Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Frustration, confusion.


I got called into work early to help out due to two call-outs. I stayed 2 hours and then took 3 hours to go to the barn before going back in for my regular shift.

When I opened the back of the barn, Amber saw me and came running. She anxiously waited for me to open the gate. I had to fend off several horses with the lunge whip to get her in.

The problem with just opening the gate and letting horses run in at feeding time lies in the fact that then, when a person opens that gate, all the horses think it's okay for them to come and bolt through. For a private owner with just a couple of horses, this might be okay, but not at a boarding facility. Because when an owner tries to get their horse, they don't need 15 galloping past - that is incredibly dangerous.

I got her in and she was in a good mood. Mellow. Our under saddle work was less than spectacular in comparison to our previous level of work, but under the circumstances, I was impressed with it. She was not happy on the right lead, so I didn't push it. NICE left lead canter. She was stretching out in the trot, which is great. Even if she isn't on the bit, I like her getting down there exploring lower spaces for her head to be and realizing I won't jerk her in the face when she does so. I'm thinking her previous owner was the sort who thought head down=the horse is thinking about bucking so they snatched her up, without also feeling for even bigger signs of an impending tantrum.

Anyway, it was a good ride for us being off for two weeks and considering her hoof issue.

Farrier didn't come out Monday. He called her at 7am, wanted to come at 8am, and obviously there was no way I could bring the money within that time frame. Supposedly David, her other farrier, was coming yesterday afternoon. That fell through. I am so frustrated. I keep thinking she's gotten ahold of someone, so I don't call the numbers I have, and then things fall through again.

I'm boiling at this point. I'm still trying to be nice, but this is getting out of hand. And if it ends up that I get her feet done at the new barn, I will be livid. However, if that farrier is not out by the end of this week, I'm going to call one of these numbers I have and just get someone to do it at any cost. I need a farrier not only to trim and rebalance, but to give me a professional opinion on those back feet. This is incredibly important for our show career this year. I can't put her in any real heavy training again until I get the prognosis for the hind feet, and we should be working harder than ever now that we've got just weeks before spring.

I had a text from Victoria after work. "Your wonderful mare just charged me."

I am baffled at all this behavior Andrea and now Victoria are claiming to get from Amber. She never does this with me. Ever. I'm not saying she's a perfect super quiet horse. She does test you, but she is young and still needs training. But she does not have an aggressive nature towards people at all, and she doesn't need much correction at all for things. By the way, our nipping issue is fixed, too! She is easy to lead, has never offered to kick me. She has turned her butt to me once, but I don't believe it was a kick threat based on her body language. I think she was just being rude in not paying attention to where her body was at. So I don't get it.

I just can't see Amber charging a human. The other horses, maybe. If Victoria was leading another horse, she may have done that. And that's not okay by any means, but it's MUCH different than directing the attack on the human. It's also possible she just wanted to come in, and wasn't necessarily trying to charge Victoria, but just wanted her to let her in. She came running to me but she was not trying to run me over.

I feel like Amber's disposition is being negatively affected by all the stress she is under. The atmosphere is disorder and chaos out there and she can sense that. She wants routine and calm again, and I do too.

I'm going to lunge her in side reins today. I don't know if I will ride or not. I might just let the little lunge lesson be it.


  1. Geez, I hope you get your farrier issue resolved soon. I think you are correct - I think Amber is reacting to all of the stress and negativity around her.

  2. Bummer about the farrier. I hope it gets sorted out soon.

    The herd thing is a problem. And you're right, Amber may just have been trying to get in or trying to "get at" another horse.

    Hope you can move her to the new barn and solve most of the problems. Wishing you well in the meantime.

  3. Sounds like the move is a great idea.