Hey guys. I'm not usually one for posting up a rant when something's bothering me, but I really feel the need to talk to actually horsey people. Preferably ones i'm not related to.
As a brief intro, I have two horses, a gelding who I take care of but is unofficially loaned out to a friend (she is his rider) and a mare, who is my riding horse.
A couple of years back I kinda got into a rut where the extent of riding was a few lessons here and there, some schooling and a fair bit of hacking. I enjoy the hacking a lot, but there was no real point to my riding if you see what I mean. I'd had to take it slow because my mare had gained a lot of weight and was lame on and off. My vet put her on a course of danalon so that I could work her effectively to get her fit again, which I did. So I started feeling the need for a new direction to my riding. So I joined a local riding club. They offer lots of clinics and have teams and socials and stuff like that. Then my mare started acting really kinda poorly. I thought she might have laminitis because she was refusing to move and seemed quite lethargic and I know they don't always lean in the way you often see. I had my vet out and a blood test showed she was anaemic, so I started adding vitamins and iron supplements to her feed and her mucus membranes have since 'pinked up' and she seems much livelier. At this point I began thinking about what club activities I should sign up to. Then a new problem developed. My mare started pulling back when saddled, whether she was tied, held or what. (thread:Pulling back?) I've had her back, tack, feet and teeth checked all are fine. I've been working pretty hard on it with no imporvement yet. I don't want to take her ANYWHERE until it's sorted.
Anyway it's really getting me down. It's really dangerous when she does it and it's put me off working with her on my own because I want someone nearby in case of an emergency. Thing is there's no one here during the week, so at the moment I only get to ride on weekends. If we can't sort it i'll have to seek a professional I guess. I don't understand and i'm confused because everyone has a suggestion (saddlepad? Something in the yard? Tie her to a tree and let her get on with it? Try a different handler? Stand her on different terrain? Try somewhere where she can see other horses? Just work her? Don't work her, give her a crack with a whip? Etc etc)
I've no idea of the cause so I don't know who to listen to or what. I've had her nearly 6 years and nothing has changed for her to suddenly snap. I feel like i've taken a perfectly good horse and ruined it, which makes me kind of depressed. I also have my doubts about how safe she is. She's doing mini rears in the yard, so who's to say she won't under saddle? A rearer's a rearer, right? And tbh I don't have the courage or the experience to be dealing with a rearer right now.
I love my mare, but i'm feeling really frustrated. It seems to be one thing after the other, and it seems lke a long time since I've just been able to enjoy her. I really want to try out dressage, but I can't with her messing around like she is. I don't even know if she'd be any good to learn on. She's middleweight, doesn't have the best movement in the world and she's 16 years old. She behaves very well in the school, but she's not exactly what you think of when you imagine a dressage horse. I love her to bits, but I find myself looking at ads for younger, more refined horses. There's a what if... in the back of my mind. I can't afford three horses though, two is my limit right now! I'm not thinking of selling her, but even if I wanted to she wouldn't sell. The market is bad, and there are too many nice horses for anyone to really want a 16 year old mare that can't be tacked up without endangering herself, people, and nearby horses.
Sorry, I didn't mean for this to get so long, and I don't mean to be pathetic, but i'm feeling really frustrated and a little miserable.
If you read all of this...Thanks.