Thursday, March 3, 2011

Hmm. Well then.

I got called by my manager and was told to come in at 6 rather than 3, so I made my way over to the barn. I gave Amber a quick grooming and then decided to hand graze her.

All was fine until I don't know what came over her, but she jigged and kind of bounced forward. I corrected her gently and let her graze some more, then I decided we'd go in the near by round pen and just fool around for a minute. I could see that my lack of work with her had affected her ground manners - even for being in a new place.

She jigged, and LUNGED into the round pen. Then stood their, eyes rolling, head high. I closed the gate and took her halter off and she proceeded to bolt around me. Why? Perhaps she thought I was going to turn her out in there. She has been in for two and a half days now. She isn't used to that. Understandable, but not okay. So I let her settle herself. She hung her head over the rail, flagged her tail and pranced around. What a mare, I thought to myself. LOL.

I made her change directions, which she was reluctant to do. She kind of gave a little buck a couple of times, more or less pent up energy.

Bob was watching and I told him what had happened. He worked with her a few minutes and said that someone had definitely rough handled her in the past. Being that she was not like this before Andrea's, I was silently thinking that my suspicions were confirmed - Andrea HAD been roughing her around. Not flat out abuse, but something was obviously wrong over there when I had not been doing anything different than usual.

He backed her, messed with her head, lead her around, in and out of the gate. He's fantastic. And he pretty much told me that I worry too much, to just chill about it. I know that, but I'm a perfectionist and I sometimes lose sight of everything that's a plus with any particular horse. You guys know that from Jack. He said she's probably just adjusting to having to be inside for extended periods of time, and there's all these horses that she has yet to meet and she wants to go out and explore. This is more than likely what's behind her silliness, I know. But I'm a worry wart and I don't want this behavior to become a habit.

After I get my next paycheck she will be getting her wolf teeth pulled and her shots/coggins.

I'm considering not riding until she's had turn out time. I suppose it depends on how she's acting. All of her anxiousness (most likely from having to stay inside) is making ME anxious about our first ride out there. My confidence issues are, obviously, still breakable.

Then again, she might be better when she's all tacked up and realizes it's time to work. The jumping arena is on the far side of the farm away from the pastures, so less temptation to be mega mare and be silly. The mare who lives beside her is in heat, so it's also highly likely she's going into heat herself. So it could be just a combination of stressful things making her "forget" herself. I'll ask Bob what he thinks about going ahead and riding. Obviously, we are clear to walk/trot with the feet, but I don't want to ask too much of her too soon out here before she has properly settled in.

It's always different, taking a horse to a new barn, than just taking them say, to a show or something. I don't know why. New place is a new place. But somehow, it always is different.


  1. Glad Bob was there to offer support and advice, again. He sounds like a gem.

    I would think being kept in would get Amber upset if she's used to turnout. She may think she's going to be stuck inside forever in the new barn. Probably it's all too much for her at the moment.

  2. Probably so. My riding will be a case-by-case basis for now. If she's chill, I will hack around the jump arena, if she's not so chill, we will groom her and call it a day.

    With that being said, she's not freaking out in her stall, she's chilled out in there, very relaxed. But she probably still wishes she could just go outside. At least one of the other horses is staying in with her during this time.

  3. I think you hit the nail on the head when you said "pent up energy". She'll be fine when she gets back to a turnout routine. Meanwhile, maybe letting her blow off steam in the lunge pen would help?