around. I have to become evil in the saddle to get him to go forward. I think maybe I should start riding with my whip? For the most part this week my rides have been me getting him to do a few figure eights in a nice stretch with lots of praise and ending it. I'm not as trusting of him. When he's stretching down on a long rein I'm thinking of grabbing more "incase".

I am going to try and do some trail riding. The girl I bought him from goes all the time with her friends, and they are rip-roaring cowgirls. She has invited me and although I am timid of trail riding I think it would be fun for Dusty.
I really feel that he needs to do something that he finds to be fun and I'm sure after the first time I'll get over it.

Dusty turned 5 on April 2. He got his big boy teeth and from what I have been hearing, his big boy attitude too. I have been asking if he might be hurting but Leggs assured me after she rode him that he's being bad. He's a teenager, he's that five year old little kid that stomps his feet and says "NO!" when you ask him to do something.

I'm thinking of some natural horsemanship stuff with him, why not? Some trail riding, some taking him to the show grounds, and some jumping stuff. I want to find what it is that he really likes to do. I know that it is all important. I know how frustrated I get when I'm stuck under a bunch of fluorescent lights all the time. I can only compare it to that.

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