Sunday, October 3, 2010

Good, then Bad, then Good!

Greta gave me a scare this week! She got into a little fight with another mare Tuesday. Sadly, the other mare got the worst of it, but she is doing much better now, no lameness, just some ugly cuts. Greta probably got kicked firmly enough on her LH hock to be ever so slightly off, so her back legs were sponged with liniment, then hosed with warm water for ten minutes, then sponged with liniment again (liniment is magical!) given a gram of bute, and left in for a night. She was much better Wednesday, and was let out to be a normal pasture horse again. My parents were kind enough to do all this Wednesday because I had two helluva essays due Thursday!!

Thursday, I cheated on Greta and was with other horses in our school's homecoming parade! I led little minis and cooled out the two horses that were ridden once the parade was over. It was really fun!

And Friday I put Greta on the longeline to check her out. She was sound *whew!* but a little stiff, but considering she really hadn't been worked for a week it was understandable, so getting her to engage her haunches in the trot took a while, but she worked it out, bless her. I opted that I much rather get Greta back in gear than go see a football game... which we lost haha!

Today I met my (possibly) new instructor and I have to say that so far I REALLY like her! She was very interested in Greta, and seemed ready and willing to not only help us progress in our riding, but also things like trailer loading and "densensitizing" her to the scary parts of the property like the outdoor arena and walking by the utility shed! She believes, and I was very glad to hear this, that bonding exercises such as the last two would carry over into our riding and make us a much better team. Very exciting!

I rode Greta today for a half an hour and it went well. She really did not want to bend around my inside leg AT ALL. She was this way last time I rode her last Saturday as well. It really takes a LOT of convincing, and it is frustrating. But really, I think today's ride was one of the best we've had in a while. We were both relaxed and she was much more willing to engage her haunches and reach for the bit, even if she was counterflexed! The few times, after a great deal of convincing, that she did bend correctly then she was promptly rewarded with a brief walk break and a pat! I stretched out her legs and neck before I rode her, and I do think that helped to keep her less stiff. I also kept my hands out of my lap haha, and met her "halfway" right over her withers, and she reached for the bit much more nicely.

She's always so good and eager to work, and thank goodness she's forward! I feel so happy to have such a healthy, happy, opinionated horse! I love all her personality.

Also, I found out from the vet today about Greta's mysterious sweat spot on her shoulders. It drives me crazy and it looks very wierd, but thankfully it's harmless and it's just going to have to be something she'll grow out of... in a few years! At some point in her life one of the minor surface nerves was hit with a needle or a kick or something, but it (and I quote the vet) "screwed up" the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves that the affected nerve connects with, so it makes a long mark down the front of her shoulder and down to her chest and then down to the inside of the same upper foreleg. So now, if she stands still, then she gets dark and slick with sweat in that one spot on her shoulders. When she's working, then it doesn't sweat. It just looks wierd!!! But so long as it's harmless, hen I'm happy.

But it still drives me crazy.

Because it looks very wierd.


  1. Greta sounds like a really nice horse, I love a horse that goes forward. Glad she's okay after her little altercation with the other mare.Your almost "new" trainer sounds like she has some good philosophies. Hope you two click.

  2. Glad to hear that the pasture playtime didn't result in anything major for either participant. Cash was so bad about getting majorly damaged in the pasture that he was on semi-private turnout!

    On the counter-flexion issue, sometimes when my boy won't flex nicely it's because he's not listening to my inside leg. Occasionally I'll walk, take my inside foot out of the stirrup, then work for a few minutes on really MAKING SURE he's paying attention. I've booted him a few times, but the key point is when I ask, he MUST move away from my leg. Usually a bit of a reminder is all it takes, and then we're back in business again!

  3. Greta & Emma are like two peas in a pod--or should I say two Queens on the lookout for trouble! xD


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