Thursday, February 17, 2011

Agh. Shoes it is then.

Farrier saw her. The trim was excellent, and he recommended using shoes with toe clips as a temporary solution while I work to train her out of it. Since, obviously, it's severe enough that it's going to lame her up. He also recommended I stretch out her hind legs and her hips. He said they were out of alignment. This has likely happened due to the recent lameness - her tip-toeing.

So we're just going to do that. I hate it. I just hate it. Not because of the money, but because of the negative effects shoes can have. But, anything to make my baby sound. I love that mare more than anything. So she will get them next week sometime.

She was her usual mellow self today. Definitely seemed happy over the trim too.

Andrea claims she charged her when she tried to open her stall and turn her out and charged her in the pasture also. I don't understand why all this bad behavior is being displayed to others. I never see this side of her.

I feel some of the grouchiness is attributed to pain as of recent, but I mean, even so, she has not been like this with me. I believe Andrea's stall rushing issue she mentioned is due to the fact that usually, she just opens the door and lets her out. Amber probably thought that that's what she wanted her to do. She never tries to run in or out before me. She always waits for me to enter. I mean, I am 99% happy with her ground manners. She has some moments in the pasture currently, but otherwise, she's always really well behaved for me.

At least she was good for the farrier I heard. I was hoping she'd be a good girl. I would have been embarrassed if she'd been a pain for him.

Due to the wear on her toes, the farrier is going to have to hand beat out her shoes (or whatever you would call it, I know nothing of shoes), but he has offered not to charge me and just charge me the $80 for the job, and I thought that was very kind of him. I may keep using him even after I move her, because I really like the trim he did and now that he's seen her previous condition and now knows about her issues first hand, I think it would be good to keep him working with her during the recovery.

I lunged her today. Still tender behind, but moving a lot better. She's way stiffer to the left, which I'm sure is due to the fact that the inside left toe is way more worn on the toe, since that's usually her good direction. She was stretchy and nice to the right. We even got a few strides of nice, calm canter. I let her be done on that note. She was much more responsive today and I was proud. She needs to learn that I'm not trying to chase her around, silly mare.

I am still baffled by all this ugly behavior I hear about. Either it's misunderstood, or she just has no respect for them. I'm thinking the latter. All the ways she views Andrea basically give Amber reason to believe she is lower on the totem pole than she is. She brings food. Occasionally tries to get after her for something, but from what I hear has backed down more than once and has let Amber get away with things...making Amber think she can control Andrea. And Andrea seems to make a big deal out of it when a horse does something rude. That only confuses Amber and irritates her. My whole correction process is based on my golden rule: Never make a big deal out of ANYTHING. Fix it, and move on. Andrea...well, loses her temper. Not abusive, but she definitely lets her frustration level go over.

I'm hoping the staff at Halcyon will be a little deal with any testing Amber may throw at them. I suppose I will need inform the barn manager of the things Amber has allegedly done with Andrea, and let him know the biting is no longer an issue...but tell them to still be attentive to her, but take it with a grain of salt. Because I'm no miracle super-expert horse handler and she is very easy to handle for me. I did tell them she is a mild biter when I filled out the paperwork, but that has gone away since I disciplined my own self and stopped feeding treats. Now she "charges". *Sigh*

I've come to the conclusion that the big thing dragging her manners down is being let in and let out like she is. She thinks she can run in and run out when she sees a human without being lead. Andrea also seems to avoid issues with her rather than confront them (something I never do - if I encounter a problem, I correct it immediately).


Front sole.

Hind. Agh, look at that poor toe.

Hind sole - you can see the white line is just gone on the front.

I almost feel responsible. I know that it was not my fault in any way - she was starting to pick up her feet better when we left off, and then rain kept me away for a week, and when I came back, there it was - lame mare. And I had been trying for *3 weeks* to get a freaking farrier out. But in hindsight, I wish I had just found my own farrier from the get go. At least it's fixable. She can go right back into moderate work when she gets the shoes, and over the course of a few months, she will regrow her toe and white line and hopefully I will have her lifting her feet by then.

On a CUTENESS note, hasn't Allie gotten HUGE? Took her and Matilda to the dog park, and they played with a shy but sweet golden retriever that a man and his little girl had brought out. Matilda surprised me by taking an instant liking to the girl - usually, she is very shy around new people. They had us all in stitches running around and playing silly.


  1. As Amber's fitness improves, she should use her hind end better. Hopefully, that will help.

    As for her behavior....sounds as if some tactful corrections, done at the right time in the right way, would solve most of the problems.

  2. That is what I am hoping for. That was what was happening before the rainy week and she was off for that time.

    That's exactly what I have done with her - simple, to the point, no big deal, but firm corrections. She is not hard to correct at all. I rarely if ever have to correct her more than once about something. It's hard for me to correct problems that aren't happening when I work with her, and that frustrates me. She respects me, and I'm just not sure how to teach her to respect everyone else - that's something they will ultimately have to do with her, I believe.