Treats are a huge
indulgence. Stable hands (especially my boss, who fears her) are constantly stuffing treats her way. She's very food-motivated (I used foods when I was training her to pick up her feet; now I can simply over-exaggerate the "GOOD GIRL! -petpetpet-" and she's just as happy), so people at the barn go with that.
If I so much as touch the lunge whip she's going faster than the energizer bunny. While I was working her I didn't want her to canter (I would block her eye and change her direction if she did!), and she went "All Go, No Whoa." Even when I looked away (at the ground, passive posture), if I had that whip in my hands it was go-go-go. I had to lay it on the ground and step away before she would even consider stopping.
Our veterinarian suggested Cavalettis for another horse (who is slightly overweight himself, but needs it for muscle tones). I plan to use trotting poles (small poles on the ground a few feet apart, which makes the horse put their head down and think about their feet a little more?), walk-trot work (also under saddle), and other groundwork so far.
Even with our one round-pen session, I noticed Creamy is a lot
more responsive... When I whistle, she'll look, take a bite-to-go of grass, and come. (There have been many times after an accident last year where she won't even look!) It's my personal belief that she has trust issues; she has done nothing to prove me otherwise.
About the accident: Last summer, two boys were going to drain our water trough, and used one of the big black tubes (kinda like plastic, about 6" round) -- as they passed her, she freaked, pulled back, and ripped a chunk of her cheek almost off (also ruining one halter). I was there as it happened (my back was turned and I hear wood crackling and turned around to see her pulling back so hard she was practically sitting.) I was also the only one of the three who moved to catch the now halter-less horse. The result was 30 stitches... she wasn't the same -- not as affectionate --after that. So she's finally being more respectful/affectionate, which I'm hoping will work out in her favor even now. (My boss has wanted to sell her, but it's been my faith and training with her that's saved her from being shipped off!)
Also, I do have pictures. (:
March 2011: (Equip with winter fuzzies!)
May 17 (Bottom)
Here you can even see the dapples I referred to. I'll try to get some more shots (conformational, basically) of her tomorrow and post those up! About when she went down:
It was the only ride she went out on (she gets barn-sour sometimes and will rear and spin around, so we only let experienced riders ride her). I had offered her a drink before we mounted up and she didn't take one. I'm not sure if the trail guide allowed trotting, but when I saw her from my "ambulance horse," she was extremely sweaty (as if she just ran a few miles) and slightly lathered up. She had two cuts on her hind legs (inside, on the stockings); one of which has already healed. The trail guide was able to get her saddle off, eventually get her back up, and re-saddle her; the customer mounted back up and rode her back to the barn. (I'd have walked her in-hand back if I had the choice.)