Sometimes A Newbie Gets It Right!
I'm a very new adult rider (just past a year now, on a horse that is only just now becoming a good fit, ability-wise) and some of you may remember a post of mine a month or two back about my horse becoming IMPOSSIBLE to bridle, ride, etc. Total jerk for bridling, head snaking nonsense at the trot, kicky-snorty fussy rides, etc. Now, it's worth pointing out that as a dominant OTTB combined with a dumb-as-dirt new rider, he had a lot of this from the get-go, but we'd cured a lot of it! -- this was a sudden and dramatic setback.
We tested everything - tack, feet, teeth (visual inspection), back, you name it. Everything green. At the time, it was still winter in upstate NY, and quite a bit of snow on the ground still. I was told, "Eh, he's just being a jerk because they don't get to move much in turnout". (And let's be clear here - HE CAN BE A JERK!)
Still, I wasn't satisfied. My boy is many things, but his bad behavior is usually temporary. The ONLY time he ever acted out persistently before was a fairly clear lameness issue, and sure enough given recovery time, he got better. So Stupid Head For Weeks and Weeks is just not his style, even though everyone at the barn (far more experienced than me) INSISTED that he was just Winter Sour, and to just Put Up With It.
Well, it came to pass a few weeks back that the vet call was up, so I opted for a teeth float/inspection. Barn owner frowned and said it was unnecessary because it had recently been done (but hey, you wanna pay for it...)
You know where this is going, right? In an AMAZING coincidence, right after the dental work (vet saw nothing special), Mr Impossible went right back to Mr Mostly Fine, Only Sometimes A Jerk. It took about 3 days to stop the bridle head tossing (the lure of a mint + Oh hey, this doesn't hurt now!), and even less to get him back to happy work. (Well, again, for him. Happy might be a stretch. Let's go with "I tolerate your requests, but I would prefer to just go eat grass.")
Now of course this coincides with the improved weather, so it COULD just be the Wonder Of Spring and some grass in the field to graze upon, I admit that. But I strongly suspect that this guy needs his teeth done more often than the "typical schedule". (Or at least, in this one instance, that was what was needed).
Now I just need to hide the vet bill from my husband. ;)