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So frustrated at many many things.. Need calming words.
Hey all. I've been off of here for a while, but now I'm hoping I can get some advice and maybe encouragement from my fellow horse peoples.
About a month and a half ago my horse got a fever, which a week later upon disappearing turned out to be an abscess, on his butt, caused by a bad vaccine. We have been battling the abscess for a long time now, originally we hot packed it in hopes it would either come up or go away, but the vet had to lance it. So we've spent countless hours dressing it cleaning it and treating it. This entire ordeal has been coupled with twice daily doses of bactrim for him. A huge chunk of this time was spent with him off of work, with mild periods of light work thrown in. A few weeks ago he was experiencing too much tenderness so we let him off riding, then he was lanced, and about a week later we were told by the vet to get him back into work as it helped draining. Now it's done draining and it's closed, I think we're done.
For about three weeks he's been getting flavored bactrim, which he conveniently eats in a bran mash, a relief to every other medication we've had to syringe down his throat. We only put a little bran in each dose but that twice a day plus the time off work caused him to get a bit chunky. He gained weight, I'd go so far as to say fat (Although not obese and founder-y..). We have been riding him now for about a week of real consistent work and he's been pretty decent except for these past few days he has been extremely sassy! I had to give him a butt kicking hour long work out yesterday to get him to wind down.
Today I got on, and he was automatically acting up. He stuck him head straight in the air and refused to pay attention, he was spooking randomly and refused to stop when I asked or go when I asked. I worked him for a bit and he really calmed down and began behaving nicely. I had jumped him on saturday and he was great, and there were 6-7 jumps in the ring today so I seized the opportunity. My horse comfortably jumps 3'+ on any day. he's 17 and I've had him for three winters now and he has NEVER refused a fence with me in my entire time owning him, never, the worst he's ever done is stop, look, then hop. I'd honestly trust him jumping with anyone on his back despite how bratty his flatwork can be. And he loves jumping! It's his favorite part of the ride!
I popped him over a few single verticles and he was great, so I decided to pop through a three fence gymnastic line. They were cross rails, nothing at all intimidating OR new. We went through smoothly the first two times. The third time I took him through though he did something VERY weird, he ducked out on the last cross rail and ran around it, something I swear this horse has never done with me in my three years with him. I immediately circled him around to do it again, I switched my whip to the side he ducked out on and went through again prepared for nonsense. When we got to the third fence I felt him start to shy out and I got him with the whip on the neck, He ran through the slap out the side of the jumps. I lost my stirrup and immediately upon trying to get it back he bucked and bolted. I slammed into the ground. I hit my head, possibly broke my finger tip (I have not gone to a doctor yet) bruised my entire leg from the top inner thigh down and scraped my back. Had he not bucked I would have been fine, I would've regained my stirrup and done the line again, the buck sent me flying.
I got up and immediately lunged him into a sweat. I was not getting back on as I did hit my head and I have had a serious head injury in the past and did not want to tamper with it. I was being safe. I would have gotten back on in a heart beat had I NOT hit my head. I did not think I had a concussion but was not sure and again was being safe. I was not sure whether or not I had a concussion as I still had adrenaline pumping.. I didn't think I did but was not assuming anything.
My barn owner charges in minutes later. She doesn't even ask what had happened, and instead made assumptions that it had to do with the jumps and went off on how it was my fault for jumping all three at once. This SERIOUSLY upset me. I've jumped several jumps in a row with him, she's seen this, she's my riding instructor she teaches my lessons, he had been doing it fine, the lesson that had happened prior to my ride had no problem. She began pushing at me to mount back up and do it again. I am 18 years old, and she was talking to me like a child, condescending, making the whole situation out to be my fault and completely focused around the jump. It really wasn't the jump it was the buck, but she wouldn't hear my story at all. I told her I hit my head to get her to stop nagging at me. It was true, I didn't think I was concussed but I didn't want to mount back up and risk it.
She immediately goes off on me that I shouldn't be doing this and that that I should call my mother who's 45 minutes away at work and get a ride home that I shouldn't drive and all this. I was fine. I did not have a concussion. I have had 4 concussions and one serious head injury. I bumped my head, I was not going to risk mounting back up and the slight possibility of falling off within that bump seriously injuring my brain. You're not supposed to hit your head twice in a day. I had to listen to the doctors "Take time off or you'll risk serious brain damage" speech before. I told her I wasn't going to hit my head in my car and stormed out. I was in tears, a big girl in tears. I was embarrassed, there were so many people around and she was lecturing me like I was a child. I had not anticipating getting BUCKED off my horse. Horse hasn't bucked in over a year... She wouldn't even let me explain this.
I am SO frustrated. At myself for letting that happen, at my horse for being such a sassy brat pants and throwing the cherry buck on the naughty flavored ice cream, and at my barn owner for jumping to conclusions, making assumptions, and trying to tell me what to do, and how I magically caused this, as if I am a child.
I need words. I need advice. I'm not going to confront the barn owner about this, even typing it gets me slightly agitated. I just want to get over it and let it simmer away.. Anyone have anything calming to say, did I handle the situation alright?
Sorry for the wall o' text. But thanks for reading all.
I think you handled a lot of the situation correct. It was smart not to get back on in case of more injury to the head. I don't think it was the jumps, it could of been that he was sore and just didn't want to jump or maybe he was mad. I don't think your barn owner should have called your mom or lectured you in front of a bunch of people. Most ask, what happened not assumed. Sorry about your horse, he seems like he's been through a lot! Hope he gets better!
Yeah I don't think he was sore, he was easily and happily clearing 3' verticles the other day and these were baby cross rails, he was doing all the single fences fine. I was so caught off guard by him ducking out.
What's upsetting me the most is apparently other people were saying that it was because of the jumps and that my horse was all uncollected and out of control. No one saw what happened except for one rider in the ring who I know wasn't the one saying it. At the time of the incident everyone was away from the ring. When I went to catch my horse two people were JUST walking into the barn. There was no witnesses except that one rider who was focused on her horse.
I feel like this situation is just a ton of talk, I wish it was just a matter of me falling off and life moving on and not a million people creating a story over a situation. And now people are thinking I'm too afraid to get back on. I can't wait to get back on on thursday when I can ride again and correct that situation.
I think you had handled the situation correctly. Unfortunately you can't control what other people say or assume, and in the horse world people like to say and assume just about anything. Most barns have to have some type of drama, and jump at an opportunity like this to gossip over. You just have to prove them wrong!
Don't let their words affect you, only you really know what went wrong and sometimes horses just have bad days. Next time you ride, ride to the best of your ability so they'll have nothing to talk about anymore.
I plan on riding him at an Olympic rider quality on thursday, no pressure! And I think we BOTH had a bad day.
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