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I pay my psychiatrists with feed and hay...

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    09-15-2010, 09:50 PM
A ton of bucking today!!! I'm going to borrow a treeless saddle this weekend to see if its my saddle that's bothering her. Next time I ride, I'm switching the saddle pad as well, and possibly the bit although I'm sure if anything bucking would have more to do with the saddle. I've been trying really hard to end the ride before getting frustrated with her...I really don't want to push her too far already in her new home. I know she needs time to settle down. *sigh*
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    09-16-2010, 11:47 PM
Made some progress today! Pretty sure it's her being barnsour and arena sour, not the saddle :) PHEW. She threw a fit about me even getting on her at all and I was thinking "wow that must really hurt her" so I almost just let her be. Anyway, I got on her and she promptly began bucking, spinning, anything to not move forward. I spun her, circled her, and backed her up until she made it out the driveway (giving her chances now and then to move forward) and by the time we actually got to the end of the driveway she just started walking. So I rode her back and forth on different paths away from and toward the barn. For a while she was bucking and spinning every time I went away from the barn and being good while I was going toward it. That's how I figured it wasn't the saddle. Anyway, by the end I was able to ride her back up to the barn and back out the driveway without a fuss, YAY!!!! I was NOT able to do that last time...or ride her out at all actually. I've had to lead her out every time. I'll continue to work on this, but I feel that my mental dilemma over it is done. I know what to do.

Now to work on the arena problem. *sigh*
    09-16-2010, 11:48 PM
Haha...I just realized I sigh a lot! I really do love her!
AND she was an angel for the farrier. I just held the leadrope near the knot at the end and let her stand there and she pretty much fell asleep :)
    09-17-2010, 09:40 PM
Got out of the driveway on our first try today! She was terrible tacking up, but I think she's testing me since I'm new to her and trying to see if there's a way out of working/what I'll do if she acts up/etc. Overall a good day, some bucking and rushing involved, but a big improvement on leaving the barn!!! :)
    09-19-2010, 11:04 AM
Well done! I have an incredibly herd bound horsie, and know how frustrating it can be, and the panic that something must be hurting!
    09-21-2010, 10:26 PM
Thanks Lotti! It was hard to commit and just ride her through it to find out whether it was the saddle or not because I didn't really want to remain on her if it was, but alas we aren't at a point yet where I can be on her bareback so we did it!

I've been extremely busy and only am going to make it out 4 days this week...ergh. Was doing really well with 5/6, though I think she'll appreciate the break. I am currently reading up on Monty Roberts and Clinton Anderson techniques, and trying to apply them in my work with my horse. It's a lot to remember right now and so different than how I was taught, but I'm determined to get it right for this poor horse. She's 13 but I don't think it's ever too late to prove that not all humans are harsh. And lucky for me she seems willing to let me start over as much as I need to. I already have messed up some with her and know that I'll continue to make mistakes, but I'm hoping for a good bond and learning experience for us both in the end. I don't want to speak/write too soon, but she's been AWESOME about leaving the barn now! Still naughty while tacking up, and VERY cinchy...one step at a time though!
    09-23-2010, 09:55 PM
ARGH.....well, yesterday was AMAZING! She was a little cinchy but not bad, I've been tightening it very slowly and she's starting to learn that I'll keep doing it that way and it's not so scary. Once I got on we walked right out of the farm, went on an hour and a half trail ride, and it was great!! There was one incident where she took off with me and it took a while to bring her back down, but other than that NO bad behavior!!!

Today was another story though.....feels like an enormous leap backwards. She was great tacking up, not cinchy at all! Once I got on her, it was a huge battle. I spent an hour trying to get her off the farm and tried everything in the book...no luck. She didn't try to buck me off, but she did little crow hops and small bucks trying to tell me NO. Mostly she just would NOT move. I did anything and everything I could think of, kept her feet moving, but nothing worked. I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, and I know that losing my temper and putting her in her stall just like she wanted was the wrong thing to do...but it was dark out and we were getting nowhere...oh well. Here's hoping for more success next time!
    09-26-2010, 09:43 PM
Mac was AWESOME today! We were out for 2 hours exploring the trails, and only one moment of misbehavior...she decided to take off and threw her head up every time I half-halted (avoiding the bit?...I understand why they used a running martingale I guess) Anyway, I was able to get her back under control and since we're making progress and I'm not having an issue of getting HIT in the head, I'm not going to put any more equipment on her...in fact I'd like to reduce what I need to ride her in. I really don't like using a Kimberwicke on her but right now that seems to be the only way to have any control. NO BUCKING TODAY! Even though this was the first time using my Wintec after having used a treeless for a week, she didn't seem phased so that's good. Still naughty about being saddled and naughty about letting me mount up, but she was good during the ride so I'm happy!
    10-02-2010, 09:48 PM
Every ride since my last post has been awesome...about an hour each time. Once another horse came with us and she was awesome about it...she's had a past of being rude even to herd-members when on the trail, but was great this time! One of those rides she did take off once. Today she tried a few times but I was able to gain control back each time so we're slowly working toward me deciding the speed. Hahha...meanwhile we're getting some good runs in!

She's still trying to kick and bite when I put the saddle on....ergh...no issues/bucking/anything once it's on though...?????? It seems like it may be pinching her shoulders though...eeek. Trying to think of a solution/a way to tell. I've tried checking sweat patterns but she's not sweating enough to tell. I have been rubbing her down to check for pain and she never flinches so I'm not sure. Oh how I hate saddles that don't quite fit
    10-03-2010, 10:42 PM
Today we worked on the saddle issue. I don't know how many times I held it up to her or how many times I put it on and took it back off, but by the end she accepted it a few times on each side without kicking or biting. She still doesn't seem to have any sensitive/sore spots but I'm keeping an eye on it. I don't trust that saddle. Something about it being an all purpose...the knee rolls are too far forward to even touch my leg so the padding under them is far enough forward that it's on her shoulder...not the best design. I knew I should've got a dressage or endurance saddle!!!

Mac left the barn fine today, I did bring my crop for emmmm "encouragement" to go away from home though. Haha. She was amazing on the trails, responding to my cues and just doing wonderful. I took her in the arena, too, though and that was a whole different story. She was racing around, not responding to downward cues, and bucking like crazy. I'd say there's some anxiety around arena work for some reason. I haven't been doing it with her often so it's not that she's forced to do it constantly. It is most likely something from her past (the first 10 years of her life that I don't have a clue about). Ah well, hopefully with trust and time she'll understand that I'm her person and her leader--in an arena or not.

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