Thursday, November 5, 2009

PONY is SOLD - and the new one is settling. GOOD DAY.

So I know I have been keeping you all in the dark about Zena's progress in Virginia. Her vet check was Tuesday, and she was 100% clean. She had no changes in the flex test or hoof test, "excellent" x-rays, clean straight legs, clean ultra sound when checked to be sure she could reproduce. The only things she was able to find were that her feet needed to be done (she is going on seven weeks, so truth, and her teeth need to be done, its been ten months, so truth.

 She also found that at the seated gaits, sitting trot, sitting canter, she may be a little sore, which makes sense since I'm a little too big for her. She also is has Equine Metabolic Syndrome which in everyday terms means "easy keeper". Basically it means that because of where the fat deposits are on her body she may be a candidate for laminitis down the road. To me these are all very cosmetic issues. There are no fundamental issues in her conformation that will keep her from being successful at the upper levels. The Equine Metabolic Syndrome is something that will never be an issue as long as she remains on the exercise/feed program that she is currently on.

Anyway that being said, Nikki will offer Zena a fabulous home to grow into her potential, and I'm excited to see how far they go together!

Last night I decided that there is no question - this little palomino mare is in pain, and I won't get anywhere with her while she is hurting. Her teeth will be done on Wednesday when Dr. Shuler comes out to do diagnostic work on Moose. In the mean time I want to continue to ride her, but I will be using a bridle that Grayson is lending me that has a rawhide noseband, and I will attach a tie down to the girth and to the curb. I do want to ride her, but I don't want to give her any opportunity to rear.

So today I got to the barn and she was still in the stall from last night. I brushed her while she ate her breakfast, to give her an opportunity to enjoy getting brushed. This is a horse that has never been pampered - far from it. She has no idea why she is getting all this attention, but she definitely loves it. Give her a few months and I think that she will be happy and pleasant in her work. She just needs to be given the opportunity to enjoy working. I don't blame her for being terrified under saddle, if yesterday's ride is any indication of her experience under saddle, its going to take time for her to get over the fear of "whats going to happen next?"

I noticed that she has a bit of a cut on the left side of her mouth, coupled with the corkscrew snaffle, tie downs, and a heavy hand, its no surprise that her mouth would be sore. She gets really nervous whenever anything gets put on her head, and on the ground thats what leads to her rearing. So I used the side pull bridle - similar to a hackamore - yet it took some convincing that this bridle wouldn't hurt her. I used peppermints to convince her that it was safe to put her head through that noseband. Eventually she figured out that it was okay to do.

Under saddle today I didn't lunge her, I just got on and started to get a feel for her and how she might feel when she wasn't in pain. We walked trotted and cantered, and there was no rearing. She doesn't have good steering, and she doesn't have good transitions, but those things I can fix. I can't fix any of it unless I have her attention though, so I did keep her head tied down. I also feel as though breaking a horse to go western the focus immediately goes to bending and framing up. I feel no need to force those things. I would much rather have her go happily, quietly and straight. The rest of those things she can and will learn later, once she realizes that its okay to like working.

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