So I had a rough week before I went on vacation and last week was a bit of a struggle getting back into my routine (despite feeling much better in general). Mostly, trying to deal with Bella’s spunky butt has me a little frustrated and unsure of what’s going on with her.
She was doing great before I basically gave her two weeks off and now it’s like her calming supplement has just quit working completely. She’s not quite a totally train-wreck but she’s certainly close. It’s crazy to think that a month ago this mare was giving a lesson to someone and being a total push ride and really making her ride work for it, and then last Tuesday she pulled a muscle in my shoulder out. I’m just really grateful I had a chrio appointment the next day and could get fixed up pretty quick. Riding last week was a bit of a waste, and even this weekend she was only minimally better.
Here’s a timeline:
- Rode on Sunday, she was okay but we did struggle a little with our canter work, she was just really up and would come unglued but I was able to put her back together and we would just go back into what we were doing. No dramatics, no issue. Crap happens.
- She had Monday off so I could get caught up on stuff at home.
- Rode Tuesday, she was HORRIBLE. We played tug of war basically the entire time I was in the saddle because even with me sitting back and asking her to do so herself, mare was just on her forehand trying to grab the bit and bolt. It was not pretty, I held my ground and she pulled a muscle in my shoulder out. Great.
- Wednesday I saw my Chiro and was told specifically not to ride her that day. She advised I take the day off to let my muscle rest.
- Thursday I went out hopeful that Bella would have worked out of her funk. We had a vet appointment that day too. I woke her up from a nap (that was kinda sad) and pulled her out. I had a bit of time before the vet got there so I took the time to lunge her (she was a nut case) and then bathe her. Vet stuck her with a couple needles, said she looked fine, suggested we do teeth in the fall, and then left. Overall regular vet appointment for the mare. Vet left and I went to go hop on and hack her around to the back of the property (where she’s pastured right now anyways). Bella LOST it.
Thursday is the first time in a good while that I’ve actually felt unsafe on her. Like, I’ll be super honest. She usually throws bad behavior at me and I roll my eyes and keep going. I spent 10 to 15 minutes getting on and off of her until she let me get on quietly. Even then she was throwing a tantrum about standing still. I ended up trading her halter for her bridle (normally I like to hack in her halter because she’s really good about it and it’s nicer). We then spent the next 30 minutes or so walking and halting around the big pasture. I wish I was joking.
- Friday I went back out and rode Skipper first, he was a bit of a punk (but to be fair it was hot and I was asking him to do canter work and he’s really weak to the right so he’s not a fan of that lead). Even with Bella’s antics over the week I just kinda threw caution to the wind and decided to set up jumps. I decided if she was really bad I wouldn’t point her at anything but if she was even remotely good I would jump her just to have some fun. Let me tell you what, she jumped me out of the tack. Over a cross rail that couldn’t have been much more than a foot. She did it quietly too. She jumped me out of the tack over the 3ft single too. I honestly am at a loss with her.
I did notice on Friday that we had some hind lead issues and while she was jumping great I shot a text off to my Chiro for her and asked to push Bella’s next appointment date up. She was due to be seen on April 10th but on the off chance she did something dumb while I was gone I’m going to have her checked out. Until then I’m going to avoid lunging her and probably just hack her out once or twice a week so I’m getting on still but not asking her to really work. I might ask her to trot some because I’m putting her back on her old feed and it’s got a little bit more sugar, but honestly I’m not trying to push her too hard if something isn’t where it’s supposed to be.
I think that the biggest thing I have to take away from this week is that I know my horse. I knew something wasn’t right when I started at the beginning of the week and it being a chrio issue had crossed my mind. I still forced myself to give her a chance to straighten up before I made the decision though. I was hoping I could chock it up to the warmer weather and spring being right around the corner but Bella doesn’t cross canter unless something is actually wrong, usually. A few times she’s gotten so worked up she just completely melts down but jumping she normally picks one lead or the other, and she’s balanced and muscled enough now she has her changes. So instead of waiting a month for the Chiro we’ll see Dr. Engle in a couple of weeks and hopefully see what’s going on. If that doesn’t fix it I’ll try putting her back into her elevator and see if the Phelham is pissing her off (although she did seem to really like it at first). Basically I’m going to start working down the list.
But anyways, here’s a couple more cute pictures of the Punk because no matter how much she drives me insane, she’s still my baby and I love her.