When she is good, she is very very good…

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Not much to report during the human holiday season for team green. The equine team members had a nice Thanksgiving I assume in the field eating the still green grasses while the humans ate turkey and played in the traditional Stuffing Bowl XI just outside of Pittsburgh.

On a nice day over the weekend we had a non-agenda barn day and Nette came over to play. We groomed them up and got them squeaky clean. I worked a little more on Khaleesi’s bare feet to file out any jagged edges.

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We played a little at some leading, standing, backing, and stepping over- both away and toward me. We did come to the mounting stool and I hopped on bareback to just get them both used to standing quietly.

We even drank some wine… why not?

I pulled up my first year results and though it’s not much I have accumulated 115 official Limited Distance miles this year!

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Khaleesi’s leg seems to be staying the same at barely perceptible of a difference from the other. She’s now had just over 2 weeks off.

A neighbor brought a chiropractic vet to our area and asked if any of us would share the call. I thought it was a good opportunity to see how she’d done her first season and also get an expert opinion on her leg.

I was pleased that the vet found her to be a well built mare that “isn’t afraid of anything” and seemed a bit “opinionated” but also “very cute.” She had her pegged pretty quickly and thought her mix in genetics might well make a nice endurance horse.

Her body was in great shape after our first season and she found no back soreness or any out of place areas to adjust. She said her topline was particularly well developed and said that was most likely due to the dressage type riding help I told her we’d gotten to improve my riding over the summer.

I was particularly pleased that after Khaleesi had fidgeted through being worked on and the vet was answering my questions I asked her to step back a couple feet from me on a loose lead and she stood there for the entire time quietly while we talked. (very very good….)

She told me the fluid in the rear leg was a wind puff or wind gall and was not an issue to concern myself with too seriously. Something had stretched the tendon sheath a bit and that left room to have extra fluid- it is likely to stay that way and possibly come and go. She said there was no damage in the joint itself and if the swelling grew to back off a little, possibly wrap it to get it back down, and that icing after our events couldn’t hurt (I asked if we should be doing more after a ride with liniment or wrapping).

You see these things in horses in work. It’s not uncommon. It should not pose a problem for you going forward.

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Meanwhile it seems like my good horsey is going through a teenager phase.

When she is bad she is awful!

She has been nipping her teeth in the air (in my general direction) on occasion when she doesn’t like something (usually grooming related) or lifting her leg as IF she might consider a kick if I want to work on a hoof she doesn’t like. When I took her out to release her (after a long day inside) today she reared up on her line and danced around when I tried to take her halter off.

Of course I don’t take her halter off while she’s being naughty. I make her stand quietly every single time before I’ll release her.

She hasn’t crossed a line into biting me or kicking at me, or running me over- but she is communicating things that suggest she might want to take over the power position in our relationship. Or at least that’s how I see it.

I sense she is a mare I need to be constantly vigilant of. She is strong willed and confident.

It is probably what I like most about her.

I do not believe I’ve allowed her to think I might become a pushover. I don’t think it’s cute for her to invade my space and I don’t allow her to gain an inch. I work her feet and correct every time she seems to get pushy or bossy with me.

After we have a conversation of me asking her to do some simple things and regaining connection she seems to relax into better behavior. As if her brain kicks back in and she remembers herself.

When she is good she is very very good but….

I have been reminding myself she is only a 5 yr old, and in her first year being ridden and handled barely longer than that. She isn’t a baby but she isn’t a solid 8 yr old either. She is still apt to to push limits, challenge me from time to time, and we are likely to find some gaps in her training and experience (especially since I’m responsible for all that- and I’m as green as she is in many ways).

Considering she’s doing so well overall sometimes it’s easy for me to forget she’s still 5- but she always reminds me if I forget too long!

So we have a clean bill of health… but still no saddle! If it doesn’t come soon I’m going to have to hit the trails bareback because I can’t not ride her for much longer.

And I think the girl has had enough vacation- she needs to put some of that excess energy into something productive!

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