The North Experience - Page 42 - The Horse Forum
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post #411 of 498 Old 02-11-2019, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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Okay, so now that the "ooey-gooey, my pony is perfect" stuff is out of the way...

Let me tell you about SUNDAY!! Haha.

We rode in the front riding area in our makeshift dressage arena. Here's the thing about North. He just simply favors people over horses when it comes to trust. So when I ride him up front, I generally need someone on the ground to be his "support person". And he's really weird about it. He wants someone in the center of the arena to feel fully comfortable. Not outside the arena and in the general vicinity. He just feels more at ease when someone is in the center of the arena. That person is often my friend, Alex, because she practically lives at the barn.

Yesterday she was teaching a beginner lesson, but afterwards, she, her student, and student's mom came to hang out in the middle of the arena to be North's "emotional support". It was really windy and for some reason, through traffic on the road next to the riding area was pretty steady. My guy and another boarder were there, but they were on the outside, so didn't really count. We were doing great, a couple baby legs yields, nice rhythm, and just nice overall response to the aids. Then Alex announced that she was taking her student back to the barn so they could untack the lesson pony, but would be back if I wasn't done riding yet. It was as if North knew exactly what she said because 3 strides later, spook and jump at nothing! And this is what he does, because he doesn't like not having a person on the ground nearby when we ride up front. Suddenly, everything and nothing is cause for alarm. I ride him through it and pretend like nothing happened, and they leave. We do 2 laps around the arena and suddenly out of nowhere, he's leaping through the air, bucking, and trying to canter. I never felt scared or like I was gonna come off. More so like, "What is this nut doing??" Lol. I brought him back fairly easily got him to calm down, and then patted him as soon as he relaxed. When I went back and watched the video, the only thing I could see was that a van drove by. :-/ Mind you, we're at least 30-40 yards from the road and it wasn't a loud van or anything. It was just North basically mad because our friends left and he had to keep working. So I made him go walk-trot at least another 10 minutes before I called the ride and then rode him back to the barn.

So yes, definitely an interesting ride and something we will have to work through, but even better? I got it all on video! Lol. These things happen very fast and prior to the big spook, we were working on a longer rein because I was asking him to stretch down. Not our most graceful moment, but I was pretty proud of myself for staying in the saddle and not getting freaked out about it.


"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
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post #412 of 498 Old 02-11-2019, 03:42 PM
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Your beautiful horse looks off to me....after the “spook”.....which makes me think it was not a spook nor an attitude....

I don't break horses, I FIX them!
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post #413 of 498 Old 02-11-2019, 03:46 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by greentree View Post
Your beautiful horse looks off to me....after the “spook”.....which makes me think it was not a spook nor an attitude....
Looks off where? After which spook? The first one? He showed nothing after the ride when turned out, not this morning when he trotted in first breakfast.

This is not the first time he's done this. Always this area, always when someone leaves.

"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
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post #414 of 498 Old 02-11-2019, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Tihannah View Post
Looks off where? After which spook? The first one? He showed nothing after the ride when turned out, not this morning when he trotted in first breakfast.

This is not the first time he's done this. Always this area, always when someone leaves.
He looks like he is dragging his toe. I think the right....there is a puff of dirt from it.
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I don't break horses, I FIX them!
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post #415 of 498 Old 02-11-2019, 04:24 PM
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I agree he doesn't look 100%, I think right hind also but also looks like it could originate in the back and usually when it's something like that, I look at the back and see if maybe something is bothering them. Could be in the muscle or growing pains. One thing with babies is when they grow sometimes they can make themselves sore or as their body changes get annoyed because their body feels different or sometimes if they lose footing, they lose confidence *shrugs* could be anything and youngsters go through a lot of phases physically and mentally as they grow up.

Or he could be totally fine and going through a phase *shrugs* horses.
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post #416 of 498 Old 02-11-2019, 04:37 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by greentree View Post
Your beautiful horse looks off to me....after the “spook”.....which makes me think it was not a spook nor an attitude....
I see what you mean by "after the spook" and that's likely because he leaped through the air and kicked out and he's neither strong or balanced enough to do that with a rider. I walked him the majority of the time afterwards and went back to look at the video and didn't see anything, but it's possible he pulled something when he did that.

If you watch the video right before the spook, we are on left lead and as we go into the corner, he avoids using his left inside hind. I posted that in my video of the clinic where John tells Helen that that is something she needs to tackle and is not an argument that I need to have with him, and it's likely going to get ugly before it gets pretty. He also says its very common with the youngsters.

I share a lot of video of our rides, but right now he is only ridden on weekends mostly. If I do manage to ride him during the week, our rides are usually 20 min tops of walk and trot. I don't do a lot of circles with him and I try to stick to straight lines and diagonals as much as possible. He is cantered MAYBE once a month and not by me and I have the chiro out to check him monthly. Her last visit, she was amazed by how little she found. A residual knot in his neck was really the only issue. He is young, but I am also careful not to push him.

But like I said, this was not the first time this has happened. Every single time he has spooked with me in the saddle (even my fall) has been this exact same area. Not at the show (and we rode all over the grounds), the arena complex down the road, the clinic, my old barn, or hacking in the woods around our property. Just here. But if he did pull something, I will be sure and have the chiro check when she is out again this month.

"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
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post #417 of 498 Old 02-16-2019, 04:18 PM Thread Starter
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Just want to say THANKS to @greentree and @DanteDressageNerd for noting that North looked off in the video. I should've caught that, but didn't. We were all 3 sort of right in what we saw. Greentree - that he was off, Cassie- that it was his back (and more), and me that it happened during the spook.

Gave him off until today, but we did do a little groundwork during the week and I kept watch to see if he was showing any lameness. All appeared normal until I got in the saddle today. He didn't look off, but I could feel it, and we had a lot of tail swishing going on. We did a lot at the walk, and when I asked for the trot, he didn't hesitate, but something just didn't feel right. He was somewhat forward, but kinda tight in his back and difficult to keep in a bend. I asked a friend who was riding with me if he looked off or saw anything in his right hind. She thought he looked fine, but just had a slight stickiness in the right hind. We just sort of plodded around a bit and then at one point during the walk, he just kicked out. I immediately hopped off and told her something was definitely wrong. I rubbed him, kissed his face and took him back to the barn to untack and look him over.

I thoroughly checked his legs, couldn't find any heat or swelling, but did get a reaction from his back. I immediately texted the chiropractor and told her something was wrong, about the spook, and what he was doing. She asked me to send video of him trotting. I told her I had video of the spook and video from today too and would send both. I sent the spook video first and before I could even send video from today, she responded, "You don't have to send any other videos. I saw it. Sacrum on the right and lower back. Silly boy!" She's coming out on Wednesday to get him fixed up. My chiro is just amazing with horses, and as soon as I texted the barn group to let them know she was coming, 5 more horses were added to her visit.

I took a 4 day weekend for my birthday and now won't be able to ride which really sucks, but I'll still spend most of time at the barn pampering my pony anyways. Even worse is that starting Tuesday, we are forecasted rain for the next 10 days! Still better than being cooped up in an office all day trying to solve complex code!
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"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
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post #418 of 498 Old 02-21-2019, 11:38 AM
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Glad you figured out what was wrong, and he was definitely having what I'd like to call a 'baby' moment, looks like he needed reassurance. It happens sometimes although I am super happy you stayed on like a champ!! I know it was probably hard to stay balanced because it happened out of NOWHERE! LOL, silly North! He definitely keeps you on your toes!
The chiro will fix him right up. Boo about the rain, ugh but at least you can still hangout with him and pamper him. And yes, anything is better than being cooped up at work!!
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post #419 of 498 Old 02-23-2019, 10:51 PM Thread Starter
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North saw the chiro on Wednesday and got fixed up. She said it wasn't too bad and we've made good progress in getting him more supple to the left of his neck. He started the session being a little mouthy and busy body and then as always, turned to mush once the endorphins kicked in.

Today we had our first real ride since the spook. I think we were both rusty, but eventually found our stride. It didn't take much to get him forward and he felt really good.

I ordered him a new saddle pad this week, and wanted to save it for the clinic, but couldn't resist riding in it. It's from Equestrian Stockholm and GORGEOUS. I love it so much that I think I might order a 2nd just so I can have one to play in and one for clinics, etc. I also ordered him a new bridle through Bridle2Fit. His current bridle is the one I got for Forrest last year and is a tad big for him. Bridle2Fit lets you custom order by piece, so I was able to put together everything I wanted and haven't been able to find. Can't wait to see it.

Below are just a few pics from our ride today and one after his bath. It's really warm down here right now (high 70's), so Im already dreading the coming summer. The humidity gets so bad here that its hard for me to breathe when it gets warm. I had to take several breaks during our ride to catch my breath.
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"Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better."
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post #420 of 498 Old 02-23-2019, 11:17 PM
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Oh! I cant find anything to fit moose head so ill have to checkout bridles2fit!

North looks amazing buy the way. Makes me want to get a ottb.
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