Thursday, February 20, 2014

Self-Destruction

Let us start this lovely, uplifting post with yesterday.  Because yesterday wasn't so bad.  I got to the barn and was informed there was an avalanche lot of snow coming off the roof of the indoor.  No one else was riding (because it was that bad) but luckily Molls has nerves of steel and I don't mind.  Tacked her up, got in the ring, and sure enough it was terrifying.  Now we've been dealing with snow coming off the roof for some time now.  It's a minimal deal.  But it was so warm yesterday (41*!!!) that the layer of ice that had formed on the roof was melting.  I could literally hear it breaking off (lots of cracking) and then rolling off the roof (crashing right above our heads and taking the whole roof down with it).  Then, since the indoor has super awesome windows all along the long sides we got to watch it come crashing to the ground.  Have I mentioned my horse is a saint? She seriously only spooked one time and while it wasn't our best ride (she was definitely tense) she got tons and tons of pats and cookies for not killing me.

I even got video!! It's not the greatest but it's some baby half pass to the left and then right and then a square halt.  I was even impressed watching it.  It could have been a little prompter and I would have loved for her not to walk off like a straight up llama but oh well.  Square halts.

video


Then there was today.  Got to the barn and it was SUPER warm (49 degrees people. Forty.  Nine.  Degrees).  This brings us some great news.  Mollie is shedding.

Hairy shoulder

Evidence the days MUST be getting longer.
 
I decided to put Mollie back in the double because she's been getting heavy and rush-y lately and I'm sick of it.  Put the ghetto-double back together but something was definitely off... I want to say the curb was too low in her mouth but wasn't entirely sure.  Either way she was being super fussy and pissy, so I took the curb off and figured I'd just deal with her in the snaffle.

I probably should have just gotten off then.

I got back on her and practically cried.  She was SO.  HEAVY.  It was like riding a lead block around the ring.  You know how your horses have bad habits that sometimes you just let go, because in the grand scheme of things they're not that bad?  Well today I decided I was going to fix ALL of Mollie's problems.  I was just so fed up with her being heavy, not truly accepting contact, rushing off, etc., etc.  The problem is when I decided to "fix" these things I typically go about it in the worst way possible.  I was so frustrated because for the life of me I just could not get her to go around nicely.

I tried going faster.  Fail.
I went slower.  Fail.
I put no pressure on the reins.  Fail.
I put pressure on the reins.  Fail.
I went left.  Fail.
I went right.  Fail.

Sensing a pattern?

I finally found a halfway decent spot to stop and just got off, frustrated in myself mostly.  Most of the time I think we get on without a trainer or program just fine but days like today I really hate not having a trainer.  I've been feeling rather incompetent riding wise lately and today definitely didn't help.  I just know that I can and have ridden better and am annoyed that I can't seem to get back to that place.

I did feel badly for taking my frustrations out on my horse though so she got an awesome curry afterwards and I sore-no-more-ed her whole body.  On the way home I went over the multiple reasons why our riding could be suck-ish lately and this is what I came up with:

1. We haven't had a lesson in over a month, and the one before that was in November.
2. I haven't ridden consistently up until this week since I'm off from work.
3. Molls is coming up on her 17th birthday... she's always been a healthy (knock on wood), sound horse but when the vet was out for fall shots she did a lameness work up, which she does once a year.  She mentioned that Mollie's hocks were not in great shape yet considering she's almost 17 and has had arthritis for several years they're not awful.  She did mention the 'I' word however and I've been dwelling on it ever since.

I really don't want to inject her but when I look at rides like today I wonder if there's a physical reason she isn't as easy under saddle as she used to be.  Not that I ever would describe her as easy but something has definitely changed.  My current plan is to finally purchase some Back on Track hock boots, start using those, and see where we are when the vet comes out next month for Spring shots.


Finally, for anyone who made it to the end, this is a reminder to enter my contest!! I'll be choosing a winner tomorrow :)


4 comments:

  1. Uck -- I hate days like that. You just feel like you should give up and have pet rocks instead of horses.

    In regards to her hocks...is she on any joint supplements currently?

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    1. I actually contemplated hanging up our double and making her a trail horse. Not that there's anything wrong with being a trail horse, just far fewer expectations.

      And yes, I should have included that she's been on Cosequin ASU for years now.

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    2. I kind of figured she was on one, and Cosequin ASU is definitely one of the better ones out there. Keep us posted on what the vet says (and how the BoT hock boots work!).

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  2. Crummy rides are no fun, but yay for shedding!

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